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SenseTime has 13% of its business outside China but the Hong Kong-based facial recognition firm is planning to open operations in Singapore soon, as well as an R&D center in the U.S. The Beijing-based company is also moving into autonomous driving, partnering last month with Honda through its Japanese subsidiary. SenseTime recently raised $450 million from a variety of investors, including IDG Capital and chipmaker Qualcomm.
China’s top bike-sharing firm Mobike will change its name to Meituan Bike after Meituan Dianping, the Chinese food delivery giant, acquired it last April. Listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Meituan Dianping is China’s largest provider of on-demand online services with more than 46,000 employees and $6.42 billion in annual revenues. The company says it can now offer integrated bike-rental services to more than 310 million customers. IDG Capital invested in Meituan Dianping in 2017.
IDG Capital joined a $36 million Series B funding round in Songxiaocai, a business-to-business platform that offers agricultural wholesale services to Chinese retailers. Global Logistic Properties led the funding round. Matrix China Partner and Puhua Capital are also investors.
Chinese internet security firm Qihoo 360 Technology Co. is joining with the Beijing Cultural Center Fund to establish a $150 million internet and cultural industry-focused investment fund. In 2006, IDG Capital was a Series B investor in Qihoo 360. The fund’s creation reflects a growing interest by Chinese investors in the country’s emerging culture and entertainment industries. Last February, Sequoia Capital China, IDG Capital and China CYTS Tours Holding Co. jointly established the CYTS Hongqi Fund, an investment vehicle for tourism-related projects.
Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings this week lead a $100 million new funding round in Rokid, a recent Chinese entrant into robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) markets. Credit Suisse Group, CDIB Capital Investment and existing investor IDG Capital, also joined the round.
Last year, 34 internet companies achieved unicorn status with valuations in excess of $1 billion. With three unicorn investments in 2017, IDG Capital joins the ranks of the world’s Top Ten investors in internet-related unicorns.
Former employees of several Baidu artificial intelligence units raised $300 million in venture funding last year. This week, Pony.ai, the self-driving car startup led by former Baidu engineer James Peng, raised $112 million from multiple investors, including IDG Capital. HoloMatic, another autonomous driving firm, founded by former Baidu AI scientist Ni Kai, raised tens of millions of dollars in October from IDG Capital, Bertelsmann Asia Investments and Chinese digital mapmaker NavInfo.
Pony.ai, a self-driving car startup based in San Francisco, has raised $112 million from the venture capital and private equity community. The company, which has offices throughout Asia, operates test cars in San Francisco and plans to launch an autonomous fleet in Guangzhou, China. Co-founders James Peng and Tiancheng Lou both spent time at Google before joining Chinese internet search giant Baidu. Morningside Venture Capital and Legend Capital lead Pony.ai’s initial fundraising round. Sequoia Capital and IDG Capital, which provided seed funding to the firm, also participated, as did Hongtai Capital, Legend Star, Puhua Capital, Polaris Capital, DCM Ventures, Comcast Ventures and Silicon Valley Future Capital.
Kr Space, which has opened 30 co-working spaces for entrepreneurs in eight major Chinese cities, recently completed a new $92 million funding round. Investors include IDG Capital, Gobi Partners, Unity Ventures, Prometheus Capital, China Minsheng Investment Management and Colony New Yangtze Fund. A spin-off of Ant Financial-backed 36Kr, Kr Space plans to use its newly raised capital to expand operations into more large-scale cities throughout China.
Chinese bitcoin giant Bitmain Technologies is expanding into Switzerland in an expansion move that it hopes will widen its international reach, the group recently revealed. Founded in Beijing in 2013, Bitmain is a leading bitcoin miner, and it also makes chips and computer hardware for mining. Key investors in the firm include IDG Capital and Sequoia.
Investment deals backed by venture capital reached a record $182 billion globally in 2017. The value of those deals increased 28% compared to 2016, even as the number of deals dropped 4.7 per cent to 11,144. The U.S. dominated the rankings, with a 42% market share valued at more than $76.4 billion. Greater China ranked second, attracting 36% of total deal value, valued at $65 billion. Meituan-Dianping was the fourth largest VC deal last year, raising $4 billion in October from IDG Capital, Sequoia Capital, Tencent, and GIC, among others.
Soccerex, an events company for the football industry, now ranks Olympique Lyonnais of Lyon, France, as the 18th most financially powerful football club in the world. The algorithm that Soccerex used to calculate this ranking measures net debt, available cash, playing assets (based on the market value of individual footballers); and fixed assets (including the value of stadiums, training facilities and other holdings. In 2016, IDG Capital took a 20% stake in the football club for a $110 million investment.
Guomai, a Hangzhou-based publisher of multi-media cultural products, has completed a $45.7-million series B round led by IDG Capital and Bona Film Group. Other investors include Aqua Ventures, HG Capital and Matrix Partners China. Founded in 2012, Guomai produces Chinese-language multi-media cultural products in four categories: literature, history, science and religion.
Financial website Business Insider believes bike-sharing network LimeBike is one of the top seven startups of 2017. LimeBike, based in San Mateo, California, is currently valued at $225 million. Investors include Andresen Horowitz and IDG Capital.
Xiaopeng Motors, a Chinese electric-car startup, will unveil its first sports utility vehicle (SUV) next week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The Guangzhou firm recently completed its latest $765 million financing round. Investors include Alibaba, Tencent Holdings, GGV Capital, Morningside Venture Capital, IDG Capital, Matrix Partners China, Shunwei Capital, Guangkong Zhongying Capital, Ding Capital, Kinzon Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
Founded in 2012, Ripple Labs, a global payments blockchain company, is now a viable alternative to Bitcoin technology, according to Daily Dot. Ripple oversees financial transactions using an open source payment protocol. In addition to San Francisco, where Ripple is based, the company also has offices in New York, London, Sydney, India, Singapore and Luxembourg. Investors include Google Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, IDG Capital, FF Angel, Lightspeed Venture Partners, the Bitcoin Opportunity Fund, Pantera Capital, Santander InnoVentures, Core Innovation Capital, Vast Ventures, Venture 51, and Camp One Ventures.