In this week’s episode of the Global Venturing Review Leadership Series, we talk to Tony Raven, chief executive of University of Cambridge’s commercialisation arm Cambridge Enterprise, about abandoning long-held beliefs in the workplace, his help in launching both IP Group and Cambridge Innovation Capital and the importance of running a tech transfer operation worthy of the Cambridge brand.
Ola confirmed today it has raised $1.1bn in a round led by Tencent, which invested $400m according to recent reports.
Tujia, the online accommodation marketplace often referred to as China’s Airbnb, has secured $300m in a round co-led by Ctrip that valued it at more than $1.5bn.
SoftBank Vision Fund has done more than anyone to ramp up venture capital investment to new levels this year, and it’s far from finished. The fund has led a $164m round for Mapbox, a provider of location and mapping technology for app developers, taking the company’s overall funding to nearly $230m.
Freight shipping management platform Flexport, has confirmed it has closed a $110m series C round that valued it at $910m post-money.
App development seems to be a hot area for SoftBank right now. The firm has also led Petuum’s $93m series B round, investing through an undisclosed subsidiary.
Music royalty collection service Kobalt has added $14m of funding from investors including the Bill Maris-headed Section 32 to take its series D round to $89m.
On Global Government Venturing, the biggest deal was a $100m funding round for Bill.com, a US-based payment processing network already backed by payment services firm American Express, which raised the cash in a round co-led by Singaporean state-owned firm Temasek and financial services firm JPMorgan Chase.
China-based educational services provider New Oriental Education and Technology has launched a $300m+ fund to invest in early-stage edtech startups, along with a $1.5bn fund that will focus on growth equity and M&A deals, according to local media reports.
Japan-headquartered mobile game developer Akatsuki was founded in 2010 and went public last year, and now it’s elected to join the corporate venturing space with the formation of a $50m fund that will target entertainment technology startups.
Cambridge Enterprise, the tech transfer office of University of Cambridge, has partnered business school unit Cambridge Social Ventures to launch a £100,000 ($132,000) seed impact fund.
On GlobalGovernmentVenturing.com, we’ve also had quite a few new funds, so let’s look at a couple of the bigger ones.
French state-owned investment bank Bpifrance has contributed an undisclosed sum to the €45m ($53.1m) first-close for France-based edtech VC fund Educapital. Children’s retailer IdKids has also backed the fund, as have business-to-business services provider Econocom, publishers Bayard and Hachette Livre, family-owned fund Education for the Many and a range of unnamed investors.
VC firm Wavemaker Partners closed its second Southeast Asia-focused fund today at $66m with contributions from Singapore state-owned investment firm Temasek.
Meal delivery service HelloFresh originally filed to go public in 2015, only to withdraw its IPO plans the a few weeks later. Now, however, HelloFresh has also confirmed recent reports, filing for an IPO that will raise approximately $355m if it floats at the top of its range.
Further along the IPO process is MongoDB, which has set terms for an offering that will net it $160m if it floats at the top of its range.
Singapore-based online services provider Sea has set the terms for a US IPO that will raise $695m if it floats at the top of its range (or $800m if the underwriters exercise their over-allotment option).
High-speed integrated circuit producer Aquantia has filed for an $86.3m initial public offering that follows about $195m of venture funding.
Spero Therapeutics, a US-based bacterial infection therapy developer backed by spinout-focused investment firm Osage University Partners has filed for an $86.3m initial public offering.
Chinese used vehicle marketplace Uxin has raised $500m in new funding, making it only the latest player in the sector to close a nine-figure round.
Mobile commerce platform Letgo has taken its overall funding to $375m since the start of 2015 with a $175m round backed by early investor Naspers.
Zoom Video Communications has launched the latest iteration of its cloud-based video conferencing platform and disclosed a $100m series D round that values it at more than $1bn.
Workspace provider UrWork has raised $58m from investors including property developers Junfa Group and Dahong Group in a round that reportedly increased its overall equity financing to about $175m.
Marketing data provider AppsFlyer has welcomed Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners as a new investor, completing a $56m series C round in the process.
InsideSales, developer of an AI-equipped online sales engine, has taken its overall funding to about $250m with a $50m series E round featuring existing backer Microsoft and new investor Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, the investment arm of the Irish government.
Tencent has led a $40.5m series D round for Xiaoshouyi, which is developing a customer relationship management platform not too dissimilar to that of Salesforce.
Moon Express is one of several companies competing for the $20m grand prize of Google’s Lunar X-Prize contest, and has raised $20m in series B-1 funding in a round featuring Autodesk.
Amra, a personalised medicine spinout of Linköping University, raised $9m in a series A round on Tuesday from investors including Stiftelsen Industrifonden, the investment arm of the government of Sweden.
ObsEva, a Swiss developer of therapies focused on women’s reproductive health, has set terms for a Nasdaq IPO that will raise approximately $97m if the company floats at the middle of the range.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise is set to acquire data centre software producer Simplivity in a $650m cash deal that will provide an exit to corporate backer Swisscom.
International Data Group, one of the earliest firms to invest heavily in corporate venturing, has agreed to an acquisition by conglomerate China Oceanwide and IDG Capital, one of its own venture capital affiliates.
Cambridge Graphene, a graphene ink developer spun out of Cambridge University, has been acquired by advanced materials company Versarien for a total of £170,000 ($210,000), providing an exit to the institution’s tech transfer office Cambridge Enterprise.
Rocket Internet has closed its Rocket Internet Capital Partners fund at $1bn, a year after it reached its $420m first close.
Elsewhere in China, Concord Medical Services, the owner of a chain of radiotherapy and diagnostic imaging centres across the country, has formed a $150m healthcare fund in partnership with investment firm Zhongrong International Trust.
Speaking of healthcare funds, life insurance company Northwestern Mutual has launched a $50m corporate venturing vehicle called Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures it says will target technology or services that can boost financial security.
CreditEase, the owner of peer-to-peer lending platform Yirendai, has raised $32.2m for the first close of a venture capital fund that will invest in Israeli tech startups.
Paris-Saclay University this week achieved the first close of its €50m ($53m) seed fund thanks to contributions from investors including France’s public investment bank Bpifrance.
The Technology Transfer Strengthening Initiative (TTSI), a program introduced by export credit agency Enterprise Ireland and managed by Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI), has received a €34.5m ($37m) boost from Enterprise Ireland.
The city government of Suzhou in China and private equity firm Shenzhen Capital Group have partnered to launch a RMB5bn ($732m) initiative dubbed Suzhou Hongtu Big Data Venture Capital Fund, China Money Network reported yesterday.
Bpifrance, the public investment bank of France, is the international leader for government venture capital firms backing technology companies, according to a report from research firm CB Insights.
Temasek, the investment arm of Singapore’s Ministry of Finance, came in second place, while GIC, the investment unit of Singapore Investment Corporation, rounded off the top three.
What’s interesting here, of course, is that the UK is sorely missing from the list. That’s in the same week that the country’s prime minister Theresa May said she would put immigration restrictions above the economic wellbeing of the country and is ready to walk away from the EU without any deal in place.