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IDG Capital has joined a Series A funding round in China-based AI chatbot developer Xiaoice, which increased its valuation to $1 billion. With more than 660 million users, Xiaoice can communicate with users on social media and even write poetry, sing and compose. Currently, smart assistants of Huawei and Xiaomi use Xiaoice’s technology, as do in-car systems of multiple Chinese automakers. The company, split off from Microsoft last year, will use the funds in product development and expanding its app businesses in China and Japan.
Shein, a China-based women's fashion e-commerce platform reaching tens of millions of customers worldwide, has overtaken Amazon as the most downloaded shopping app in monthly U.S. rankings. With almost $10 billion in revenue, the company has shortened the time from design to mass production from the two to three weeks achieved by Spanish chain Zara to just five to seven days. With world-class big data developers and machine-learning experts, Shein's algorithm can recommend items to users whose profiles are similar to those of previous purchasers. Previously, IDG Capital joined Shein's Series B round.
Chinese leading electric vehicle manufacturer NIO has announced a massive plan to add 600 battery swap station a year from 2022 to 2025, resulting in 3,000 units in total. With an additional 1,000 outside China, the total number will be 4,000 by the end of 2025. Currently, NIO has a network of 301 NIO Power Swap stations, 204 Power Charger fast-charging stations and 382 destination charging stations in China. The charging and swapping systems will be fully available for other manufacturers if they are willing to join the program.
Pony.ai, an autonomous driving startup based in China and Silicon Valley, has officially announced its robotaxi service operating along the main roads of Jiading District in Shanghai. Users can now take autonomous vehicles through the PonyPilot + App. Owning nearly 200 self-driving cars, Pony.ai has now provided Robotaxi services in Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, Irvine and Fremont, California. As of February 2021, Pony.ai has raised a total of over $1.1 billion and its valuation has exceeded $5.3 billion. IDG Capital was a seed investor in Pony.ai and also joined the company’s $112 million Series A funding round in 2018.
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase plans to launch a crypto app store to offer decentralized apps built by third-party software developers. The company's CEO Brian Armstrong said Coinbase's goal is to allow any app built on decentralized crypto digital infrastructure to be accessible to the crypto exchange's users, by integrating a customer's wallet with their identity. Meanwhile, Armstrong outlined plans for the crypto exchange to become the go-to platform for people wanting to participate in the crypto economy. IDG Capital was an angel investor in Coinbase in 2013.
Kunlun, Baidu’s artificial intelligence (AI) semiconductor business, has spined off as a standalone company after the fresh funding joined by IDG Capital this March. Kunlun’s integrated circuits are mostly used in Baidu’s smart electric vehicles as well as cloud computing technologies, focusing on edge computing, deep learning, neural networks, and natural language processing. Kunlun’s first chips were mass produced in early 2020, while its second-generation chip will be rolled out in the second half of 2021.
HiFiBiO Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotherapeutics company, has raised $75 million in its Series D funding round. Existing investor IDG Capital also participated in the round. Through its innovative drug intelligent science technology, the company offers a pipeline of sustainable antibody drugs for patients who suffer from cancers, autoimmune disorders and infectious diseases. With the new proceeds, HiFiBiO will expand its two antibody oncology assets into Phase I clinical trials and other pipeline programs through discovery and clinical development. In 2019, IDG Capital led HiFiBiO’s Series C funding round.
Pony.ai, the robotaxi startup that operates in China and the United States, has started testing driverless vehicles on public roads in California ahead of plans to launch a commercial service there in 2022. The company has become the first to get fully driverless automated vehicles on public roads in both the U.S. and China. IDG Capital was a seed investor in Pony.ai and also joined a $112 million Series A funding round in 2018.
Luminar Technologies, a LIDAR sensor maker based in Silicon Valley, has unveiled its “Blade” self-driving sensor architecture, a blueprint that vehicle makers can follow for integrating lidar sensors. With Blade, the company’s Iris lidar sensors and technology are integrated in the roofline of the vehicle, creating a little halo around the top of commercial and passenger vehicles. IDG Capital was an early investor in Luminar when the startup was still under stealth mode.
IDG Capital has led a $120 million Series D round in SaaS-based business service platform Xiaoetong. Founded in 2016, Shenzhen-based Xiaoetong offers customers a suite of digital tools to coordinate brand marketing, digital traffic, and sales channels, with a focus on the WeChat ecosystem. With more than 1.6 million registered customers, the company aims to provide enterprises with a one-stop platform to manage their entire digital operations. Xiaoetong will allocate its fresh funds toward improving its product by strengthening research and development capabilities as well as recruiting operational talent.
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has teamed up with 401(k) provider ForUsAll to offer crypto investments for retirement accounts. Founded in 2012, ForUsAll provides automated 401(k) administration, menus of low-cost mutual funds, and access to human advisers. The partnership will allow workers to invest up to 5% of their 401(k) contributions in bitcoin, ether, litecoin, and others. IDG Capital was an angel investor in Coinbase in 2013. With $1.7 billion in retirement-plan assets, ForUsAll represents a small piece of the $22 trillion retirement-account market but its embrace of crypto comes at a time of heightened mainstream interest in digital currencies.
Coinbase, a NASDAQ-listed cryptocurrency exchange that charges 1.5% for the privilege of buying and selling bitcoin, has announced that it is launching its own “fact-checking” service as the company wants to publish the truth and build a direct relationship with audience. CEO Brian Armstrong wants to bring “radical transparency” to the crypto sphere and says that this means “companies will increasingly need to be comfortable sharing facts which paint them in a negative light as well”. IDG Capital was an angel investor in Coinbase in 2013.
Circle, a cryptocurrency-based financial service startup, has raised $440 million in new funding. Jeremy Allaire, Circle's chief executive and cofounder, said the company is focused on its U.S. dollar-backed USD Coin, a stablecoin that is meant to maintain a fixed price. USDC, a collaboration with Coinbase, is currently one of the most popular stablecoins used for digital payments across the crypto industry. IDG Capital was the lead investor in Circle’s $50 million Series C and $60 million Series D funding rounds and also helped coordinate the Poloniex acquisition.
Shein, a China-based women's fashion e-commerce platform reaching tens of millions of customers worldwide, has overtaken Amazon as the most downloaded shopping app on iOS and Android in the United States. Shein digitally controls its own production chain, from design and prototype to procurement to manufacturing. This allows the company to churn out hundreds of new products tailored to different regions and user tastes at a daily rate. In 2016, IDG Capital joined Shein's Series B round.
Lime, a San Francisco-based electric scooter and bike-sharing provider, is adding its battery-powered Gen4 scooters to its established e-bike fleet in London. Lime will team up with Transport for London, the city's government transport body, and London Council for the pilot, after it was chosen from a competitive tender process. The e-scooters will be available to book through the Lime app as per usual with the bikes. Previously, IDG Capital joined Lime's Series A funding round.
Nasdaq-listed web browser Opera has launched Opera GX Mobile, the world’s first mobile browser designed specifically for gamers. Opera GX features a control panel that lets users set limits on CPU, RAM and network bandwidth. Mobile users can also utilize the fast action button to quickly access certain functions. As of March, Opera GX had exceeded 9 million monthly active gamers across Windows and Mac. Previously, IDG Capital joined Opera's pre-IPO financing round.