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Wang Yi, a former engineer at Google (now Alphabet Inc.) in Mountain View, California, returned to China in 2012 to launch an English-language teaching App. His Liulishuo App, or “speaking fluently” in English, uses artificial intelligence to correct English-language grammar and pronunciation and now has more than 50 million registered users and 600,000 paying subscribers. It is expected to turn a profit in February. Wang’s firm recently raised $100 million in his latest funding round, and his financial backers include China Media Capital, Wu Capital, IDG Capital and GVC Capital.
China was home to 22 unicorns in 2017 for a combined total valuation of $37.3 billion, or $3 billion more than the combined total valuation of all the newly formed unicorns in the U.S. this year. The 22 Chinese firms also represent roughly one-third of all the unicorns in the world. Sequoia Capital invested in four Chinese unicorns in 2017 – startups with a valuation in excess of $1 billion. IDG Capital, Matrix Partners and Qiming Venture Partners invested in three each, and Alibaba Group and Hillhouse Capital in two each.
For Chinese investors, CreditEase’s new wealth management unit brings more discipline and transparency to private equity and venture capital investments than many other angel funds, according to Cally Lao, Managing Partner. In April, Beijing-based CreditEase launched its first angel Funds of Funds in partnership with IDG Capital. The firm currently has roughly $3 billion under management.
Boston University will launch a $20 million student innovation center, Innovate@BU, which includes a new lab called BUild: the IDG Capital Innovation Center. IDG Capital and IDG Capital Global Chairman Hugo Shong, a Boston University alumnus and Trustee, will provide ten-year funding for the lab. The goal of the program is to encourage students from multiple university disciplines to learn and engage in creative problem-solving and hands-on innovation, according to BU President Robert A. Brown. Interviewed by BU Today, a university news and information website, Shong said, “I am delighted that the contribution from IDG Capital will help students realize their dreams by working at this innovation center.” The lab is scheduled to open in January 2018.
In an interview, Izzy Zhu, NIO Vice President of User Development, tells TechNode that he believes the global auto industry has entered “a key turning point, both in terms of technology and consumer adoption.” Founded in 2014, NIO plans to launch a new mass-production SUV model soon. Investors in the $2.1 billion Shanghai-based firm include Tencent, Baidu and IDG Capital. Product development for NIO is located in Munich, and the company’s autonomous driving research and development staff are based in San Jose.
China Daily has identified Jeacy Yan, an IDG Capital Partner, as one of the “top ten investors” in the Chinese consumer goods and services market. Other leaders listed in the English-language newspaper’s Top Ten Consumer list include top executives from Tiantu Capital, Lightspeed China Partners, Joy Capital, China Renaissance Group, Frees Fund, Cyanhill Capital, Sequoia Capital, DCM Ventures, Aplus, Plum Ventures and Banyan Capital.
Former White House photographer Pete Souza has won the 2017 Hugo Shong Lifetime Journalism Achievement Award. The Boston University (BU) College of Communication will present the award to Souza in February. Founded in 2005, the annual award is named for Hugo Shong, the Global Chairman of IDG Capital, a BU alumnus and Trustee. Past winners of the journalism award include reporters Jason Rezaian and William Wan of the Washington Post, Jeremy Page of the Wall Street Journal, David Barboza of the New York Times and Peter Goodman of the Huffington Post.
Beijing Zmeng Network Technology Co., Ltd. (ZMT), China's largest offline data service platform, has a completed a series B+ round of financing valued at $ 27.1 million. YF Capital, founded by Alibaba chairman Jack Ma, led the fundraising round, followed by IDG Capital Partners and Kinzon Capital. Founded in 2013, ZMT now has more than one million business partners in 300-plus Chinese cities. IDG Capital and Fosun both previously invested in an earlier round at ZMT.
Yixin Group Ltd., China’s largest online automotive financing platform, debuted this week on the Hong Kong exchange – with shares rising 32% to $867 million. Backers of the Chinese car e-retailer include Tencent Holdings, Baidu, JD.com, IDG Capital and Bit Auto Holdings Ltd.
9F Group, a Beijing-based fintech company founded in 2006, has raised “hundreds of millions of dollars” from a massive new round of capital infusion, the company said. Contributors included Cinda International, Focus Media and Youzu Interactive. 9F initially achieved Unicorn status in 2015, after raising $110 million in Series B round funding from IDG Capital and SIG Asia. The fintech firm provides customized consulting services, including microfinance, wealth management and peer-to-peer lending.
SenseTime Group, a $2 billion Chinese facial recognition firm, announced this week that chipmaker Qualcomm has agreed to both invest in the company and collaborate on technology. SenseTime’s numerous backers include Temasek, CDH Investments, Sailing Capital and IDG Capital.
Maimai, China’s primary professional networking rival to LinkedIn, now has $750 million in funding and is aiming for a 2019 IPO. Founded in 2013, web-based firm has 30 million registered users in China, including 10 million monthly active users. Top U.S. investors include DCM Ventures and IDG Capital.
SpeakIn Technologies Co., Ltd., a Shenzhen-based voice recognition firm, reported this week that it has raised “tens of millions of RMB” from a new A2 Series round of funding led by Yuanchuang Capital. In May, SpeakIn raised more RMB funds from IDG Capital, Hongzhi Capital and Fuyu (Shanghai) Investment Co. The voice recognition startup provides technology for both commercial and industrial applications.
Farfetch, a British Unicorn, now sells more than £500 million annually in high-end fashion and other luxury goods online. Investors in the decade-old firm include Temasek, Eurazeo and IDG Capital.
Razer Inc., a leading supplier of gaming laptops and other accessories, raised $530 million on its first day of trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange, as shares climbed 18%. Key backers of the Singapore-and San Francisco-based firm include GIC, Horizon Ventures, IDG-Accel, Intel Capital, Credit Suisse Group and UBS Group.
Bokecc.com, a Chinese provider of video cloud computing solutions to educational institutions, media companies and government institutions, has raised $31 million in Series C round founding from NewQuest Capital Partners, Jiawo Capital and SilkRoad Huachuang Investment. In 2011, Bokecc received $20 million in Series B round funding from Steamboat Ventures, a Walt Disney Company affiliate, and IDG Capital, Jiangsu High-Tech Investment Group, and IDG-Accel Growth Fund.