24 April 2017 – SoftBank Considers $1bn+ Deal and Much More

Deals

SoftBank is reportedly considering paying upwards of $1bn for a 20% stake in One97 Communications, the Indian e-commerce firm that’s also the parent company for mobile payment platform Paytm.

China Vanke has become the second domestic property developer to make a nine-figure investment in Chinese real estate agency and online portal Lianjia this year, providing $436m in funding.

Classified listings platform 58.com is spinning out its used goods app Zhuan Zhuan, and Tencent has agreed to provide $200m in funding for the newly independent company.

SoftBank is yet to formally close its $100bn Vision Fund but is nevertheless on somewhat of a streak, reportedly offering big investments to a string of Asian online services providers.

Tianjin CanSino Biotechnology, which is developing vaccines for Ebola, tuberculosis, cervical cancer and pneumococcal infection, has closed $65m in funding from investors including Lilly Asia Ventures, and will put the cash towards commercialising its candidates and completing a manufacturing facility expected to be ready next year.

SenseTime is developing technology that will utilise machine learning to recognise faces to a high degree of accuracy, and has just raised $60m in a round led by the state-backed Sailing Capital International.

Car sharing platform Getaround has secured $45m from investors including Shanghai Automotive and an investment fund backed by Toyota, showing that the sector still has some life in it despite the ubiquity of its ride sharing cousins.

Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP), the Malaysian retirement fund, has invested $100m in Edotco, a Malaysia-based telecom infrastructure company, Digital News Asia reported on Wednesday.

Neural Analytics, a medical device spinout of University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), has raised $10m in a funding round led by venture capital firm Reimagined Ventures.

Funds

Illumina announced a year ago that it intended to invest $100m in startups through an independently managed VC firm called Illumina Ventures, but a securities filing has indicated it has increased that amount of capital to $189m by adding more limited partners.

The Indian state of Tamil Nadu is set to invest Rs5bn ($78m) in a venture capital fund, the Hindu Business Line reported yesterday.

The EU agency European Investment Fund (EIF) and the Luxembourg Future Fund (LFF), which aims to stimulate the Luxembourgish economy, have achieved a first close for the European Cyber Fund (ECF). Paladin Capital, a US-based investment firm with expertise in cyber and digital infrastructure resilience, will manage the ECF and has also invested into the fund.

Bpifrance, the public investment bank of France, has invested in a €64.75m ($69.2m) seed fund established by France-based life science-focused firm Advent France Biotechnology (AFB), Labiotech reported yesterday.

Spain-based early-stage venture capital firm Nauta Capital yesterday raised a €155m ($166m) fund, with the European Investment Fund (EIF) among the investors. British Business Bank Investments, the commercial arm of the state-owned economic development agency British Business Bank (BBI), is also a limited partner, alongside the Catalan Institute of Finance, a public financial institution owned by the government of Catalonia.

Exits

Cloudera has set terms for an IPO that will net it $210m if it floats at the top of its range, and existing backer Intel has expressed interest in buying up to 10% of the shares in the offering.

Chinese logistics service Best Logistics is looking for banks to handle its own IPO, through which it expects to raise up to $1bn.

Walmart has spent the last few months beefing up its e-commerce offering through a string of acquisitions and the next one looks set to be online men’s fashion brand Bonobos.

G1 Therapeutics has filed for a $115m IPO that will support development of three clinical-stage oncology therapeutics and give an exit to corporate venturing unit MedImmune Ventures.

Netshoes, a Brazil-based sports and lifestyle e-commerce company for the Latin American market, has raised $148.5m in an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange.


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

5 September 2016 – A look at Lidar, $1bn fund for UK Ministry of Defence and more

People

Renard heads west after SanDisk merger

Wang heads Tsinghua fund

Funds

Reliance pledges $750m for digital startup funding

Elevator advertising firm Focus Media prefers partnerships when it comes to corporate venturing and has agreed to put together a $750m fund with state-owned investment holding group China Everbright.

European insurance firms have been pretty active in the VC space, and ASR seems to be no exception, providing approximately $5.6m for Dutch impact investor Social Impact Ventures, which has closed its first fund at about $45m.

Rev1 fires up $22m Ohio fund

UK Ministry of Defence arms Iris with $1bn

Exits

Caterpillar and Volvo Construction Equipment are set to record decent sized exits from IronPlanet, an online machinery and equipment trading platform that Ritchie Bros Auctioneers has agreed to buy for about $758m.

Phagenesis, developer of a medical device to treat dysphagia, had raised about $20m from investors including Nestlé’s Inventages Venture Capital unit.

Nokia exits Citymaps as it folds into TripAdvisor

IT business management technology provider Apptio has filed for a $75m IPO, after raising more than $135m in venture funding.

Khan Academy catches Duck Duck Moose

Investments

Immuno-oncology startup Arcus Biosciences has revealed it has raised $120m across two rounds.

Yi Technology records $90m series A

Compass, the Advanced Publications-backed operator of an upscale real estate listings platform, has secured $75m in a Wellington Management-led round that took its total funding to $210m.

There have been several reports recently that One97 Communications, operator of online payment platform Paytm, is raising money, and now founder and CEO Vijay Sharma has confirmed that MediaTek subsidiary Mountain Capital has invested $60m at a $4.8bn valuation.

Shyft keys in $12.5m

Helix Sleep gets in bed with Simon Property

BBoxx packages $20m series C

NephroPlus cleans up $15m series C

Blackwood Seven broadcasts $15m round


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

29 August 2016 – University and Government Venturing Summer Catchup and more

Investments

One97 Communications, which has reportedly raised almost $1bn to date, most of which came after it formed mobile payment subsidiary Paytm in 2010. It’s now set to formally split from Paytm and has set up a separate entity for its e-commerce activities.

