9 January 2017 – Welcome to 2017 with Bike Sharing Deals, Fund backing from Apple and Much More

Deals

Easy Life Financial Services, a tourism-focused financial services spinout of aviation and travel conglomerate HNA Group, has raised approximately $273m in series B+ funding from a string of Chinese investors.

Bike sharing looks likely to be a big area for VC funding in 2017, and China’s Mobike, which raised more than $100m in autumn last year, has followed it up with a $215m series D round co-led by existing backers Tencent and Warburg Pincus.

China-based iCarbonX is looking to build a what it calls an online ecosystem of digital life, and has raised about $200m of funding from investors including Tencent. It has also provided almost $400m of funding from its ecosystem for seven members of its Digital Life Alliance.

Electric bus producer Proterra has raised $140m from investors including Edison Energy and the corporate venturing subsidiaries of General Motors and Exelon.

Cancer test developer Grail spun out of genomics producer Illumina a year ago with $100m in funding that was quickly upped to $125m.

Tasly Pharmaceuticals took part in the $55m series A round closed by liver disease treatment developer Ascletis at the end of 2015, and has come back for its $100m series B.

Online investment manager Nutmeg took its series D round over the $50m mark with a £12m investment by Fubon Financial Holdings.

There have been a few big deals on GlobalUniversityVenturing.com and GlobalGovernmentVenturing.com as well. An intriguing crossover is a $40m series A round for Therachon, a Switzerland-based biotech developer focused on rare genetic diseases such as short-limbed dwarfism, thanks to a $5m extension that featured Bpifrance, the public investment bank of France.

Funds

News emerged last month that Apple could chip in up to $1bn for SoftBank’s $100bn Vision Fund, and that news has now been confirmed along with reports that fellow corporates Qualcomm and Foxconn are also set to invest.

Samsung’s mooted $1.1bn Next47 fund is yet to announce any investments but the same can’t be said for Samsung Next Fund, a $150m initiative announced by the corporate this week.

The cleantech-focused $52m Icos Capital Fund III meanwhile has received commitments from the city of Rotterdam as well as corporates Wuppermann, Bühler and AkzoNobel to achieve a first close.

International Finance Corporation is one of 65 limited partners that have backed SOSV’s third fund, doubling the firm’s total assets under management to $300m.

The European Investment Fund (EIF), the investment arm of EU agency European Investment Bank, and Cassa depositi e prestiti (CDP), the state-owned national promotional institution of Italy, have joined forces to launch Itatech with €200m ($208m).

Greece’s Ministry of Economy and Development has signed an agreement with the European Investment Fund (EIF), the investment arm of EU agency European Investment Bank, to establish a €260m ($270m) fund of funds.

And EU agency European Investment Bank (EIB) has achieved a final close of its third Lebanon-based Euromena private equity fund, managed by Capital Trust Group, at $150m.

Exits

Jounce meanwhile is developing antibody-based immunotherapy treatments for cancer, and has filed for a $75m IPO.

Sogou, operator of China’s third most popular search engine, is looking to float in the US at some point later in the year at a valuation of up to $5bn, CEO Wang Xiaochuan has told Bloomberg.

A sadder exit came for Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of economic development agency Scottish Enterprise, which saw portfolio company TeamRock collapse just three months after making a £2m investment.

People

Neil McGregor, senior managing director at Temasek, the investment arm of the government of Singapore, will depart on March 31 to join Sembcorp Industries as chief executive and group president. McGregor has been Temasek’s head of energy and resources, head of Australia and New Zealand since he joined in June 2014.


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

18 July 2016 – The Power Behind Pokémon Go raises $181m plus more

Investments

Unity, which is the game engine that helped build Pokémon Go, raised $181m in its series C round led by DFJ Growth and including China Investment Corporation – the sovereign wealth fund of the People’s Republic.

A $45m investment for iCarbonX whose shareholders include internet company Tencent, which led a $154m series A round in April 2015.

Naspers led a $30m series C round for online coding school CodeAcademy.

Sapience Therapeutics, a spinout of Columbia University, welcomed Celgene to a $22.5m series A round led by VC firm Eshelmann Ventures.

Funds

IDG Capital Partners, a VC affiliate of media company International Data Group, which closed its latest fund at $1bn.

Mavcap, the Malaysian government-owned venture firm, is looking to raise $250m for three technology funds and is hoping to attract the interest of both domestic and overseas corporates.

Verdane Capital IX, backed by private and public pension funds, university endowments, private foundations, insurance companies and family offices, hit its hard cap of $349m and will put that money into SMEs in Northern Europe.

The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, which is reaching full deployment of its current fund Infuse Ventures, backed by International Finance Corporation, BP, the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and its Technology Development Board. To make sure it’ll still have resources available to invest, the institute is now preparing the launch of a $150m vehicle, dubbed Bharat Innovations Fund, which will focus on the areas of healthcare, agriculture and energy.

Exits

Line’s $1.14bn IPO.

Yatra, an India-based online travel booking platform that went public through a reverse merger with US-listed shell company Terrapin 3 Acquisition Corporation in a deal that values it at just $208m.

ZTO Express, a logistics service based in China, is aiming for a US flotation this autumn that could bring in between $1bn and $2bn.

Talend, backed by France’s public investment bank BPIfrance, setting the range for its IPO at $15 to $17 per American Depositary Share.

People

Catherine Dupéré, previously of BDC Capital, joining Isomer Capital.

Richard Holliday meanwhile has joined Oxford spinout Bodle Technologies.

University Ventures with its announcement that it would be hiring Troy Williams and Prateek Aneja while promoting Aanand Radia. Williams will join Radia as MD, joining from publishing house Macmillan Publishers. Aneja will take on the role of vice-president, joining from Wells Fargo Securities.


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