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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.
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.
Beijing recently issued its first self-driving car license to Baidu, authorizing the company to test-drive autonomous vehicles on city roads. An early investor in Baidu, IDG has also invested in NIO, an autonomous vehicle startup, which recently received permission from the city of Shanghai to conduct open-road tests.
Hangzhou-based artificial intelligence startup Rokid is developing robots, equipped with AI functions for Werewolf, a popular group game. The U.S. patent office recognized Rokid’s AI capabilities in 2017. An angel investor in Rokid, IDG Capital joined the company’s Series A and B funding rounds in 2014 and 2016 and also recently participated in another $100 million financing round.
In partnership with IDG Capital, Jim Breyer, best known as an early investor in Facebook, has been investing in Chinese startups for over a decade. In 2005, Breyer also played a role in the creation of the IDG-Accel fund. The founder of Breyer Capital and now an IDG Capital strategic advisor, Breyer is focused these days on the blockchain industry. He and IDG Capital recently co-invested in Boston-based blockchain startup Circle, which has acquired Pholoniex, a major bitcoin asset exchange.
Gaming hardware manufacturing company Razer has signed a two-year agreement to supply Team Queso, a Spanish mobile e-sports team, with its Razer Phone and other hardware. IDG Capital-Accel China invested $50 million in Razer in 2011. Razer went public in Hong Kong in 2017.
IDG Capital is participating in a $3.78 million Pre-A funding round for Startdt, a Hangzhou-based retail technology service provider that uses big data and cloud-based solutions to manage and integrate online and offline retail activity. The company will use the new funding for talent acquisition, research and product development. Startdt currently has more than 100 clients in a variety of industries, including property management, maternal and child products, apparel and entertainment.
IDG Capital has joined a $100 million Series D funding round for Kujiale, a Hangzhou-based virtual reality interior design platform. About three million interior designers and over ten million users now use the Kujiale platform. The new financing round will support the company’s plans for international expansion, development of its big data system and cloud-based design platform matrix, and construction of two new R&D centers in Hangzhou and Shanghai. IDG Capital led the Kujiale’s Series A funding round and also participated in Series B and C rounds.IDG Capital has joined a $100 million Series D funding round for Kujiale, a Hangzhou-based virtual reality interior design platform. About three million interior designers and over ten million users now use the Kujiale platform. The new financing round will support the company’s plans for international expansion, development of its big data system and cloud-based design platform matrix, and construction of two new R&D centers in Hangzhou and Shanghai. IDG Capital led the Kujiale’s Series A funding round and also participated in Series B and C rounds.
Traditional auction houses are beginning to cooperate with art aggregator sites like Artsy to help rejuvenate their businesses. Based in New York City, Artsy held 190 online auctions in 2017. The firm’s platform connects museums, galleries, art fairs, and auctions with buyers and collectors, and then organizes purchases and auctions online. After its merger with art data science firm ArtAdvisor, Artsy introduced data points for artists to help collectors make more informed purchases. IDG Capital joined Artsy’s $16 million Series B funding round in 2014.
Baidu plans to launch a new Beijing-based institute for quantum computing, an emerging computer science field designed to enhance large-scale data processing, while at the same time, solving complicated computing problems and upgrading network security. The new Baidu Quantum Computing Institute will help the company compete with IBM, Google, Microsoft and Alibaba, all of which are now also investing in quantum computing. IDG Capital was an early investor in Baidu, China’s leading search engine, which first went public on NASDAQ in 2005.
Moncler will establish a "design hub" to encourage leading luxury fashion designers to offer new products to its customers on a monthly basis. Moncler's approach is designed to meet the purchasing needs of social-media-driven millennials. IDG Capital backed Moncler in 2011. The company went public in 2013.
IDG Capital is leading a $100 million Series C funding round in Club Factory, a cross-border e-commerce platform selling Chinese produce in Southeast Asia, India and the Middle East. Club Factory will use the funding to improve logistics and customer service. IDG Capital was Club Factory’s angel investor and joined the company’s Series A in March 2016.
Unlike other online providers of luxury goods, Farfetch draws its fashion inventory exclusively from more than 800 brick-and-mortar retailers, according to José Neves, founder and CEO. Brand partners include Gucci and Chanel. The London-based firm also partners with regional e-retailers like JD.com in China and Chalhoub Group in the United Arab Emirates. IDG Capital, Eurazeo and Temasek led Farfetch’s Series F funding round in 2016.
Forbes China has named IDG Capital Partner Jeacy Yan to its annual list of China’s top 25 women venture capitalists. The Forbes China’s ranking is modeled on the “Midas List” of successful VC investors published by the U.S. edition of Forbes. At IDG Capital, Yan focuses on consumer goods and services, retail and e-commerce. Her portfolio companies include Farfetch, Moncler, EVISU and Gentle Monster.
Brian Gu, JPMoran’s veteran investment banker and chairman of its Asia-Pacific investment banking operation, is joining Chinese electric car startup Xpeng Motors to lead its global expansion drive. At JPMorgan Asia, Gu spearheaded several major fundraising efforts, including Alibaba’s record-setting $25 billion IPO in 2014. IDG Capital, Alibaba and Foxconn led Xpeng’s $348 million Series B round in January.
IDG Capital recently joined a $818 million Series C funding round for Chehaoduo, one of China’s largest car trading platforms. Other investors included Tencent, Sequoia, ICBC International and DST Capital. Chehaoduo currently has an estimated 68% of the online used-car auction market in China. In addition a used-car auction website, Chehaoduo also operates a new-car trading platform.