Snapdeal, which raised $500m in a round led by the Chinese firm last September. Snapdeal has just received $21m in funding from Luxembourg-registered Clouse SA.

Quanergy Systems, a developer of the LiDAR technology that will allow driverless vehicles to navigate obstacles in real time, raising $90m at a reported valuation of over $1bn.

Brainbees Solutions, the Indian operator of maternal, baby and childcare e-commerce platform FirstCry, is in talks to raise between $50m and $75m in a round that could involve share sales by existing investors, which include IDG Ventures India.

ClearCare, the developer of a care and business management platform for home healthcare providers, has raised $60m in a round led by Battery Ventures that will support the enhancement of its product and the securing of more strategic partnerships.

Victoria University has opened up the licensing to its research to local businesses for free.

Denali Therapeutics raised a $130m series B round.

Exits

Novan Therapeutics, which is developing a pipeline of nitrous oxide skincare products, has filed for an IPO.

Meitu, developer of a photo editing and sharing platform that has reportedly been installed on some 900 million devices, is preparing to float in Hong Kong.

International Finance Corporation’s portfolio company Indecomm, an India-based outsourcing company, was acquired by Capital Square Partners, a private equity firm in Singapore.

Funds

Recruitment firm Kelly Services’ Indian subsidiary has formed a corporate venturing fund that will invest in local startups in partnership with Japan-based peer and partner Temp Holdings.

Venture capital Earlybird is raising a healthtech fund it aims to eventually close at up to $135m.

Connecticut University in partnership with state-backed Connecticut Innovations (CI) and Webster Bank is setting up a $1.5m innovation fund.

Chicago University is among the limited partners in the $75m second fund recently launched by US-based venture capital firm Pear.

Prudential Retirement has decided to shut down its seed-stage focused investment arm, Gibraltar Ventures.

India state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation launching a $15m fund aimed at projects in the energy sector.

International Finance Corporation meanwhile put $15m in the inaugural fund being raised by Long Hill Capital Management.

Wisconsin managed to push its Badger Fund of Funds to $35m after it attracted $10m from private investors, double the amount that the state had mandated in order for it to put up the $25m that it committed last year. .

Zubr, Belarus’ first private equity firm, meanwhile attracted $50m in commitments with European Bank for Reconstruction and Development signing up as cornerstone investor.

People

David Ollila, founding director of Northern Michigan University’s tech transfer office decided to move on to join VC firm Skypoint Ventures as vice-president of innovation.

Susan Warburton has joined Business Growth Hub, a local initiative that helps businesses in Manchester grow (that’s Manchester in England, not one of the over 30 cities and towns called Manchester in the US).

Launch Tennessee, the public-private partnership focused on startups and fast-growing companies in the US state, has hired John Lanahan as director of capital formation.


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

15 February 2016 – Chinese new year, fintech investor BBVA, Innogy Venture Capital, triple French biotech fund, Unicef, Shanghai reimburses venture capital firms and more

Funds

Financial services provider BBVA has been a notable fintech investor since early 2013 when it formed a $100m fund that has since backed companies including DocuSign, Taulia and Prosper. The bank has now elected to upgrade its participation, committing another $150m and spinning out its investments into a new VC firm called Propel Venture Partners. Propel is already operational in San Francisco and is actively recruiting for a London office.

RWE’s Innogy Venture Capital may have been quiet of late but that doesn’t mean the utility has given up on corporate venturing. Chief executive Peter Terium reiterated its commitment to innovation on Friday and revealed plans for another investment unit which will be sized at $145m.

In addition to that fund, RWE is also set to invest $15m in a so far unnamed greentech-focused venture capital fund.

France triples its biotech fund.

Unicef’s $9m Innovation Fund opens for expressions of interest from entrepreneurs, inventors and companies with working prototypes of open source technology that can improve the lives of vulnerable children.

The government of Shanghai’s plans to compensate venture capital firms that fail to make back their initial investment in startups has drawn criticism.

Investments

Uber has targeted $2.1bn in new equity funding at a jawdropping $62.5bn valuation in spite of a fundraising climate generally agreed to be cooling. Today it came a step closer, raising $200m from investment firm LetterOne, which joins a range of backers including corporates Alphabet, Baidu, Times Group, Ping An and China Life Insurance.

One of the biggest areas for VC funding last year was India’s e-commerce sector, and One97 Communications was one of the biggest recipients, securing $680m from Alibaba and Ant Financial. One97 is now looking to raise another $400m by the end of June to fund the spinning out of its flagship brand, Paytm, into a separate mobile banking and payment company.

A possible partnership with e-commerce marketplace Flipkart could also be on the cards. Africa Internet Group (AIG), the collection of African businesses overseen by Rocket Internet that is also backed by telecom companies MTN and Millicom, has welcomed a new backer. AXA paid $83m for an 8% stake in AIG as part of a strategic partnership that will allow it to sell insurance products through AIG’s companies, and in particular e-commerce marketplace Jumia.

Cambridge University breaks its own seed funding record for the third year in a row, investing $5.5m last year.

Exits

Proteostasis raised $50m (see below) while AveXis secured $95m, floating in the middle of its $19 to $21 range. AveXis, which is backed by Roche’s corporate venturing fund, will use the proceeds to steer its lead candidate, a gene therapy treatment for spinal muscular atrophy, through phase 1 trials.

Good analysis recommendation: Bruce Booth at Life Sci VC 

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