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In an interview, Jeremy Allaire, the CEO of Circle, a Boston-based crypto trading firm, predicted that China’s cryptocurrency plan for the Bank of China would lead to more global convertibility of cryptocurrencies, including coordination with RMB. As more companies develop digital currency services, Allaire also said, the financial sector will begin to compete with the technology. Previously, IDG Capital was the lead investor in Circle's $50 million Series C and $60 million Series D funding rounds.
The Asia Society named Ctrip CEO Jane Jie Sun to its list of 2019 Asia Game Changers. The annual award program, now in its sixth year, honors individuals who had demonstrated a“transformative impact”on society in Asia and beyond. Ctrip, China's largest travel platform, currently employs more than 45,000 worldwide, of which more than 50 percent are women. IDG Capital was an early investor in Ctrip, which went public on Nasdaq in 2003.
Razer, a $438 million global gaming hardware maker, is marketing a new phone case designed to help stop smartphones from overheating during gaming and other resource-intensive activities. The case features proprietary technology which can dissipate heat. IDG Capital-Accel China invested $50 million in Razer in 2011. Razer, based in Singapore, went public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2017.
Xiaomi, the world's fourth-largest smartphone manufacturer, is now operating in more than 80 markets outside of China. Founded in Beijing in 2010, Xiaomi has opened more than 1,000 retail outlets overseas – ranging from Mexico City and Dubai to London and Paris. Today, over 40% of Xiaomi's total revenues are derived from global markets. IDG Capital was an early investor in Xiaomi, which first went public in 2018 with a $52.7 billion valuation.
IDG Capital led a Series A round of financing in Jumeng, a Chinese online crowdsourcing logistics service provider. Jumeng did not disclose how much money it had raised in the Series A, but said the proceeds will help upgrade IT systems and explore cooperation with more logistics parks. The startup will also integrate the company's resources for the construction of a nationwide logistics network. Founded in 2017, Jumeng now provides large-scale, less-than-load transportation service for relatively small freight deliveries weighing more than 50 kilograms. The company currently operates a sharing transportation system with logistics parks linked to 2,100 inter-provincial trunk lines and 2,200 stores in China. Jumeng said it also plans to expand into 100 cities and 200 logistics parks by 2020. Zhang Yujing, Chairman and President of Jumeng, reported that the firm booked over $111.85 million in monthly gross merchandise volume in August, up 40% from February 2019.
SenseTime, a Hong Kong-based artificial intelligence company, is now valued at more than $7.5 billion after several recent investment rounds. Backed by IDG Capital since its inception in 2014, SenseTime is currently the world’s largest AI startup. Recently, SenseTime also began exploring new AI applications in the semiconductor industry and has spent the past two years developing an AI training chip that may complement industry-leading products from Nvidia Corp. SenseTime said it is also now shoring up its presence in Southeast Asia via Singapore, with a plan to triple staff there within three years. Previously, IDG Capital led SenseTime's initial Series A funding round in 2014 and also joined the company's Series B round in 2017. In addition to Hong Kong and Singapore, SenseTime has operations in the United States, Japan and China.
Klaytn, the blockchain network associated with Kakao, a South Korean messaging app, said it is currently evaluating two exchanges possible trading platforms for its cryptocurrency Klay. One exchange is based in China and the other in South Korea. The company is also developing a new wallet product, which will support Klay and will be available on its messaging app KakaoTalk. IDG Capital invested in Klaytn in 2018.
Pinduoduo, a Chinese bulk-buying e-commerce platform, has surpassed search giant Baidu in market valuation, making it the fifth-largest publicly-traded technology firm in China. Pinduoduo currently has a market capitalization of $39 billion, beating Baidu's $36.7 billion estimate. As the company continues to expand its e-commerce services across China, Pinduoduo has also grown its stock price by 51.3% in 2019 to date, with over a 16.5% gain in the benchmark S&P 500 Index. IDG Capital joined Pinduoduo's Series B funding round in 2016 and Pinduoduo went public on Nasdaq in 2018. IDG Capital was also an early investor in Baidu, which first went public on Nasdaq in 2005.
