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Kr Space, an IDG Capital-backed co-working space operator in China, is refocusing its marketing strategy to cater to larger corporate customers like $12 billion local advertising giant Focus Media. According to Reuters, the firm is now on track to turn cash-flow positive by year-end, forcing several local rivals to adopt similar strategies. Since 2016, IDG Capital has participated in multiple Kr Space venture rounds, including a $145M funding round which it led earlier this year.
Bitmain, the world’s largest maker of bitcoin-mining computers, is building a new bitcoin mine at a former Alcoa Aluminum plant in Rockdale, Texas. The Beijing-based firm said the facility now has an initial power size of 25 megawatts but could soon expand to 50 megawatts and then potentially 300 megawatts. In time, CoinDesk estimates the Texas plant could generate up to $73 million in revenue per year at current bitcoin prices, making it the world’s largest bitcoin mine. IDG Capital invested in Bitmain in 2017.
Nasdaq-listed iQiyi, China's dominant online video platform, announced plans to budget $2.8 billion for content development in 2020. iQiyi’s founder and CEO Tim Gong Yu said that half of the firm’s new Chinese-language dramatic and variety content is now produced in-house. iQiyi, a Nasdaq-list firm based in Beijing, reported $3.6 billion in revenue for 2018, a 52% increase over the previous year. In 2017, IDG Capital joined iQiyi's $1.53 billion financing round.
IDG Capital joined a $141 million Series B round for Hainan Golden Technology, a Chinese electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) startup. A subsidiary of China-based multinational conglomerate Tencent Holdings, Hainan Golden provides e-invoicing solutions to local businesses ranging from catering, hospitality, retail to property management. Founded in 2017, the company’s leads customers include FedEx, Didi Chuxing, China Unicom, China Telecom and China Mobile. Hainan Golden said it will use the latest funding round to grow its capabilities in blockchain, cloud computing and big data. The company is also developing a platform for toll transactions to increase its share of the growing domestic smart transportation market. IDG Capital also participated in Hainan Golden’s Series A round in 2018. As the firm’s name suggests, the company is based in Hainan, China’s Southern island province.
Kuandeng, a Beijing-based high-solution mapping solutions provider, has completed a $14.2 million Series A+ round, indicating the mapping sector in China is starting to heat up alongside autonomous vehicle development. Founded in 2017, Kuandeng maintains a fleet of more than 20 vehicles for collecting road information in and around all the major domestic cities. The company obtained mapping permits from the central government this year and is preparing a nation-wide HD map for 100 cities in China. The latest investment will help Kuandeng further develop its Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) technology, an approach that provides high-bandwidth, low-latency communication between vehicles, road signs and other traffic-related sensors. In 2018, IDG Capital led a $22.6 million Series A round in Kuandeng.
Waterdrop, a Beijing-based healthcare crowdfunding startup, continues to expand its profile in China. The firm provides a medical safety net to complement China’s government-funded social insurance. The startup pools donations and contributions from members, a portion of which are paid out to members who fall ill. The firm reports it has paid $127 million to date to 6,500 of the 80 million Waterdrop Mutual app holders, with the company retaining an 8% fee on all contributions. The three-year-old startup also markets conventional, private insurance products through partnership with more than 60 insurance firms. Its founder Shen Peng joined Forbes’ 30 under 30 Asia list in 2017. Earlier this year, IDG Capital joined a $74 million Series B funding round in Waterdrop.
Meituan-Dianping, an IDG Capital backed on-demand service provider for food delivery, retail products and other services in China, launched a voice technology application customized for the blind and visually impaired. Users can now speak to the app to order takeaway food online. In the future, they will also be able to purchase tickets for movies and other events and also order ride-hailing services. With a valuation of $516.2 billion, Meituan is now the third largest internet company in China after Alibaba Group and Tencent. IDG Capital was an early investor in Meituan, which first went public in on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2018. The company posted $9.7 billion revenue in 2018, up 92.3% year-on-year.
IDG Capital led a $100 million Series D round in Club Factory, a Chinese cross-border e-commerce platform for fashion, beauty items and electronics accessories. Club Factory’s principal markets are India, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. The Hangzhou-based firm has more than 70 million users, 40 million of whom live in India. To further expand its reach in India , Club Factory said it will leverage its latest investment to help sign up more than 10,000 sellers in India by year-end. In 2018, IDG Capital led a $100 million Series C funding round in Club Factory and also joined the firm's Series A round in 2016.
