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Former employees of several Baidu artificial intelligence units raised $300 million in venture funding last year. This week, Pony.ai, the self-driving car startup led by former Baidu engineer James Peng, raised $112 million from multiple investors, including IDG Capital. HoloMatic, another autonomous driving firm, founded by former Baidu AI scientist Ni Kai, raised tens of millions of dollars in October from IDG Capital, Bertelsmann Asia Investments and Chinese digital mapmaker NavInfo.
Pony.ai, a self-driving car startup based in San Francisco, has raised $112 million from the venture capital and private equity community. The company, which has offices throughout Asia, operates test cars in San Francisco and plans to launch an autonomous fleet in Guangzhou, China. Co-founders James Peng and Tiancheng Lou both spent time at Google before joining Chinese internet search giant Baidu. Morningside Venture Capital and Legend Capital lead Pony.ai’s initial fundraising round. Sequoia Capital and IDG Capital, which provided seed funding to the firm, also participated, as did Hongtai Capital, Legend Star, Puhua Capital, Polaris Capital, DCM Ventures, Comcast Ventures and Silicon Valley Future Capital.
Kr Space, which has opened 30 co-working spaces for entrepreneurs in eight major Chinese cities, recently completed a new $92 million funding round. Investors include IDG Capital, Gobi Partners, Unity Ventures, Prometheus Capital, China Minsheng Investment Management and Colony New Yangtze Fund. A spin-off of Ant Financial-backed 36Kr, Kr Space plans to use its newly raised capital to expand operations into more large-scale cities throughout China.
Chinese bitcoin giant Bitmain Technologies is expanding into Switzerland in an expansion move that it hopes will widen its international reach, the group recently revealed. Founded in Beijing in 2013, Bitmain is a leading bitcoin miner, and it also makes chips and computer hardware for mining. Key investors in the firm include IDG Capital and Sequoia.
Investment deals backed by venture capital reached a record $182 billion globally in 2017. The value of those deals increased 28% compared to 2016, even as the number of deals dropped 4.7 per cent to 11,144. The U.S. dominated the rankings, with a 42% market share valued at more than $76.4 billion. Greater China ranked second, attracting 36% of total deal value, valued at $65 billion. Meituan-Dianping was the fourth largest VC deal last year, raising $4 billion in October from IDG Capital, Sequoia Capital, Tencent, and GIC, among others.
Soccerex, an events company for the football industry, now ranks Olympique Lyonnais of Lyon, France, as the 18th most financially powerful football club in the world. The algorithm that Soccerex used to calculate this ranking measures net debt, available cash, playing assets (based on the market value of individual footballers); and fixed assets (including the value of stadiums, training facilities and other holdings. In 2016, IDG Capital took a 20% stake in the football club for a $110 million investment.
Guomai, a Hangzhou-based publisher of multi-media cultural products, has completed a $45.7-million series B round led by IDG Capital and Bona Film Group. Other investors include Aqua Ventures, HG Capital and Matrix Partners China. Founded in 2012, Guomai produces Chinese-language multi-media cultural products in four categories: literature, history, science and religion.
Financial website Business Insider believes bike-sharing network LimeBike is one of the top seven startups of 2017. LimeBike, based in San Mateo, California, is currently valued at $225 million. Investors include Andresen Horowitz and IDG Capital.
Xiaopeng Motors, a Chinese electric-car startup, will unveil its first sports utility vehicle (SUV) next week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The Guangzhou firm recently completed its latest $765 million financing round. Investors include Alibaba, Tencent Holdings, GGV Capital, Morningside Venture Capital, IDG Capital, Matrix Partners China, Shunwei Capital, Guangkong Zhongying Capital, Ding Capital, Kinzon Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
Founded in 2012, Ripple Labs, a global payments blockchain company, is now a viable alternative to Bitcoin technology, according to Daily Dot. Ripple oversees financial transactions using an open source payment protocol. In addition to San Francisco, where Ripple is based, the company also has offices in New York, London, Sydney, India, Singapore and Luxembourg. Investors include Google Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, IDG Capital, FF Angel, Lightspeed Venture Partners, the Bitcoin Opportunity Fund, Pantera Capital, Santander InnoVentures, Core Innovation Capital, Vast Ventures, Venture 51, and Camp One Ventures.
Suning Finance, the financial services unit of Shanghai-based electronics retailer Suning Commerce Group, has raised $814 million from Yunfeng Capital, Shenzhen Capital Group, Macrolink Group, Everbright-IDG Industrial Fund and GP Capital. The parent company currently operates 4,000 brick-and-mortar stores in China, many with online-to-offline capability, and plans to add 5,000 additional stores by the end of this year.
Meitu, a Chinese beauty-themed photo and video app, is changing the way the new generation of women in China now view themselves. Valued at more than $6 billion, Meitu last year underwent the largest Internet-company offering to date on the Hong Kong stock exchange. IDG Capital is an early investor in the firm.
Chinese electric-vehicle maker Xiaopeng Motors recently underwent its latest funding round, with investments from Alibaba Group, GVC Capital and Matrix Partners. Previous fundraising included investments from Morningside Venture Capital, IDG Capital, Matrix, Shunwei Capital, Everbright Zhongying Capital, Kinzon Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners. After showcasing its latest sports utility vehicle (SUV) to the public, Xiaopeng plans to manufacture and market it in 2018.
IDG Capital made 55 private equity and venture capital investments in 2017. The total deal value for all 55 investments was $5.281 billion. In 2016, IDG Capital announced 68 private equity and venture capital deals with a total deal value of $2.074 billion.
Kingsoft Cloud, a Chinese cloud storage and distribution firm, has raised $300 million in its latest Series D round. In 2016 Kingsoft Cloud raised $60 million during a Series C round that included investments from IDG Capital and an affiliate of China Asset Management.
Forbes China chose five IDG Capital Partners for its 2017 list of the “best venture capitalists” in China: IDG Capital Global Chairman Hugo Shong, Xiaojun Li, Quan Zhou, Young Guo and Fei Yang. All five Partners were ranked among the top one-third of the VCs named to the list. The ranking, the Chinese edition of Forbes reported, is modeled after the “Midas List” of successful venture capital investors published annually by the magazine’s U.S. edition.