01 August 2016 – Asian Funds, MyTaxi hails Hailo, University Record Breaking and more

People

Intel Capital has chosen Christine Herron and Trina Van Pelt to manage its $125m Intel Capital Diversity Fund.

A former startup CEO, Herron joined Intel Capital in 2010 after a combined five years as a venture investor at First Round Capital and Omidyar Network.

Funds

Rozenfeld’s new firm targets $30m fund

Alibaba Pictures is set to go into corporate venturing, providing $75m for a $300m fund that will target strategic investments in companies in partnership with asset manager Gopher Asset.

Another Chinese media player, outdoor advertising company Focus Media, is initiating its own strategic investment activities, raising four $75m funds, each of which will be a collaboration with a different investment firm.

Pharmaceutical company Astellas has formed a joint venture called DigiTx Partners with life sciences venture firm MPM Capital in order to invest in digital health technology.

My Home looks to construct $75m fund

Siam Commercial Bank forwards corporate venturing plans

Corporates okay second KK Fund

University

NYU computes AI accelerator

SNÉ attracts $2.5m

New Zealand researches $150m Australian fund

Government

Taiwan upgrades economy with $3.1bn

Big deal: German startups to benefit from $1.1bn

Flanders helps expand IoT fund

Exits

India-based online fashion retailer Jabong was said to be in talks for a $1.2bn acquisition by Amazon less than two years ago, but how times have changed for the e-commerce sector since then. The company, part of Rocket Internet’s Global Fashion Group stable, is set to be acquired by Flipkart for only $70m in a bid to stem GFG’s losses.

Chinese internet, media and electronics group LeEco has grown at an astounding rate over the past two years through some large-sized investments, and now it is looking to expand into the US through the $2bn acquisition of consumer electronics producer Vizio.

Unilever is set to exit social marketing platform Olapic in a $130m acquisition by Monotype.

Platfora gets up for Workday acquisition

MyTaxi gets a friendly Hailo in merger deal

Government

Talend recruits $94.5m for IPO

Investments

Mitsui already holds stakes in numerous Asian healthcare companies, and now it has invested $101m in Columbia Asia, the Asian branch of US-based care provider Columbia Pacific Management.

UBtech interacts with investors for $100m

Hero Sports, the eSports company spun out by Chinese game publisher Hero Entertainment in May, has raised $96m in a round led by outdoor advertising group Focus Media, which invested $45m.

Upthere launched its personal cloud storage service yesterday, at the same time revealing it has raised $77m in a round led by strategic investor Western Digital and venture firm KPCB.

Mobile gaming company Scopely has taken its total funding to just short of $100m in a $55m series B round that included game developer and publisher Take-Two Interactive.

EverFi, the operator of a critical skills and compliance learning platform with more than 14 million users certified, has raised $40m in capital from investors including Advanced Publications.

Wonder Workshop, an Alphabet-backed developer of educational robots that can help teach kids about coding and fundamental computer skills, has secured $20m in a series B round that will enable it to enter Asia.

Government

Byju’s to educate itself with $50m

University

Big deal: Universities keep breaking records


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

11 July 2016 – Microsoft Venturing Fund, Exits for Multiple Companies and Investment News plus more

People

Rich Miner helped to launch Google Ventures in 2009 as general partner but seven years later, he’s dropped down to a venture partner position so he can concentrate on a secretive edtech project within the Google organisation.

Microsoft Ventures continues to build up its team, the latest recruit being Matthew Goldstein who comes from VC firm Trinity Ventures where he was principal

Funds

Microsoft expands its corporate venturing activities by forming a $92m fund to invest in Brazil-based agribusiness technology startups.

Kellogg is just one of the packaged food producers to launch corporate venturing units in the past year, and we spoke to its vice-president of investor relations Simon Burton about the formation of its new Eighteen94 Capital subsidiary and where the funding will go.

Hanmi hands over $8.7m to corporate venturing unit

University

Four universities partner Mercia

MIP reinvestment from Mercia

Government

IPO for Draper Esprit

Exits

Recruit Holdings has bought classified job listings platform and search engine Simply Hired for an undisclosed amount.

Two of conglomerate Legend Holdings’ investment affiliates – Legend Capital and Hony Capital – helped invest $15m in Chinese tyre manufacturer Shandong Linglong Tyre Co in 2010, and they’ve now exited in a $390m IPO on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Genomic medicine developer Syros Pharmaceuticals floated in the US last week, and since then its shares have risen in price by almost 50%, from the IPO price of $12.50 to $18 as of close of trading yesterday.

Another gene therapy developer, GenSight Biologics, had less luck when it tried for an IPO in the US market last year, cancelling an offering set to raise up to $70m. The Novartis-backed company has now set its sights on more modest goals, and will aim to raise $44m in an IPO in its home country of France, with its existing backers set to buy almost $19m of shares in the offering.

China-based Android app store Wandoujia was valued at $1bn in early 2014, not long before Alibaba reportedly offered to buy it for $1.5bn. Two years on, the e-commerce firm looks to have netted a bargain by agreeing to acquire Wandoujia for a reported $200m in a deal that will boost its internet services business.

Speaking of valuation drops, India-based fashion e-commerce platform Jabong is in talks with a range of prospective buyers over an acquisition that will allow co-founder Rocket Internet to exit.

Cybersecurity spinout Quadmetrics acquired by Fico

Vyclone, a Los Angeles-based social video creation and collaboration app, is shutting down.

Investments

Installment buying platform Qufenqi has changed its name to Qudian and raised $449m on the way to an IPO, just over three years after it was founded.

e-Shang raises $300M Corporate Minority round

Autonomous car startup Zoox has just raised $200m in funding, according to Business Insider, despite operating in super-stealth mode.

WuXi PharmaTech is among the investors to have put up $150m of series A funding for CStone Pharmaceuticals, a China-based startup looking to develop treatments for oncology, cardiovascular diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, haematology and autoimmune diseases, with a particular focus on immuno-oncology.

Media operator Network18 first invested in Bigtree Entertainment, the owner of cinema and live entertainment ticketing platform BookMyShow, in 2007 and it has returned to once again take part in its latest funding, an $81m round that values the company at more than $440m.

SoftBank-backed budget hotel room booking platform Oyo Rooms is set to raise $61m from existing investors at a $460m pre-money valuation as part of an expansion drive that will involve it growing its presence in areas like bed and breakfasts and homestays.

SmartNews, a Japan-based mobile news aggregation app, has raised $38 million in Series D funding. Development Bank of Japan led the round, and was joined by SMBC Venture Capital and Japan Co-Invest.

University

Cyber threat detection and defense software provider Darktrace has secured $65m at a $400m valuation, four times that at which it last raised funding, in July 2015.

Government

Temasek Holdings investment in internet of things


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