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IDG Capital joined a $120 million Series B round in OPay, a Lagos, Nigeria-based mobile payments platform incubated by Norwegian browser company Opera Ltd. OPay said it will use the latest investment to expand its payment platform in Nigeria, as well as in Kenya, Ghana and South Africa. IDG Capital previously led a $50 million round in OPay in August. Employing 40,000 active agents, the startup processes $10 million in daily transaction volume to support transportation, food delivery and other daily activities across Africa. Meituan-Dianping, an IDG Capital-invested group delivery website in China, also joined the round.
Electric vehicle (EV) startup Xpeng raised $400 million from investors including Xiaomi, the world's fourth largest smartphone-maker. The two companies said they have formed a strategic partnership based on complementary technologies. Xpeng, a Tesla competitor, plans to boost production of its newly released P7 model and increase its share of China's fast-growing EV market. Both Xpeng and Xiaomi are IDG Capital-backed companies. IDG Capital co-led Xpeng's $348 million Series B round in 2018 and was also an early investor in Xiaomi.
Firework, a Redwood City, Calif.-based short-form video-sharing platform competing with TikTok, has reached 3 million users. The majority of Firework users are U.S.-based. Founded in 2018, Firework differentiates itself from TikTok by its short-form video length, a screen rotation feature known as“Reveal”and its strong U.S. presence. CEO Vincent Yang said the app is currently adding about 500,000 users per month. 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.
Bilibili, a Shanghai-based streaming website, is now the biggest video-comics-and-gaming entertainment platform in China. Targeting Generation Z consumers, the Nasdaq-listed platform plans to reach 220 million monthly active users by 2021. The company is currently working on enhancing community behavior protocols, user whistle-blowing functions, more accurate content recommendations and a larger inventory of higher-quality content. Previously, IDG Capital led Bilibili's Series A funding round and also joined the company's A+ and B rounds.
OPay, a mobile payments firm founded by browser company Opera Ltd., has received approval from Nigeria's Apex Bank Central Bank to conduct international money transfers. OPay said the Central Bank approval would make it easier and faster for global remittance companies to manage customer transactions via OPay's wallet. This July, IDG Capital, which also previously invested in Norway-based Opera, led a $50 million investment round in OPay. Opera has 350 million users worldwide.
Nasdaq-listed iQiyi, China's dominant online video platform, has grown its paid subscribers to 106 million, of which 105 million are paid. The surge in paid subscriptions translates into an estimated 31% increase in revenue since September 2018.“Leveraging our cutting-edge AI technology, we are continually fine-tuning our content offerings, optimizing our monetization efficiencies, and exploring potential new runways for future growth,”CEO Gong Yu said. In 2017, IDG Capital joined iQiyi's private funding round. IDG Capital was also an early investor in Baidu, China's leading search engine, which founded iQiyi in 2010.
Trip.com Group, a Nasdaq-listed online travel service provider formerly known as Ctrip, and TripAdvisor, a Nasdaq-listed travel review website, have entered into a global joint venture. Trip.com Group will also join TripAdvisor's board and acquire 6.95 million shares of TripAdvisor, valued at $317.6 million. In return, Trip.com will receive exclusive rights to TripAdvisor's Chinese brand, content license and other assets. IDG Capital was an early investor in Ctrip, based in Shanghai and now valued at $20 billion.
Castbox, a San Francisco-based podcast platform, now has 28 million users in 175 countries, supporting more than 70 languages. A competitor to audio streaming giants like Spotify and Pandora, Castbox has expanded globally, using features like community discussion and in-audio search, which are partly derived from Chinese social apps. Since 2016, IDG Capital has joined several Castbox funding rounds .
IDG Capital, a global venture capital and private equity firm, is now one of the top five investors in global startups with valuations of more than $1 billion, according to Hurun, a Shanghai-based market research firm. IDG Capital has invested in 42 unicorns worldwide to date, including five outside of China: Circle, based in Boston; Liquid Global, based in Tokyo; Pony.ai, based in Freemont, Calif.; Ripple, based in San Francisco; and Zoox, based in Foster City, Calif. Founded in Boston, IDG Capital has invested in more than 800 companies since 1992.
News Break, an AI-powered news aggregation app created in 2015 by Mountain View, Calif.-based Particle Media, was the most downloaded Android news app in the U.S. in Q1-Q3 and the second most popular news apps in Apple's App Store. News Break was more popular too than rival apps from CNN and Reddit, partly by using search records and recommendation technologies to personalize reader content. Previously, IDG Capital led News Break's Series A round in 2016 and also joined its Series B round in 2017.
Firework, a Redwood City, Calif.-based video-sharing start-up raised $30 million this year in a funding round led by IDG Capital and is seeking another $20 million to expand its operations India.“We plan to cross a million users in India within the first three months and look to the next milestone of 5 million within six months,”predicted Sunil Nair, Firework CEO and Managing Director. IDG Capital was also an early investor in Loop Now Technologies, Firework's parent firm, also based in Redwood City. Firework primarily competes with TikTok and YouTube.
Club Factory, a Chinese cross-border e-commerce platform for fashion, beauty items and electronics accessories, now has more than 70 million users worldwide, of whom 40 million are from India. Club Factory also plans to add 10,000 sellers to its platform before the end of 2019 and increase its number of inventory categories. 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.
Klaytn, a blockchain network associated with Kakao, South Korea's leading messaging app, has partnered with OKEx, a global digital asset exchange based in Malta. Klaytn, which is headquartered in Seoul, said the partnership will contribute to the development of a stable blockchain ecosystem and also connect its platform to other networks in the blockchain space. In 2018, IDG Capital invested in Klaytn.
Kujiale, a China-based SaaS-enabled home decoration and design platform, raised $100 million in its most recent Series D round, propelling it to unicorn status. The firm now has an estimated valuation in excess of $1 billion. Kujiale's platform allows users to generate interior design plans for home improvement, including a 360-degree real-time viewing experience incorporating Virtual Reality. Previously, IDG Capital led Kujiale's $2 million Series A round in 2013 and also participated in three other venture rounds in 2014, 2016 and 2018.
Pony.ai, an autonomous driving startup headquartered in Freemont, Calif., is launching a robotaxi service with Hyundai and Via. Utilizing a smartphone app called BotRide, users can now order rides to arrange pick-ups and drop-offs. The driverless service will also include a human safety driver behind the wheel at all times. IDG Capital was a seed investor in Pony.ai and also joined the firm's $112 million Series A funding round in 2018.
Coinbase, an IDG Capital-backed cryptocurrency exchange, estimates that it earned more than $2 billion in transaction fee revenues since the company's launch in 2012. Coinbase also said its operating profits now exceed the total venture capital which the firm has raised to date – or roughly $550 million from nine funding rounds. In 2013, IDG Capital was an angel investor in Coinbase. The San Francisco-based crypto platform is currently valued at $8 billion.