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IDG Capital has joined a Series C funding round in Tangdou, a Chinese square dance app targeting middle-aged and older women. To date, Tangdou has raised nearly $100 million. Previously, IDG Capital joined the firm’s $20 million Series B funding round, as well as a Series A investor in BokeCC, the Beijing-based incubator which helped transform Tangdou’s app into a leading entertainment product for senior citizens. Tangdou currently claims more than 200 million users in China. The firm’s latest Series C round was led by Tencent, the Chinese Internet giant, in which IDG Capital was also an early investor.
SenseTime, a Hong Kong-based artificial intelligence company, will build an $1 billion artificial-intelligence hub in Malaysia, utilizing robots and speech recognition. Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak welcomed the project. SenseTime said it will also provide technology and support to G3 Global, a Malaysian jean manufacturer developing its own AI-based projects. In addition, SenseTime will provide educational materials about AI for Malaysian schools. IDG Capital led SenseTime's initial Series A funding round in 2014 and also joined the company's Series B round in 2017.
Mei Gao, a New York City-based IDG Capital partner, believes there are still excellent investment opportunities in China for U.S. and other overseas businesses. “China has the best infrastructure,” Guo told a panel discussion about Sino-American trade at the 2019 Penn Wharton China Summit in Philadelphia. “Its consumers are very ready to embrace new technology.” China, she said, is also “already the global manufacturing hub, and it has a great supply chain.” Founded in 1992, IDG Capital has made more than 750 investments in the U.S., Europe and Asia, including more than 170 exits, and it currently has more than $20 billion in accumulated assets under management.
Serena Williams, one of the world’s best-known tennis players, said her venture capital firm is now investing in Coinbase, a San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange platform. Since 2012, Coinbase, backed by IDG Capital, has raised a total of $546.6 million. Coinbase’s Series E round in October 2018 also raised $300 million, at which time the firm was valued at $8 billion.
Autonomous driving startup Pony.ai announced at the Shanghai Auto Show that it is now operating a test project for driverless cars in a 50-square-kilometer geofenced area in the city of Guangzhou. Pony.ai said riders – either employees or “select affiliates” – can now use a smartphone app to hail cars at any predetermined point within the test area. The Silicon Valley- and Chinese-based company is also currently testing driverless cars in Fremont, California and Beijing. IDG Capital was a seed investor in Pony.ai and also joined a $112 million Series A funding round in 2018.
Acne Studios, a global fashion retailer based in Sweden, has reopened a Tokyo concept store with a new collection of leather accessories. Founded in 1996, the fashion brand started as a niche supplier of denim wear but has since grown into a diversified upscale brand with more than 50 stores in 13 countries. IDG Capital acquired 30.1% of Acne Studios in 2018.
Coinbase, a San Francisco-based cryptocurrency trading platform, generated an estimated $520 million in global revenues in 2018, according to Reuters. The news agency reported that it based its estimate on recent Coinbase’s filings with the U.K.’s corporate registry. Coinbase’s submission also indicated that its U.K. revenue grew 20% in 2018 to $173 million. IDG Capital was an angel investor in Coinbase in 2013.
Anker, a multinational consumer electronics manufacturer with operations in U.S., Japan and Germany, recently unveiled a two-port car charger with a built-in Google Assistant function. Anker’s Android-compatible charger allows users to activate Google Assistant through voice commands. The company said it is also developing a beta model for iPhone users. IDG Capital led a $47 million funding in Anker in 2016.
KuCoin, a Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange, will now enable traders in selected countries outside the U.S. to control their accounts trading on centralized exchanges using private keys. Traders, however, must first register for a special verified KuCoin account. IDG Capital co- led KuCoin's $20 million Series A round in November 2018.
Xpeng Motors, a Guangzhou-based electric car maker, unveiled a four-door coupe at Auto Shanghai 2019 – its second mass-market model aimed at China’s next generation of car buyers. The company said the new electric vehicle represents a crucial step in Xpeng’s growth plan, as it wraps up its latest B+ funding round. IDG Capital co-led Xpeng's $348 million Series B round in 2018.
IDG Capital was among the five most active venture capital firms worldwide in Q1, according to a 2019 CB Insights and PwC report on the global VC funds. U.S.-based and with offices in China, Korea and Vietnam, IDG Capital also remains a very active investor in Asia, even though the region saw a 12% decline in Q1 venture capital funding versus Q4 2018. According to the CB Insights-PwC report, privately held companies in Asia raised $18 billion in Q1, involving 1,128 deal transactions.
Aicha Evans, the new CEO of the California-based driverless car startup Zoox, joins Business Insider's new list of the “Top 100 people Transforming the World of Business.” Zoox plans to launch an autonomous ride-hailing service by 2020. Evans, a former Intel exec, said her key priority now is to prepare Zoox for the product launch, while at the same time ensuring that the firm’s autonomous driving technology is safe to deploy. IDG Capital joined Zoox's Series A funding round in 2016.
IDG Capital joined a $44 million Series B financing round for Creative Biosciences, a Chinese producer of cancer screening and diagnostic kits. The Guangzhou-based company also recently released an early diagnosis kit for colon cancer which the National Medical Products Administration of China approved and licensed in 2018. Creative Biosciences said it is also developing early diagnosis products for lung cancer and bladder cancer tumors. Founded in 2015, Creative Biosciences nod has testing institutes in Guangzhou and Tianjin.
Pony.ai, an autonomous driving startup based in China and Silicon Valley, received $50 million from Kunlun, a Shanghai-listed technology company, in exchange for a 3 percent stake. The latest investment is part of Pony.ai’s pre-B financing round. The firm is now valued it at nearly $1 billion. IDG Capital was a seed investor in Pony.ai and also joined the company’s initial $112 million Series A funding round in January.
EdiGene, a Japanese biotechnology firm that develops genome-editing technologies for therapeutics to treat genetic diseases and cancer, has raised $14.4 million during its Series B round. EdiGene currently has operations in Guangzhou, China and Cambridge, Massachusetts. IDG Capital led EdiGene's Series A funding round in 2018 and also joined another $10 million financing round in 2019.
Former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama wore a custom outfit by Acne Studios, the Swedish fashion brand, as she took the stage in Stockholm on an international book tour to promote her memoir. Founded in Stockholm in 1996, Acne Studios started as a niche supplier of denim wear but has since grown into a diversified upscale brand with more than 50 stores in 13 countries, $221 million in annual 2018 revenues and $35 million in operating profit. IDG Capital acquired 30.1% of Acne Studios in 2018.