10 July 2017 – Looking to the End of Summer

Editorial: What do people want when the summer is over?

Funds

AT&T has been relatively quiet while competitors like Verizon, Telstra and SoftBank have made great strides in corporate venturing, but that may be about to change with the formation of a strategic investment fund in which the telecom firm plans to invest up to $200m.

Autoliv moves $15m to Autotech Ventures

Vinci helps Axeleo draw up first close

Government

RCIF gains $1bn

EIF buys into $198m Cipio fund

Germany awards funding to 48 institutions

Enterprise Ireland launches $68m fund

University

Tel Aviv heads to India

UC Riverside launches $10m Highlander fund

Exits

Jawbone raised hundreds of millions from investors such as Deutsche Telekom as it moved from Bluetooth-enabled speakers to wearable fitness trackers, and at one point was raising cash at a $3bn+ valuation. All that appears to have ground to a halt however, as reports suggest the company has begun liquidation proceedings, weakened by a Fitbit lawsuit and done in by the flatlining wearables sector.

Roche eats up MySugr

Delivery Hero has raised more than $1.1bn in an IPO that enabled the Rocket Internet-owned Global Online Takeaway Group to sell about $148m of shares.

Gaming product maker Razer has filed for its own IPO, in Hong Kong, and is set to raise more than $600m according to TechCrunch.

Sienna to scratch IPO itch

Internet service provider MyRepublic may have failed in its bid to become Singapore’s fourth big telecom company, but it still plans to float by the end of 2018,

Online storage technology platform Dropbox has begun preparations for what will likely be the biggest tech IPO since Snap went public in March, and will shortly begin interviewing investment banks for the underwriting positions.

Canada-based bone disease therapy developer Clementia Pharmaceuticals has filed for a $115m IPO in the US that will provide an exit to strategic backer UCB Pharma, after the latter took part in a $60m series B round for the company in 2015.

Investments

China Money Network today launches the China Unicorn Ranking 2017, the most complete list of all private start-ups in China currently valued at $1 billion or more.

Just weeks after Mobike closed a $600m funding round, its main rival in the bike sharing sector, Ofo, has raised $700m in a series E round led by Alibaba.

Kakao drives $437m mobility spinout

Tencent invested $44m investment in Coocaa, the smart television subsidiary of Skyworth Digital Holdings, last month, and it’s now repeated the trick, paying $66m for a 16.7% stake in TCL’s smart TV unit, Shenzhen Thunderbird Network Technology.

Steel producer Shougang has co-led a $73m round for online steel trading and services platform Zhaogang through a private equity vehicle called West Fund.

Headspace, the developer of a meditation and mindfulness platform that mixes a subscription-based guided meditation service with themed text and video content, has raised $36m in a round led by growth equity firm Spectrum Equity.

Axonics Modulation Technologies, the developer of an implantable neuromodulation system, has added $20.5m to a series C round that now stands at $35m.

Theva conducts $8m in EnBW-backed round

University

MuMac eyes first round


“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.