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OPay, a Nigerian mobile payments firm founded by Opera Ltd., the Norwegian browser company, hopes to meet the demand for mobile payment technology in Nigeria. The mobile money penetration rate among Nigerians is now only 3.3%. OPay said it will also soon launch a lifestyle-focused app for food delivery, utility bill payment and access to cash and bike hailing services. With more than 40,000 OPay agents now operating there, OPay believes it can quickly grow the app among local communities. In July, IDG Capital, which was also previously a pre-IPO investor in OPay’s parent company Opera, led a $50 million investment round in the firm.
Lime, a San Francisco-based electric scooter and bike-sharing provider, obtained a permit to operate in Montreal and expects to make its debut there in the near future. Lime is the first e-scooter sharing service authorized by the city to provide equipment for Montreal’s streets. Lime, which currently operates in more than 150 cities worldwide, is valued at $2.4 billion. IDG Capital joined Lime's Series A funding round in 2017.
Ping An Good Doctor, China's largest healthcare and online medical platform, formed partnerships this week with more than 20 firms, including China Mobile and China Everbright Bank. The arrangement targets higher fee-paying customers whose needs, Ping An says, are not currently met by China’s state-run medical system. The Shanghai-based firm said its health service platform could break even by 2021. Ping An Good Doctor currently had 2.2 million paying users and 62.7 million active users, as of June 30. IDG Capital was an early investor in Ping An God Doctor, which raised $1.1 billion on the Hong Kong Exchange in 2018.
CNBC compiled a ranking of the top 5 rising shopping app for teenagers. They include two IDG Capital-backed start-ups: Wish, a San Francisco-based online marketplace for inexpensive home goods, electronic accessories and apparel; and Shein, an e-commerce women’s fashion platform based in China but with supporting websites and tens of millions of customers in the U.S., Spain, France, Russia, Germany, Italy, Australia and the Middle East. IDG Capital joined Shein’s Series B round in 2016 and led Wish’s Series E and Series F rounds in 2017. In 2011, IDG Capital also began investing in App Annie, the San Francisco-based research firm worked with CNBC to create the mobile app download ranking.
Razer, a San Francisco- and Singapore-based manufacturer of gaming peripherals, has formed an partnership with NIO, a Shanghai-based manufacturer of electric autonomous vehicles. NIO’s new ES6 Night Explorer SUV will feature colors and technologies incorporated in several Razer gaming products. The new car model was also named the official vehicle for Razer’s eSports team. Previously, IDG Capital-Accel China invested $50 million in Razer, which went public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2017. Later, IDG Capital also joined NIO’s Series B+ funding round. NIO went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2018, raising $1 billion in its initial public offering.
Lyst, an e-commerce platform, released its 2019 list of the “20 hottest top fashion brands in the world.” Moncler, an Italian luxury outerwear maker in which IDG Capital was an early investor, ranked 17th. Moncler, which saw Q1 2019 sales increase by 14% year-over-year, went public on the Milan Stock Exchange in 2013.
Artsy, a New York City-based online art marketplace backed by IDG Capital, named Mike Steib as its new CEO, replacing the founder Carter Cleveland. Steib previously worked as CEO of XO Group, the parent company of The Knot, the world’s largest bridal website. Artsy currently has 1.5 million free users. The firm is also developing an online marketplace to access art works directly from the more than 3,000 galleries listed on its site. IDG Capital joined Artsy’s $16 million Series B funding round in 2014.
Surge Employment Solutions, a startup operating out of the BUild Lab IDG Capital Student Innovation Center at Boston University, is building a business in Massachusetts to help formerly incarcerated individuals find both well-paid and high-skilled jobs. Other Surge partners include the Boston Mayor’s Office of Returning Citizens, the Massachusetts Parole Board, the Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corp. and Strive Boston. Launched in 2017, the IDG Capital Student Innovation Center at BU encourages students from multiple disciplines to learn, innovate and solve problems. Both IDG Capital and IDG Capital’s Global Co-Chairman Hugo Shong, a Boston University alumnus and Trustee, are providing ten-year funding for the lab.
