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Castbox, a podcast firm based in San Francisco, was the most downloaded app in the U.S. in 2018, according to the research firm SenseTower. With roughly 3 million new installs last year – a 217% increase over 2017, Castbox reported revenue of $96,000. That represents a 15-times year-over-year increase from last year. IDG Capital joined investment rounds in Castbox in both 2016 and 2018.
Chinese online education platform Yuanfudao is now valued at $3 billion. The Beijing-based company currently has 200 million users, including 2 million paid subscribers. Among Yuanfudao’s products is a free app powered by artificial intelligence (AI), which allows parents to check their children’s arithmetic homework by snapping a photograph and then comparing the data to information in the database. Yuanfudao now checks or corrects up to 70 million math problems per day. IDG Capital, which first invested in the firm in 2012, recently joined Yuanfudao’s Series F round.
Norway-based web browser Opera announced it will offer customers a virtual private network (VPN) service as part of its Android browser app. The new feature, once marketed independently by Opera, will enable users to choose virtual locations to link to the web. Opera first went public on Nasdaq in 2018, raising $115 million. IDG Capital joined the company’s pre-IPO financing round.
IDG Capital joined a $10 million financing round in EdiGene, a Beijing-based company that uses genome-editing technologies to treat genetic diseases and cancer. EdiGene, which also has operations in Guangzhou, China and Cambridge, Massachusetts, is now developing gene-editing therapies for a wide range of diseases. Previously, IDG Capital led EdiGene’s Series A funding round.
Lime, a San Francisco-based electric scooter and bike startup, closed a $310 million Series D funding round. The company is now valued at $2.4 billion. According to CEO Toby Sun, Lime will use the latest financing round to expand into new markets, upgrade its technology and explore new business opportunities. IDG Capital has backed Lime since 2017.
Forbes China named Jeacy Yan, an IDG Capital Partner, to its 2019 list of the top 25 women venture capitalists in China. Yan focuses on consumer goods and services, retail and e-commerce and works closely with a variety of portfolio companies, including online luxury retailer Secoo, Japanese designer brand Evisu and Korean sunglasses brand Gentle Monster. Prior to joining IDG Capital, Yan worked for Deutsche Bank, Hong Kong Branch and WestLB, New York Branch. She holds advanced degrees from Northwestern University and Peking University.
Hugo Shong, IDG Capital’s founding chairman, joined a panel of financial experts at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland to discuss China’s slowing economic growth. China once routinely experienced 8% annual GDP growth, Shong said, but “now we have 6.6 (%). Given the size of the economy, it is a pretty good number.” Joining Shong on the panel was Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The same day Shong joined his panel, CNBC also interviewed IDG Capital Co-Chairman Jim Breyer. “I am really hopeful,” Breyer said, that U.S. and Chinese companies will “build, often together, in different parts of the world. India will be the next showdown.”
Club Factory, a Hangzhou-based cross-border fashion e-retailer backed by IDG Capital, is now India’s second largest fashion e-commerce platform. After three years in India, the Club Factory app controls 31% of the country’s fashion e-commerce app market. The app now processes 25,000 orders every day for up to 40 million Indian users. India’s top 10 fashion e-commerce sites, measured in reach and market share, now also include Shein, another IDG Capital-backed fashion e-retailer.
Castbox, based in San Francisco, is now the world’s No. 1 podcast-dedicated audio streaming app, according to mobile app research firm Sense Tower. The firm now transcribes all its podcasts to help listeners search the Castbox library using specific terms and topics that interest them. Since 2016, IDG Capital has joined several funding rounds in Castbox, which is now regarded as a competitor to audio streaming giants Spotify and Pandora in podcast.
Coinbase, a San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange, has acquired Blockspring, which collects and analyze data for Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Coinbase, currently valued at $8 billion, claims 20 million users worldwide and $150 billion in cryptocurrency trades. IDG Capital was an angel investor in Coinbase.
IDG Capital joined a $100 million Series C round for Kang Sheng Health Management, China’s leading diabetes management platform. The Hangzhou-based firm, founded in 2014, generated $145.5 million in revenues last year. With more than 10 million registered users, Kang Sheng Health currently serves about 1,000 Chinese hospitals and plans to expand to a total of more than 5,000 hospitals in 2019.
Zoox, a Foster City, Calif.-based autonomous vehicle startup, named veteran Intel executive Aicha Evans as its new CEO. Evans, who spent 12 years at Intel in a variety of leadership roles, is one of the highest-profile black women to take a leadership position in Silicon Valley. Zoox also recently received a permit to test driverless vehicles in California. The company, currently valued at $3.2 billion, has 700 employees and completed a $500 million financing round in August. IDG Capital invested in Zoox in 2016.
IDG Capital joined a $59 million Series D funding round in Medbanks Network Technology, a Beijing-based firm providing a data platform for hospitals, oncologists and cancer centers. Founded in 2014, Medbanks provides products and services for managing all stages of oncology treatment. The firm currently has partnerships with more than ten Chinese national insurance companies. It also provides products and services to pharmacies in 649 Chinese counties. Medbanks said it will use its latest investment to expand a clinical network and improve database systems.
IDG Capital has joined a Series C financing round in Haokang Information Technology, which operates Homeking, a popular Chinese housekeeping online-to-offline service. Established in 2010, the company stocks products and services for home cleaning, cooking, deep cleaning and wardrobe arrangement. With more than 10,000 employees, Haokang also offers housekeeping services in 26 mainland Chinese cites, serving 3.5 million homes. The company, which had annual revenues of $129.6 million last year, recently launched a domestic helper training system in the Philippines and plans to expand into Hong Kong, Macau and the Middle East.
Artificial intelligence (AI) startup SenseTime recently opened a self-driving test park in Joso, Japan following an agreement with automaker Honda in 2017. The company said it will use the new facility for R&D and road tests. The highest-valued AI startup in the world, $4.5 billion-valued SenseTime is best known for its face recognition technology widely applied to different industries in China. IDG Capital started investing in SenseTime in 2014.
IDG Capital joined a Series B2 round in Benewake, a Beijing-based provider of solid-state LiDAR sensors and solutions to guide autonomous vehicles, drones and home robots. The firm currently sells sensor products in multiple markets, including Western Europe, North America, India, Asia, the Middle East, Russia, Australia and South Africa. In 2015, IDG Capital invested in Benewake’s A round, the year the company was formed.