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Kakao, South Korea’s largest messaging firm, announced Klaytn, a new public blockchain platform designed to expand the technology domestically and beyond its borders. The company also created a governance alliance council, staffed by 19 companies in a variety of sectors —including tech, finance, telecom, gaming and health industries – to help oversee the new platform. Members of Kakao’s governance platform include LG Electronics, LG International and Union Bank. IDG Capital participated in Klaytn’s earlier fundraising rounds in 2018.
OL Groupe, owner of the French football club Olympique Lyonnais, is expanding into professional basketball with the acquisition of 25 percent of Asvel, a team based in Villeurbanne, a suburb of Lyon, France. The acquisition includes a 25 percent stake in the men’s team worth €3.4 million, and a 10% stake in the women’s team worth €300,000. OL Groupe said it will guarantee Asvel an overall minimum annual revenue of €2.5 million over a period of several years. In 2016, IDG Capital took a 20 percent stake in Olympique Lyonnais for $110 million.
Nasdaq-listed iQiyi, China’s dominant online video platform based in Beijing, has hit 100 million paid subscribers. Last year, iQiyi added 36.6 million new subscribers alone. Roughly 98.5 percent of iQiyi customers are paid, the company said. iQiyi is also planning to expand its North American and Japanese presence, a move designed to help the firm compete with Netflix directly in markets outside of China. Previously, IDG Capital joined iQiyi’s $1.53 billion financing round in 2017.
Xiaomi, the world's fourth-largest smartphone seller, is launching the Mi CC smartphone series, a new product line designed by art majors and aimed at young customers. Xiaomi said its latest version is optimized for photography and selfies with a dual-camera system to leverage the popular selfie app Meitu and its photo-editing algorithm. IDG Capital was an early investor in Xiaomi, which went public in 2018 with a $52.7 billion valuation. Meitu, which is also backed by IDG Capital, went public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2016.
Razer, a Singapore-based company best known for gaming laptops and peripherals, is partnering with Visa to offer a prepaid solution aimeed 430 million users in Southeast Asia without bank accounts. With the Razer’s mobile payment app, 60 million registered users are now eligible to purchase products with Visa at 54 million global merchant locations. Razer processed over $1.4 billion in payments last year, and the company, which is now listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, reported $517.9 million in revenue in 2017. IDG Capital-Accel China invested $50 million in the company in 2011.
IDG Capital led a $100-million Series C round in Weimai, a Beijing-based healthcare solutions provider. Founded in 2013, the online platform offers appointments, medicine distribution, remote diagnosis, medical record management and other healthcare services. The proceeds from Weimai’s latest funding round will be used to expand the company’s network of alliances with hospitals, clinics and service providers, and to invest in Internet technology.
Shanghai-based luxury retailer Secoo jointly established an artificial intelligence laboratory with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). The partnership will leverage big data and AI technologies to develop an intelligent authentication system and smart-content tagging system for counterfeiting prevention. IDG Capital previously invested in Secoo's Series A, B and C funding rounds. Secoo first went public on Nasdaq in 2017.
Pony.ai, an autonomous driving startup based in China and Silicon Valley, is one of the first companies to receive a robotaxis permit in California. Founded in 2016, Pony.ai has banked at least $214 million in funding, as of April. IDG Capital was a seed investor in Pony.ai and also joined a $112 million Series A funding round in 2018. In addition to Pony.ai. IDG Capital also invested in Zoox, another company that recently received a California robotaxis permit.
Xpeng Motors, a leading Chinese electric vehicle (EV) and technology company, has rolled out its 10,000th electric vehicle in city of Zhengzhou. Xpeng said that growing customer acceptance for its G3 model is testimony to both the company’s sales strategy and supply chain management. IDG Capital co-led Xpeng's $348 million Series B round in 2018.
Consumers in China’s largest cities purchased $1 billion in agricultural products from Pinduoduo, a group-buying e-commerce platform, between June 1 and June 12 – or 70 percent of total revenues – up 310 percent over the same period last year. Founded in Shanghai in 2015, Pinduoduo is now shifting its focus away from smaller Chinese cities to meet the demands of more affluent consumers in larger so-called “first- and second-tier” cities. The company now has 444.3 million monthly active users. IDG Capital joined Pinduoduo's Series B funding round in 2016. Pinduoduo went public on Nasdaq in 2018 with a valuation of $24 billion.
Shuidi, a Beijing-based healthcare technology provider, completed a $144.5 million Series C financing round. Founded in 2016, Shuidi has raised more than $218 million in the last three months, setting a new funding record for China’s online insurance industry. In March, IDG Capital joined the firm’s $74 million Series B funding round. Shuidi operates Shuidihuzhu, a mutual assistance platform; Shuidichou, a zero-commission patient-centered crowdfunding platform; and Shuidi Insurance Mall, an insurance distribution platform offering 80 different insurance products from 60 Chinese insurers.
Brian Gu, the VP and President of the electric vehicle startup Xpeng Motors, said that industry-wide subsidy cuts by the Chinese government will more deeply impact competitors and also help accelerate the Xpeng’s drive towards innovation. In the CNBC interview, Gu also said that Xpeng will expand into the ride-hailing sector. IDG Capital co-led Xpeng's $348 million Series B round in 2018.
Coinbase, a San Francisco-based cryptocurrency trading platform, will offer Visa debit cards to users in six more European countries – Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands. Customers can now spend their Coinbase cryptocurrencies online there, in addition to the United Kingdom. IDG Capital was an angel investor in Coinbase in 2013.
Norway-based web browser Opera announced the launch of Opera GX, a web browser with features designed specifically for gamers. With the new browser, gamers will be able to play more sophisticated games, Opera said, with no negative impact on the performance of its companion main browser. Founded in 1995, Opera currently has 65 million users worldwide. The company went public on Nasdaq in 2018, raising $115 million. IDG Capital joined Opera’s pre-IPO financing round.
Zoox, a Foster City, Calif.-based driverless car startup, is focusing on three core competencies – artificial intelligence, four-wheel steering and long-lasting batteries – to both develop and manufacture the driverless car of the future. To date, Zoox’s custom-designed vehicle platform has attracted $800 million in private equity and venture capital. IDG Capital joined Zoox's Series A funding round in 2016.
France’s 23-member women’s team is favored to win the Women’s World Cup this summer, thanks in part to seven participants from Olympique Lyonnais. In the FIFA opener in Paris, three OL players – Wendie Renard, Eugenie Le Sommer and Captain Amandine Henry – contributed four goals, as France defeated South Korea 4-0. In 2016, IDG Capital invested $110 million for a 20% stake in OL Group, which owns Olympique Lyonnais. OL is currently listed on the Paris stock exchange.