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James Peng and Tiancheng Lou, one of China’s leading software coders, left Baidu in 2016 to found autonomous vehicle startup Pony.ai. This fall IDG Capital joined Pony.ai’s $112 million Series A Round. Pony.ai plans to launch robo-taxi services in Guangdong Province by year-end.
Softbank Vision Fund, IDG Capital and SBI Group have jointly provided $2.2 billion in private placement financing to three subsidiaries of Shenzhen-based Ping An Insurance. The three subsidiaries include Ping An Good Doctor, China’s largest healthcare app with over 20 million monthly active users; Ping An Healthcare Technology, a managed care platform serving 800 million customers at Chinese hospitals; and OneConnect, Ping An’s artificial intelligence and blockchain-powered fin-tech business providing financial services to 2,300 financial institutions, including 420 banks.
Boston University (BU) opened its BUild Lab/IDG Capital Student Innovation Center last week. The new center is designed to encourage BU students from different disciplines to network and acquire technological and entrepreneurial skills. IDG Capital Global Chairman and BU trustee Hugo Shong represented the venture capital/private equity firm at the Boston ribbon-cutting. BU President Robert A. Brown describes the BUild Lab as the school’s "most fitting place” for students “to start up a start-up."
Xiaopeng Motors, a leading Chinese electric car start-up, has announced a $348 million Series B round led by Alibaba, Foxconn and IDG Capital. Xpeng is one of more than a dozen emerging electric car start-ups formed after the Chinese government began issuing manufacturing permits to non-traditional automobile manufacturers.
Xiaomi outsold Samsung in smartphones in India in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to Canalys. The market research firm estimates Xiaomi shipped 8.2 million smartphones in the fourth quarter, compared to 7.3 million by Samsung. It was the first time Samsung has been outsold in India in six years. IDG Capital was an early investor in Xiaomi.
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.
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.