Plum, an online trading platform for second-hand luxury goods, raised $20 million in a Series B+ funding round. Based in Beijing, the start-up offers film and advertising expertise, sales, and also customer and consignment services to second-hand fashion sellers. During the past six months, the platform has reportedly witnessed a five-fold rapid growth in gross merchandise volume. Plum, to date, has raised a total of $58.4 million in funding through six financing rounds. In 2017, IDG Capital led Plum’s Series A round.
HiFiBio Therapeutics, a Paris-based multinational biotherapeutics company, has raised $67 million in a Series C funding round led by IDG Capital. Founded in 2013, HiFiBio seeks to combat diseases like cancer by mobilizing the human immune system. The company operates a drug discovery platform, which develops therapeutic antibodies and immune system modulators, using single-B-cell screening, phenotyping and analysis. HiFiBio said it will use the new funds to further advance its single-cell platform and develop its pipeline for antibody drugs. The firm also operates labs in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Shanghai.
Meituan Dianping, an IDG Capital backed on-demand service provider for food delivery and many other in China, will re-enter the power bank sharing business for cellphone users, as the Hong Kong-listed company expands its market base. The Beijing-based company said it will roll out power bank sharing stations in shopping malls and other locations across China. Once again, Meituan will use its distinctive yellow color scheme to brand its new product offering. IDG Capital was an early investor in Meituan, which first went public in on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 201, raising $4.2 billion from its IPO.
Liquid.com, a Tokyo-based crypto-currency trading platform valued at over $1 billion, has partnered with BitUniverse, a Hong Kong-based digital assets portfolio tracker and trading terminal. Through the partnership, BitUniverse users will be able to track their Bitcoin portfolio, execute trades and set up trading bots across Liquid and other exchanges. BitUniverse will be able to track and update transaction history and cost-basis data to make performance tracking easier. IDG Capital co-led a Series C fundraising round in Liquid this April.
Shein is now one of the leaders in China’s growing global fashion market. A Nanjing-based online fashion retailer, Shein now has 50 million customers worldwide in 224 countries ,but primarily in the U.S., Europe, Australian and the Middle East. Using targeted ads on social media platforms, Shein also has about 7 million followers on Instagram. Revenue surpassed $1.5 billion in 2018. To put that in perspective, that’ about half the revenue of American clothing chain Urban Outfitters. In 2016, IDG Capital joined Shein's Series B round.
Huohua, a Beijing-based online education platform specialized in math and science teaching, has closed a Series D equity financing round valued at $85 million. Investors included IDG Capital. Industry insiders said the financing round is the largest to date in the math education-focused sector and the company is now on track to become China's next unicorn. To develop children's mathematic and scientific reasoning capabilities, Huohua target students aged between 3 and 12, offering live-streamed courses. The platform currently has nearly 60,000 enrolled, and more than 1,800 teachers. Previously, IDG Capital participated in multiple rounds for Huohua's affiliate Wanduoduo, a toy rental app that allows users to rent toys for children.
Pony.ai, an autonomous driving startup based in China and Silicon Valley, is building a partnership with Japan's global carmaker Toyota Motor Corp. to accelerate the development and deployment of self-driving vehicles. The two companies will launch a pilot project in Beijing and Shanghai, using Lexus RX vehicles and Pony.ai's autonomous driving system. IDG Capital was a seed investor in Pony.ai and also joined a $112 million Series A funding round in 2018.
IDG Capital has joined a $42 million Series C funding round in Zhiketong, a digital marketing provider offering SaaS-supported transaction services to four and five-star hotels in China. Zhiketong technology platform will help hospitality companies – including Doubletree, Marriott, Westin and Hyatt – establish a direct-sale store on WeChat, the largest messaging and payment platform in China. The proceeds from the Zhiketong’s latest investment round are designed to help the firm speed up technology innovation and product portfolio development. In 2017, Zhiketong also raised 100 million RMB from IDG Capital.