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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.
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.
Ctrip, a Nasdaq-listed online travel service provider, has obtained a license from the Chinese city of Tianjin to launch a nationwide ride-hailing service in China. Ctrip has also been collaborating with other Chinese ride-sharing and car rental operators since 2015. IDG Capital was an early investor in Ctrip which had revenue of $2.9 billion in 2016.
IQiyi, Baidu’s video streaming service, raised $2.25 billion through its recent public offering on Nasdaq. The Bejing-based video platform has close to 60.1 million paying subscriber and 421.3 million active monthly users. IDG Capital joined iQiyi’s $1.53 billion financing round in 2017.
Chinese online entertainment and gaming website Bilibili has raised nearly $500 million through its initial public offering on Nasdaq. The Shanghai-based company currently has 75 million active monthly users, 80 percent of whom are millennials born between 1990 and 2009. Previously, IDG Capital led Bilibili’s Series A funding round and also joined the company’s A+ and B rounds.
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, whose early investors included IDG Capital, has launched its first gaming laptop product. Its new Mi Gaming Laptop line will compete with Razer, a San Francisco- and Singapore-based gaming hardware company also backed by IDG Capital.
Artsy, a New York-based art aggregator website, now averages 2.5 million visitors and $20 million per month in art sales. The nine-year-old startup currently lists 800,000 pieces of art from roughly 80,000 artists who are represented by more than 2,000 galleries around the world. IDG Capital joined Artsy’s $16 million Series B funding round in 2014.
Chinese unicorn SenseTime is pushing the frontiers of artificial intelligence (AI) technology by teaching computers to distinguish between romance and disaster scenes in movies. The company recently demonstrated its image recognition capabilities in an AI-based analysis of the movie Titanic at MIT Technology Review’s EmTech Digital conference in San Francisco. IDG Capital joined SenseTime’s $410 million Series B funding round in 2017.
Motivated by new consumption patterns in China, IDG Capital is now investing in real estate. Recent investments include an elderly care project that combines hospital, rehabilitation centre and villas, an aged care fund aiming to build integrated elderly care community, and the construction of Wuzhen, where the World Internet Conference holds every year.
Cryptocurrency startup Circle is now profitable. The Boston-based startup recently announced it had processed more than $75 billion worth of transactions over a three-month period ending in February, generating $250 million in revenues. IDG Capital led Circle’s Series C and D funding rounds and also facilitated the company’s recent acquisition of Poloniex, another Boston-based startup and one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.