18 April 2016 – Didi Kuaidi, Alibaba, Khazanah Nasional, Intellia Therapeutics, Novartis, Google Ventures and more

Deals

Global Corporate Venturing

Didi Kuaidi is said to be approaching a $1.5bn close for its latest round.

It’s also been a particularly busy week for Alibaba, the e-commerce giant that makes no secret out of its ambitions to be a company that will eventually span three centuries.

First, the company paid $1bn for a 67% stake in e-commerce platform Lazada in a deal that included $500m of secondary investment.

Alibaba went on to lead a $1.25bn round for China-based online food ordering platform Ele.me with a $900m commitment. The remaining $350m came from its affiliate Ant Financial.

UCar, a chauffeured ride service, secured $568m in a round led by Alibaba.

Meanwhile, Salesforce and WPP invested in a $600m round for business analytics software provider Domo. The company is reportedly gearing up for an initial public offering.

Global Government Venturing

Khazanah Nasional, the sovereign wealth fund of Malaysia, has led a $170m series D round for social gaming platform Garena.

Global University Venturing

U-Multirank has put EU and US universities neck and neck in its ranking depending on the criteria applied.

Funds

Global Corporate Venturing

Rakuten initially put up $100m for its Global Investment Fund in 2014 but the Japan-based company has now doubled the capital for the fund.

Robert Bosch injected $170m in a third fund for its Robert Bosch Venture Capital unit.

Illumina has also boosted its CVC efforts. The company pledged $100m to an independently managed firm dubbed Illumina Ventures.

Global Government Venturing

An interesting cross-over between government and corporate venturing this week in the form of the €183m ($208m) Forbion Capital Fund III.

Exits

Intellia Therapeutics is rushing towards an IPO at an impressive speed. Launched less than 18 months ago, it has filed for a $120m IPO after raising $85m over two rounds from backers including Novartis.

More disappointing news for Google Ventures, Advance, Cocoa Cola and Cirque du Soleil, whose portfolio company Backplane, a Lady Gaga-affiliated social networking company, shut down and sold its assets.

Moves

Ana Sirbu, a manager at Google Capital who specialised in fintech, has joined working capital provider BlueVine to oversee its financial management and growth strategy.

Akihiko Okamoto, head of human resources provider Recruit’s corporate venturing unit Recruit Strategic Partners since 2011, has been appointed corporate executive officer.


“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

29 February 2016 – Tsinghua Unigroup and TCL Corporation fund, University of California and RNT Associates, Uxin, Didi Kuaidi, Razer, Nestlé, Qualcomm and more

Funds

The start of Mobile World Congress which saw Nokia Growth Partners (NGP), the venture capital firm sponsored by communications equipment maker Nokia, start a $350m fund that will invest in internet of things (IoT) technology companies.

Electronics manufacturer TCL Corporation and fabless semiconductor producer Tsinghua Unigroup are forming a $1.53bn corporate venturing fund that will invest in areas like electronics, TMT, Industry 4.0 and internet+. The corporates have put in $275m so far and will look to expand the fund as it invests. Unigroup is part of the main Chinese university Tsinghua that spoke at last year’s GUV: Fusion summit.

The office of the chief investment officer at University of California, which has joined with Ratan Tata’s RNT Associates to fund Indian startups and enterprises over the next 10 years.

Japan-based electronics conglomerates Omron and Ricoh will launch a ¥5bn ($44.5m) joint corporate venturing fund next month aimed at emerging technology sectors. The fund is also supported by Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ), a ¥300bn public-private partnership backed by Japan’s government and 26 domestic companies, and financial services firm Sumitomo Mitsui.

Singapore’s backing of Red Dot to invest $150m in Israeli companies and Canadian institutions backing Avrio’s third late-stage fund – see more from Global Government Venturing in its round-up.

Investments

Real estate firm Mitsui Fudokan already operates ‘venture co-creation project’ Team 31 Ventures but made a bigger step into corporate venturing yesterday when it launched a $45m fund in partnership with investment firm Global Brain. Despite Fudokan’s core property business, the fund will invest in a wide range of sectors, across Asia, the US and Europe.

Online used car auction platform Uxin has raised some $430m in venture funding but the company is now beginning to make its own CVC moves, participating in a $45m round for salvaged car marketplace Fairlubo.

Other big deals were also in Asia, including Didi Kuaidi lining up another $1bn ride and Naspers to stay in Ibibo with $250m investment

Another unicorn, gaming accessory producer Razer, is meanwhile looking to follow up an Intel Capital investment in 2014 with a hefty series C round that will value it at $1.5bn.

Despite this year’s apparent slowdown, healthcare investment reached new high during 2015 as corporate involvement in the sector stayed strong while ‘crossover’ investment increased substantially, according to Jonathan Norris, managing director for Silicon Valley Bank’s healthcare practice, in an interview with GCV.

Corporates played a part in the increase too, with the most frequent participants being Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation (JJDC), Novartis Venture Funds and GlaxoSmithKline subsidiary SR One. Tom Heyman, president of JJDC will be talking at our GCV Symposium 24-25 May so do join us then for his insights!

Effector Therapeutics boosting its series B round, having already been backed by investors including pharmaceutical firms GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Novartis, among others.

Rani, which has created a process to convert injectable drugs into pills, has attracted capital from investors including AstraZeneca and Ping An, boosting its total funding to $70m.

Oscar Health Insurance, the operator of a personal health insurance platform, has reportedly raised $400m in a Fidelity-led round that valued it at $2.7bn. The round comes in the wake of a $32.5m investment by Google Capital in September 2015, made at a $1.75bn valuation.

Nestlé has invested $42.5m in biotech company Pronutria Bioscience, less than a year after it took part in Pronutria’s $39m series C round. The capital, provided by subsidiary Nestlé Health Science, took Pronutria’s overall funding to about $105m.

Exits

Wireless technology manufacturer Qualcomm and flash storage technology provider SanDisk will exit US-based virtualisation software developer Ravello Systems in an acquisition by computing technology producer Oracle. Oracle did not disclose the purchase price but a source familiar with the matter told VentureBeat it was “close to $500m”.

Probably smaller scale but Medical device maker SpectraScience has acquired the assets of Oncoscope, a US-based optical imaging system developer backed by industrial manufacturing equipment provider Applied Materials, for an undisclosed amount.