The Delaware Public Employees’ Retirement System committed $35 million to the IDG Breyer Capital Fund, a venture capital fund jointly managed by IDG Capital and Breyer Capital. The state pension fund said it currently allocates 24.4% of its holdings to alternative investments – typically defined as private equity and venture capital, hedge funds, real estate and commodities. Previously in 2017, Delaware’s $10.4 billion fund, which has offices in the city of Dover, committed up to $30 million to IDG China Venture Capital Fund V, another initiative led by IDG Capital. Members of the Delaware fund now include, among others, public school teachers, policemen, county and municipal employees and volunteer firemen.
During a state visit to China, Colombian President Ivan Duque Marquez met with executives from LAIX, an artificial-intelligence-powered education company. LAIX, which focusses on online English-language learning, used the event to showcase its products which utilize big data, education pedagogies and deep learning. Hoping to turn Columbia into a bilingual country, President Marquez invited LAIX to expand there. The Shanghai-based platform currently has more than 120 million registered users worldwide. In 2018, LAIX raised $71.9 million during its initial public offering public on the New York Stock Exchange. Previously IDG Capital participated in LAIX’s Series A, Series B and Series C funding rounds.
Meituan Dianping, China’s largest online food delivery system, surpassed 30 million orders last weekend – including watermelon, ice cream and beer – due in part to a recent heatwave. In 2018, the online platform, which boasts an installed base of 406 million customers, processed $66.3 billion worth of orders. In Q1 2019, the company reported a 38.6% year-on-year growth in gross transactions and the gross profit, after food deliveries surged 1.9 times over the same period last year. IDG Capital was an early investor in Meituan, which went public in on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2018, raising $4.2 billion.
NIO, a Shanghai-based manufacturer of electric autonomous vehicles, ranked No. 1 in J.D. Power’s inaugural China New Energy Vehicle Experience Index Study. The index measures new-vehicle quality by monitoring problems reported by EV owners in the first two-to-six-months of ownership. According to JD Power survey, NIO scored higher than BMW, Chery Automobile, GAC Motor and BYD. NIO went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2018, raising $1 billion in its initial public offering. Previously, IDG Capital joined the firm's Series B+ funding round.
Club Factory, a Chinese cross-border fashion e-retailer, plans to expand its customer base in India by showcasing more than 10,000 sellers. To assist the onboarding initiative, Club Factory, said it will waive fees and invest in warehousing, delivery and related technologies. Club Factory, based in Hangzhou, entered India in 2016 and currently has operations in Gurgaon, southwest of New Delhi. It also plans to expand into Bengaluru and Mumbai. In 2018, IDG Capital led a $100 million Series C funding round in Club Factory. It also joined the firm's Series A round in 2016.
Pony.ai, China’s first autonomous ride-hailing startup, is gaining strength in the global driverless car market. The Chinese venture became only the second company last month to earn permission to operate taxis in California, after Zoox. Waymo, an Alphabet unit, received a permit two weeks later. Currently valued at $1.7 billion, Pony.ai currently envisions ride-hailing as a major revenue source, in addition to software licensing to automakers and freight services. The company now operates more than 30 self-driving taxis in a test zone in Guangzhou and plans to expand its fleet to 100 by year-end. IDG Capital was a seed round investor in Pony.ai and also joined a $112 million Series A funding round in 2018.
Wanda Sports, a unit of Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, went public on Nasdaq, raising $190.5 million. The company said it plans to use the funding from the IPO to pay down debt and also fund strategic investments. In 2015, Wanda Sports acquired Infront Sports & Media, based in Switzerland and backed by IDG Capital, for $1.2 billion.
The Italian luxury outerwear brand Moncler recorded revenues of $634.8 million during the first half of 2019, a 13% increase over the same period last year. Net income also increased 16% to $79.3 million in the first half, the firm said. IDG Capital was an early investor in Moncler, which went public on the Milan Stock Exchange in 2013.