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IDG Capital has joined a $12.36 million Series B financing round in Fenbeitong Technology, a corporate expense management startup. Based in Beijing, Fenbeitong helps Chinese enterprises reimburse employees for expenses incurred in business travel, car purchases and other business expenses. The company currently serves more than one million employees across over 1,000 enterprises, including Chinese food delivery giant Ele.me, ride-hailing platform Didi Chuxing, China Southern Airlines and Spring Airlines. Previously, IDG Capital led Fenbeitong's $4.36 million Series A round and also co-led a $5.82 million Series A+ round.
Jim Breyer, IDG Capital's Co-Chairman, believes that the U.S. and China now each have different strengths in the global artificial intelligence (AI) market.“There are areas in China where some of the facial-recognition AI companies are the most advanced in the world,”Breyer told Forbes.“But there are other technologies in the U.S., such as IoT (the Internet of Things) and machine learning, where AI is more advanced. But it is a race.”In addition to his work as a Co-Chair at IDG Capital, Breyer is also the Founder and CEO of Breyer Capital in Menlo Park, Calif., which was an early investor in Facebook.
Cryptocurrency trading platform Coinbase, based in San Francisco, is providing major customers with exclusive data about user trading behavior and price correlation. High-end traders can now access top holders’buy/sell positions, average hold times and other information about the popularity various assets, including asset correlation. Trading signals based on this data, Coinbase said, can help traders build stronger crypto portfolios. IDG Capital was an angel investor in Coinbase in 2013.
Rokid, an artificial intelligence firm headquartered Hangzhou, China, will soon unveil a new lightweight pair of Augmented Reality glasses. The glasses will plug directly into user devices to better leverage CPU processing, Rokid said. Rokid is now scheduling the AR launch for 2020. The glasses will be priced between $800 and $1,000. An angel investor in Rokid, IDG Capital joined the start-up’s Series A and B funding rounds in 2014 and 2016 and also participated in another $100 million financing round.
NIO, a global manufacturer of smart, electric autonomous vehicles, is expanding its recharging services to allow owners of non-NIO EVs to access its recharging equipment in 53 cities. The company first went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2018, raising $1 billion during its initial public offering. Previously, IDG Capital also joined the NIO’s Series B+ funding round. Based in Shanghai, the firm also has operations in Beijing, San Jose, London and Munich.
Ctrip, a Nasdaq-listed online travel service provider, said it will offer customers access to ride-hailing services in 785 cities worldwide. Partners include U.S.-based Lyft, Southeast Asia's Grab and a group off European-based companies. The partnership agreement is primarily designed to assist Chinese tourists who travel overseas. IDG Capital was an early investor in Ctrip, which first went public on Nasdaq in 2003.
Three Squirrels, China's leading e-commerce snack brand, raised $87.5 million in an initial public offering on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. During its trading debut, the stock price surged 44%, reaching the daily trading limit. Founded in Anhui Province in 2012, Three Squirrels posted $1.5 billion in sales in 2018. The company primarily sells nuts, seeds, dried fruits and other snacks. IDG Capital led Three Squirrels' $1.5 million Series A round in 2012 and also joined its Series B and Series C rounds.
IDG Capital participated in a Series B funding round at Fourier Intelligence, a Shanghai provider of low-cost robotic exoskeletons for physical rehabilitation. Fourier currently estimates the global exoskeleton market could reach $500 million by 2023, with roughly two-thirds of sales coming from the U.S. and Europe. The firm currently supplies products to more than 500 hundred hospitals and research institutions in China. Previously, IDG Capital joined Fourier's $4.8 million Series A funding round in 2018.
In an interview, James Peng, the co-founder of startup Pony.ai, said his autonomous vehicle company, based in China and Silicon Valley, continues to attract more riders. He also said that while he believes the U.S. is the global leader in the AV industry, China will catch up soon due, in part, to increasing government support. IDG Capital was a seed round investor in Pony.ai, founded in 2016, and also joined the firm’s $112 million Series A funding round.
IDG Capital led a $50 million investment round in OPay, a Nigerian mobile payments firm founded by Opera Ltd , a browser company based in Norway. The new funding round will help grow the company's digital finance profile in Africa, OPay said. Founded in 2018, the firm currently has 40,000 active customers with a daily transaction volume of roughly $5 million. IDG Capital was also an early investor in the parent company Opera, which went public on Nasdaq in 2018 and now has a market cap of $1.19 billion.
Klaytn, the blockchain network associated with Kakao, a South Korean messaging app, said its network now runs up to 150 times faster than Ethereum, a rival platform. Klaytn also estimated its transaction throughput at 3,000 per second, compared to 20 transactions per second at Etherium. In 2018, IDG Capital invested in Klaytn.
Forbes China named seven IDG Capital portfolio companies to its 2019 list of the“50 Most Innovative Companies" in China. The seven companies Forbes chose are Ecovacs Robotics, a global home robot supplier based in Suzhou; iQiyi, China's leading video streaming platform; Pinduoduo, a popular group-buying site; Pony.ai, an autonomous vehicle startup headquartered in Freemont, Calif., and two Chinese cities; SenseTime, a Hong Kong-based artificial intelligence firm, now valued at roughly $4.5 billion; Xiaomi, the world's fourth largest smartphone manufacturer; and Yuanfudao, an online e-learning and tutoring platform based in Beijing.
KuCoin, a Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange, is partnering with Block Crafters, a Seoul investment fund and blockchain consulting firm, on several early blockchain projects, including the development of new ecosystems for both companies. IDG Capital co-led KuCoin's $20 million Series A round in November 2018.
Kakao, South Korea's largest messaging firm, announced Klaytn, a new public blockchain platform designed to expand the technology domestically and beyond its borders. The company also created a governance alliance council, staffed by 19 companies in a variety of sectors —including tech, finance, telecom, gaming and health industries – to help oversee the new platform. Members of Kakao's governance platform include LG Electronics, LG International and Union Bank. IDG Capital participated in Klaytn's earlier fundraising rounds in 2018.
Nasdaq-listed iQiyi, China's dominant online video platform based in Beijing, has hit 100 million paid subscribers. Last year, iQiyi added 36.6 million new subscribers alone. Roughly 98.5 percent of iQiyi customers are paid, the company said. iQiyi is also planning to expand its North American and Japanese presence, a move designed to help the firm compete with Netflix directly in markets outside of China. Previously, IDG Capital joined iQiyi's $1.53 billion financing round in 2017.
OL Groupe, owner of the French football club Olympique Lyonnais, is expanding into professional basketball with the acquisition of 25 percent of Asvel, a team based in Villeurbanne, a suburb of Lyon, France. The acquisition includes a 25 percent stake in the men's team worth €3.4 million, and a 10% stake in the women's team worth €300,000. OL Groupe said it will guarantee Asvel an overall minimum annual revenue of €2.5 million over a period of several years. In 2016, IDG Capital took a 20 percent stake in Olympique Lyonnais for $110 million.