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Coinbase, based in San Francisco, recently acquired earn.com, a blockchain-based startup offering paid email services. A global leader in cryptocurrency and blockchain, Coinbase has also appointed earn.com's Chief Executive Officer Balaji Srinivasan as Chief Technology Officer. IDG Capital was an angel investor in Coinbase, which was founded in 2011.
IDG-backed Coinbase has acquired Cipher Browser, a decentralized app browser and wallet for the Ethereum blockchain. Coinbase said it would use the acquisition to help improve a similar product, Toshi. Cipher Browser founder Peter Kim will lead the joint engineering team for the new Cipher-Toshi product line. Coinbase, with over 10 million users, has processed more than $50 billion in cryptocurrency trades.
Online video streaming service iQiyi and anime-themed online entertainment platform Bilibili are both now listed on Nasdaq. IQiyi raised $2.25 billion from its IPO, making it the second largest listing on Nasdaq by a Chinese company in over a decade. IDG Capital joined iQiyi’s $1.53 billion financing round in 2017 and led Bilibili’s Series A funding round in 2014.
Meitu, a Hong Kong-listed photo enhancement app with more than 455 million users, plans to turn itself into a photo-social networking platform, with plans to expand into games and online literature. Also, the company recently launched an artificial intelligence-based skin detection module for its e-commerce platform MeituBeauty, which can recommend cosmetic products for users based on skin scans. IDG Capital joined Meitu’s $350 million Series C funding round in 2014.
Santander Bank recently launched a foreign exchange service powered by blockchain firm Ripple. The new service will operate in Spain, the U.K., Brazil and Poland. Ripple previously formed a partnership with American Express to enable blockchain-powered cross-border payments. IDG Capital led a $28 million Series A funding round for Ripple in 2015. Based in Menlo Park, California, Ripple currently partners with more than 100 financial institutions worldwide.
Hong Kong-listed gaming hardware manufacturer Razer had launched a series of digital game distribution platforms in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France and Singapore. The new digital platforms can provide users with both local online content and local customer support. IDG Capital joined Razer’s Series B funding round in 2011.
Boston-based cryptocurrency startup Circle became profitable in 2017 and plans to double its staff to 400 employees worldwide. The company, which generated $250 million in revenue in its most recent quarter ending in February, plans to build a crypto-based global market infrastructure to help consumers more easily access blockchain and cryptocurrency products. IDG Capital led Circle’s Series C and D funding rounds and facilitated Circle’s recent acquisition of cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex.
NIO, a Shanghai-based electric vehicle company with offices in San Jose, London and Munich, recently won first-place for its vehicle charging system at the 2018 Red Dot Design Award competition in Singapore. NIO unveiled its first electric vehicle in 2017 and plans to start mass-producing the car this year. The company is backed by IDG Capital.
Tencent has inked a partnership with Hollywood-based Tang Media and Chinese investment firm China Everbright to distribute between 10 and 20 U.S. films in China and also produce original content in Hollywood for Chinese audiences. The agreement will help the multimedia giant better serve China’s booming $7.9 billion movie market. IDG Capital was an early investor in Tencent which went public in Hong Kong in 2004.
Chinese artificial intelligence company SenseTime, the world’s most valuable AI start-up, recently raised $600 million from Alibaba, Temasek and other investors. Its latest funding round will help underwrite initiatives in auto-driving and augmented reality. The investment also doubles the company’s estimated valuation. SenseTime, which became profitable in 2017, now provides facial recognition technology to more than 400 clients, including Qualcomm, Nvidia, and IDG-backed smartphone maker Xiaomi. IDG Capital led SenseTime’s Series A funding round and joined the company’s Series B round.
Pinduoduo, a Chinese bulk-buying e-commerce platform, is now challenging Alibaba for control of the retail market for lower-income consumers in China. The Pinduoduo platform helps users form shopping groups through social media to make them eligible for lower prices. The company currently has 114 million active users and sells $1.6 billion worth of goods on a monthly basis. IDG Capital invested in Pinduoduo in 2016.
IDG Capital recently joined a $10 million Series B funding round for BitKan, a Shenzhen-headquartered, and Hong Kong- and Singapore-based cryptocurrency data provider. The new round of funding will be used to develop reader-focused content for the site. One of the best-known cryptocurrency data providers in China, BitKan now publishes content in English, Chinese, Japanese and Russian and has attracted more than 1 million registered users worldwide, 40 percent of whom are from outside China.
Chinese smartphone provider Xiaomi, whose early investors included IDG Capital, recently equipped its phones with Xiao AI, a Chinese-language artificial-intelligence voice assistant. In India, where the company also has a strong presence, Xiaomi offers Google Assistant in Hindi and English.
Artsy, an art aggregator and online marketplace backed by IDG Capital, is now offering augmented reality (AR) on its app to help users make purchases. The AR function allows users to virtually scale artwork from its 800,000-plus-item catalog to see how it might fit on any wall. Averaging 2.5 million visitors and $20 million in art sales per month, Artsy now partners with 80,000 galleries worldwide, selling artwork at both fixed prices and online auctions.
Kujiale, a Hangzhou-based real-time 3D design web platform, estimates it now has 70 percent of China’s online interior design market. The site, launched in 2011, largely targets new homeowners, many of whom buy land, erect buildings and then design their homes from the ground up. An investor in the company’s Series A, B, and C funding rounds, IDG Capital recently participated in Kujiale’s $100 million Series D round.
Forbes named IDG Capital’s Xiaojun Li (#23), Quan Zhou (#78) and Young Guo (#99) to its 2018 Midas List, an annual ranking of the world’s top 100 venture capitalists in high tech and life sciences. Jim Breyer (#57), an early investor in Facebook and a longtime IDG Capital’s strategic advisor, was also on this year’s list. In January, Forbes included two IDG-backed companies, Xiaomi and Meituan-Dianping, on its list of the top 10 companies driving value for investors in 2017.