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With much of the western VC industry seemingly on summer holiday (and frankly, who can blame them?), it’s up to China to pick up the slack in corporate venturing. Ximalaya, the operator of a streaming platform for radio shows and podcasts, has secured $580m in a Tencent-backed round that reportedly valued it at about $3.5bn post-money.
Pfizer has provided an undisclosed amount of equity funding for immunotherapy developer Biontech as part of a collaboration agreement that could reach $425m if it reaches every milestone.
Alphabet has paid about $375m for a stake of around 10% in health insurance provider Oscar Health, which will put the funding toward beefing up its existing team.
TZero, a blockchain lending technology developer spun off from listed e-commerce firm Overstock, is raising up to $270m from GSR Capital, which is set to acquire an 18% stake in the company.
DoorDash, a last-mile delivery service for restaurants, appears to be one of the success stories of 2018. The company was valued at $1.4bn post-money when it raised $535m in a SoftBank-led round in March, but has now raised another $250m at a whopping $4bn valuation just five months later.
Orchard Therapeutics, which is working on gene therapies for rare diseases based on research at University College London, has secured $150m in a series C round that included Sphera Global and corporate venturing unit Medison Ventures.
Exabeam, a cybersecurity information and event management software provider, has raised $50m in series D cash from backers including Cisco Investments.
E-commerce firm JD.com has begun taking a more active part in corporate venturing in the past year or two, backing the likes of Traveloka, Dada-JD Daojia, Aihuishou and Go-Jek at growth stage alongside post-IPO investments in companies such as Secoo and VIPshop.
Educational services firm New Oriental Education and Technology has put together a $220m fund that will invest between $3m and $15m in early-stage education-focused startups in China.
Electric vehicle developer Nio recently began shipping its first commercial vehicle, and now it’s filed for a $1.8bn initial public offering in the US.
Babytree, the social parenting community that has branched out into e-commerce, is looking to raise between $800m and $1bn in its Hong Kong IPO, sources have told Reuters, adding that it is seeking a valuation between $3bn and $5bn in the offering.
Weidai, which runs a lending service that uses borrowers’ vehicles as collateral, has filed for a $100m IPO in the US that could give exits to corporate investors Hakim Unique, Shanda and Dong Yi Ri Sheng Home Decoration.
On GUV, Sensyne Health, a UK-based healthcare technology developer partially based on research at University of Oxford, raised £60m ($76m) in its initial public offering on Tuesday and began trading on Aim on Friday.
And Quethera, a UK-based glaucoma therapy developer spun out from University of Cambridge, has been acquired by pharmaceutical firm Astellas Pharma for up to $108m in cash and contingent commitments.
And a nice exit for corporate, university and government venturing entities was Millendo Therapeutics, a US-based endocrine disease drug spinout of University of Michigan, which agreed to a reverse merger with US-listed fertility treatment provider OvaScience.
“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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