Ripple, a San Francisco-based blockchain payments startup, has invested $750,000 in BRD, a Zurich-based cryptocurrency wallet provider. Founded in 2015, BRD now has over 2.5 million users in 170 countries and is currently helping consumers on-ramp $6 billion worth of traditional currencies into digital currencies. The investment will allow BRD to build on the Ripple’s XRP Ledger and integrate XRP cryptocurrency into BRD’s wallet apps. After the integration, BRD users can buy, sell, hold and send XRP anywhere with BRD apps. In 2015, IDG Capital led a $28 million Series A funding round in Ripple.
Xforceplus, a Shanghai-based provider of corporate software as a service (SaaS), raised $100 million in its latest Series C financing round. Founded in 2015, Xforceplus provides SaaS-based cloud computing software services and other industrial solutions to large-scale enterprises in manufacturing, retail, real estate, medicine and logistics. Major customers include the McDonald’s fast-food chain and Compass Group, a United Kingdom-based supplier of food services. Xforceplus’s capital raised across six funding round now totals $140.41 million. In September 2018, IDG Capital also joined a Series B round in Xforceplus.
Easy Transfer, an IDG Capital-backed online financial service platform for more than 100,000 Chinese students studying overseas, processed $776 million in transactions in 2018 last year. In 2019, Easy Transfer projects it will process $2.6 billion transactions involving more than 100,000 payments. Roughly, 60% of Easy Transfer’s customers now study in the U.S. The six-year-old start-up principally works with Chinese financial institutions to simplify overseas payments for tuition and room and board. It also recently launched its own student credit card service. IDG Capital led Easy Transfer’s pre-seed round in 2016 and later joined a Series A round in 2018.
Farfetch, a London-based online luxury fashion platform, formed a partnership with Thrift+, an on-demand donation service. Customers can now donate unwanted clothes to the charity of their choice, with one-third of the donation covering Thrift+’s costs. In the process, Farfetch customers can either receive credit towards future online purchases, or opt out, if they prefer, and donate another one-third directly to the charity. The new service is currently available in the U.K. only. In 2016, IDG Capital led Farfetch's Series F funding round. Farfetch went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2018 with a valuation of $5.8 billion.
Norway-based Opera released a new version of its flagship browser which includes a major update for tracking protection. The company said its new tracker blocker will prevent advertisers from tracking users as they browse the web and also speed up browsing sessions by up to 23%. Along with the tracking update, Opera also introduced a new screenshotting feature. Founded in 1995, Opera went public on Nasdaq in 2018, raising $115 million. It currently has 65 million users worldwide. IDG Capital was an early investor.
Google is now in talks with Firework, a Redwood City-based video-sharing start-up, as a possible acquisition, the Wall Street Journal reported last week. Weibo, China’s Twitter-like micro-blogging giant, has also reportedly expressed interest in possibly purchasing the firm. Currently valued at more than $100 million during its last funding round, Firework now claims more than 3 million registered users. Founded in 2018, the platform targets an older audience than some of its competitors, hosting content ranging from extreme mountain biking to guitar-instruction tips. IDG Capital led a $30 million funding in Firework this year and was also an early investor in Loop Now Technologies, Firework’s parent firm, also based in Redwood City. Firework expanded into India in September.
Zoox, an autonomous vehicle startup based in Foster City, Calif., announced plans to launch a robot taxi service in Las Vegas. After previously testing self-driving cars on public roads in San Francisco, the firm also recently received permission from the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles to take its AVs out onto state roads in Las Vegas to further test, validate and refine its technology. Zoox CEO Alcha Evans announced the plan at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco last week. To date, Zoox has raised over $790 million during three funding rounds. IDG Capital joined Zoox's Series A funding round in 2016.
Two online travel companies, in which IDG Capital was an early investor, now dominate the hotel booking market in China. Meituan-Dianping, a Hong Kong Exchange-listed firm, currently owns an estimated 45% share of domestic Chinese market. The company reported bookings of 94 million domestic hotel nights in Q2 2019 alone. Ctrip, a Nasdaq-listed online travel service provider, also has 22% market share, with a special focus on high-end domestic and international bookings. IDG Capital invested in Meituan-Dianping which reported $6.42 billion in revenue last year. IDG Capital also was an early investor in Ctrip which reported 2018 revenues of $4.5 billion.