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Huazhu Group, a Nasdaq-listed hotel operator, is merging its Elan brand with Shanghai-based hotel chain HHotel. The multi-brand hotel group says this move will enable small- and medium-sized monomer hotels impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. Previously, IDG first invested in Huazhu in 2017 and the two companies then jointly invested in HHotel. As of December 2019, Huazhu operated 5,618 hotels all over China.
HoloMatic, a Beijing-based autonomous driving firm backed by IDG Capital, has joined CB Insights' annual ranking of the 100 most promising AI startups in the world. The list is made from nearly 5,000 startups, based on patent activity, business relations, investor profile, market potential, team strength and other factors. Founded in 2017, HoloMatic provides full-stack solutions, including wire control, multi-sensor fusion and core algorithm designs. IDG Capital led HoloMatic's angel round in 2017 and also joined its Series A round in 2018.
Chinese online education platform Yuanfudao led a seed round in Bengaluru-based Pigeon Education, which owns online learning platform Oda Class. Founded in 2019, Oda Class offers live coaching for students from grades 6-10 with a dual teacher system, where lectures are delivered by a master teacher while chat-based interaction is provided by a tutor teacher. Oda Class said it has on-boarded a million users in 50 days of its launch and plans to reach 10 million users by December. Previously, IDG Capital joined Yuanfudao's multiple financing rounds.
Pony.ai, an autonomous driving startup based in China and Silicon Valley, has received $400 million from Toyota Motor Corporation. Founded in 2016, Pony.ai said the new fund will enable the startup to make the commercialization of autonomous-driving vehicles faster. The investment also pushes Pony.ai's valuation to more than $3 billion. Previously, IDG Capital was a seed investor in Pony.ai and also joined a $112 million Series A funding round in 2018.
KuCoin, a Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange backed by IDG Capital, has now launched its Instant Exchange service that allows users to exchange some of the top crypto assets within seconds. Launched in 2017, KuCoin has grown into one of the most popular crypto exchanges to its 5 million users spread across 207 countries. IDG Capital co-led KuCoin's $20 million Series A round in November 2018.
Opera, a web browsing company based in Oslo, Norway, has released a new web browser that aims to help users get their chaotic mess of open tabs back under control. A new feature called “Workspaces”allows users to organize tabs based on different contexts, including work, free time activities, personal projects and more. Opera said it is reaching now more than 68 million monthly users. The company went public on Nasdaq in 2018, raising $115 million. IDG Capital joined Opera's pre-IPO financing round.
IDG Capital led a $50 million Series B funding round in Guoquan Shihui, a convenience store chain that provides hot pot and barbecue ingredients in China. Over the past three years, Guoquan has opened more than 1,700 offline stores in China, covering 8 provinces and 3 municipalities. The financing will be used to optimize product supply chains, expand core market areas, run online businesses, and strengthen company teams.
SenseTime, a Hong Kong-based artificial intelligence company, has unveiled AI-powered thermal cameras that can rapidly detect people who have a fever among those in a crowd. Meanwhile, the company is providing free online courses about artificial intelligence to students and teachers. Previously, IDG Capital led SenseTime's initial Series A funding round in 2014 and also joined the company's Series B round in 2017.
Meituan Dianping, China's leading food delivery app backed by IDG Capital, has joined a $113 million financing round in Swiggy, India’s largest food delivery startup. Swiggy said it will use the capital to invest in“new lines of business”such as cloud kitchens and delivery beyond food items, and get on a“sustainable path to profitability.”The new round values Swiggy at about $3.6 billion. IDG Capital was an early investor in Meituan, which went public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2018.
Coinbase, a San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange, is now a Visa Principal Member. The company has been working with Paysafe to launch its Visa debit card and the new status can help Coinbase control a bigger percentage of the card payment stack. Coinbase says it is the only cryptocurrency company that has reached that level of certification. IDG Capital was an angel investor in Coinbase in 2013.
StradVision, a South Korea-based camera perception software startup for autonomous cars, has been selected to pitch its products at“Startup Autobahn", a platform that allows promising startups to present their automotive technology products directly to Germany's top automakers. Founded in 2014, StradVision develops deep learning-based software for cameras to understand objects on the road and aid autonomous vehicle offerings. Last December, IDG Capital joined a $27 million Series B funding round for StradVision.
In an interview at the World Economic Forum, Jeremy Allaire, the CEO of Circle, a Boston-based crypto trading firm, predicted the upcoming mass adoption of digital currencies. As the blockchain infrastructure continues improving, Allaire also said, more and more people could use digital currencies in daily life. Previously, IDG Capital was the lead investor in Circle's $50 million Series C and $60 million Series D funding rounds.
Ping An Good Doctor, China's largest healthcare and online medial platform, recorded an increase of 10 times in the number of new registered users between January and February. The platform currently provides free online and telephone consultations to people concerned about Corona Virus. Ping An Good Doctor is targeting 10 million users of the service by 2024. Previously, IDG Capital backed Ping An Good Doctor in 2016 and 2018. The company went public in 2018 with a valuation of $7.45 billion.
SenseTime, a Hong Kong-based artificial intelligence company, is leveraging its super computing resources to help research on large-scale screening of drugs against new coronaviruses. With AI-powered thermal cameras, the company also unveiled AI products that can rapidly detect people who have a fever among those in a crowd. Previously, IDG Capital led SenseTime's initial Series A funding round in 2014 and also joined the company's Series B round in 2017.
Rossignol, a leading winter sports clothing and equipment maker based in France, is attending the 2020 Outdoor Retailer Snow Show in Denver. The brand unveiled its newly designed Black Ops line of skis, which is designed to reduce vibration throughout. Last June, IDG Capital took a 20% stake in Rossignol. The latest investment also helped Rossignol Group further expand into China, a burgeoning winter sports market that could reach $17 billion by 2025.
Farfetch, a London-based online luxury fashion platform, has raised $250 million from China's top Internet company Tencent. Farfetch will use the capital to continue growing and expanding into new markets, particularly China. Tencent will also help Farfetch reach the market through its WeChat platform. In 2016, IDG Capital led Farfetch's Series F funding round. Farfetch went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2018 with a valuation of $5.8 billion.