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Pony.ai, an autonomous driving startup based in China and Silicon Valley, has raised a $100 million extension to its last funding round. Pony.ai, founded in 2016, makes an autonomous driving system called PonyAlpha aimed at facilitating driverless operations. The company is now valued at $5.3 billion, up from $3 billion in February 2020. IDG Capital was a seed investor in Pony.ai and also joined a $112 million Series A funding round in 2018.
IDG Capital has led a $300 million financing round in the autonomous driving unit of Didi Chuxing, a leading ride-hailing platform based in China. The company started testing and developing autonomous vehicles in 2016 and has gained open-road testing licenses in California, Beijing, Shanghai and Suzhou. Didi’s autonomous driving unit raised over $500 million in May last year.
Chinese electric carmaker Xpeng has started rolling out its new autonomous highway driving feature called the Navigation Guided Pilot. The feature allows drivers to automatically change lanes, speed up or slow down, overtake cars as well as enter and exit highways. Eligible customers can download the new software via WiFi. The Guangzhou-based company is trying to highlight its software and autonomous driving capabilities as a way to differentiate from domestic rivals. IDG Capital co-led Xpeng's $348 million Series B round in 2018.
Huohua Siwei, a Beijing-based firm providing online education services for children aged 3 to 12, has announced the completion of its series E funding round that raised $400 million in total, as online tutoring grows in popularity. The new funding comes at a time when the company tries to expand beyond its key offerings of online math and science courses by developing multi-disciplinary online classes involving Chinese and English language acquisition. IDG Capital joined Huohua’s Series B+ round, another $15 million funding round in 2018 and its Series D equity financing round in 2019.
Chinese e-cigarette company RELX Technology has debuted on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol “RLX”, becoming the first Chinese e-cigarette brand to start public trading. The market value of the NYSE-debuted company reached $45.8 billion on the debut day. Founded in 2018, the Shenzhen-based company has achieved a market share of 62.6% in China, with about 40% gross profit margin. IDG Capital was an investor in RELX Technology.
Norway-based web browser Opera has acquired YoYo Games, the maker of the GameMaker Studio 2 game engine, for $10 million, and it has also launched its Opera Gaming division. GameMaker Studio 2 found its niche as a tool for making 2D games, and it’s being used by people who have very little training in programming skills. “It lowers the barrier to entry for anyone to start making their games,” said Krystian Kolondra, Opera’s executive vice president of browsers. Opera Gaming will focus on expanding Opera’s capabilities and monetization opportunities in the gaming. IDG Capital joined Opera's pre-IPO financing round.
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has acquired Bison Trails, a firm that specializes in building blockchain infrastructure for banks and other companies. Founded in 2018, Brooklyn-based Bison Trails provides infrastructures to help other firms stand up features like nodes, which are intrinsic to the blockchain networks on which a variety of crypto protocols operate. "[The deal] will help drive one of the greatest transformations in finance in the last hundred years and will drive us closer to achieving our mission of creating an open financial system," said Coinbase. IDG Capital was an angel investor in Coinbase in 2013.
NYSE-listed electric vehicle (EV) startup Xpeng has secured a credit line of $1.98 billion from major Chinese financial institutions, including Bank of China, China Construction Bank and Agricultural Bank of China. The agreement will help the Guangzhou-based company expand its manufacturing, sales and services and other operations. As Xpeng’s third largest investor, IDG Capital joined the company’s Series A round and also co-led its Series B round.
News Break, an AI-powered news aggregation app created in 2015 by Mountain View, Calif.-based Particle Media, has raised $115 million in new funding. IDG Capital also participated this round. The round has made News Break “one of the first new unicorns of 2021”. Currently ranked on the 4th spot in the News category of Apple’s U.S. App Store, News Break is reaching 12 million daily active users. Previously, IDG Capital led News Break's Series A round in 2016 and also joined its Series B round in 2017.News Break, an AI-powered news aggregation app created in 2015 by Mountain View, Calif.-based Particle Media, has raised $115 million in new funding. IDG Capital also participated this round. The round has made News Break “one of the first new unicorns of 2021”. Currently ranked on the 4th spot in the News category of Apple’s U.S. App Store, News Break is reaching 12 million daily active users. Previously, IDG Capital led News Break's Series A round in 2016 and also joined its Series B round in 2017.
Chinese leading electric vehicle manufacturer NIO has formed a partnership with American semiconductor firm Qualcomm to incorporate Qualcomm’s autonomous driving technologies in NIO’s first flagship sedan — the NIO ET7. The alliance will not only enhance NIO’s premium vehicle with improved driving experiences but also highlight the importance of Qualcomm’s expertise in connectivity and computing to meet the rising demand of autonomous vehicles. Previously, IDG Capital joined NIO's Series B+ funding round. NIO went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2018.
Shein, a women's fashion e-commerce platform reaching tens of millions of customers worldwide, is challenging more established rivals like Zara by offering a near-endless supply of styles at almost impossible price points. Shein sells exclusively online, operating no brick-and-mortar stores. Its app had topped 100 million downloads and counted over 20 million annual users as of 2019. During 2020, Shein logged almost $10 billion in sales. Previously, IDG Capital joined Shein's Series B round.
Chinese online education platform Yuanfudao has secured another $300 million financing, bringing the overall funding of the company in 2020 to $3.5 billion. This is Yuanfudao’s third funding round this year. Founded in 2012, Yuanfudao offers a range of remote learning products, including live tutoring platform Yuanfudao, Zebra AI Class, online question bank Yuantiku, question searching app Xiaoyuan Souti, and arithmetic problem checking app Xiaoyuan Kousuan. IDG Capital, which first invested in the firm in 2012, is the sole investor who has joined each financing round of Yuanfudao since Series A.
IDG Capital has led a $122 million Series C round of financing round in Rootcloud, a Guangzhou-headquartered IoT platform. Founded in 2016, Rootcloud, formerly a part of Chinese global heavy equipment manufacturing giant Sany Heavy Industry Group, leverages new generation technologies such as cloud computing, big data, AI, 5G network and blockchain to help in the digitalization of the manufacturing industry. This financing round has propelled the platform to unicorn status, with an estimated valuation in excess of $1 billion.
Weimai, an IDG Capital-backed Chinese healthcare solution provider, has secured US$100 million in a series C+ round of funding. Founded in 2015, the platform links users to hospitals and provides a one-stop shop for hospitals to manage their data. The funding from this round will be used to further accelerate the company’s urbanization strategy, expand service coverage, and empower more hospitals, departments, and doctors. Previously, IDG Capital led a $100-million Series C round in Weimai.
Zoox, a Foster City, Calif.-based autonomous vehicle startup, revealed a robotaxi prototype that could spend 16 hours a day offering rides in cities. The vehicle has an unusually large battery of 133 kWh. Zoox is targeting to launch its service in Las Vegas and San Francisco. Founded in 2014, Zoox was purchased by Amazon earlier this year. IDG Capital invested in Zoox in 2016.
Italian luxury apparel manufacturer Moncler is partnering with Extreme E, the new electric off-road racing series that highlights the climate change challenges faced by different ecosystems. Like Extreme E, Moncler aims to be carbon neutral in 2021 and use 100 percent renewable energy by 2023. Through the partnership, Moncler will provide a dedicated uniform for Extreme E’s on-site team. IDG Capital was an early investor in Moncler, which went public in Milan in 2013.