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SenseTime, a leading Chinese startup specializing in artificial intelligence, has formed an alliance with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to promote research and development for facial recognition technology. Founded in 2014, SenseTime is currently valued at around $3 billion. The company’s customers include UnionPay, Sina Weibo, Xiaomi, Huawei and Honda. IDG Capital joined SenseTime’s $410 million Series B funding round in 2017.
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.
IDG Capital recently participated in a $4.8 million Series A funding round for Fourier Intelligence, a Shanghai company providing physical rehabilitation via robotic exoskeletons. Fourier launched a lower-body exoskeleton robot last year and will use the new financing to help further develop and commercialize other medical robotic products.
IDG Capital recently led the Series A funding round for Kuandeng Technology, a Beijing-based company focusing on high-accuracy mapping services for automatic driving. The company says it will use the latest investment round to further improve the technical efficiency of its product offerings. Most members of Kuandeng’s technology team previously worked for other leading global technology companies, including Alphabet, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent.
Forbes Magazine recently named Farfetch one of the top five global companies exemplifying the future of luxury online. Providing online retail and in-store technology services to luxury shoppers, London-based Farfetch has built partnerships with many leading global brands, including Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy and Chloé. The company recently formed a partnership with Chanel to help bring technology-enhanced luxury shopping services to its customers. IDG Capital co-led a $110 million Series F funding round of Farfetch with Eurazeo and Temasek in 2016.
Pony.ai took its driverless car out for a first ride on Chinese city streets last month — 1.7 miles in the city of Guangzhou. The company also recently inked a partnership with Guangzhou Automobile Group, a Fortune 500 company and China’s second-largest auto manufacturer. IDG Capital was part of Pony.ai’s $112 million Series A funding round in January. The self-driving car company is based in Fremont, California, and also operates offices and development teams in Guangzhou and Beijing, China.
Circle, a cryptocurrency-based financial service startup, has acquired Poloniex, one of the world’s most active cryptocurrency exchanges. The acquisition is expected to makes Circle one of the most influential companies in the global cryptocurrency industry. IDG Capital was the lead investor in Circle’s $50 million Series C and $60 million Series D funding rounds and also helped coordinate the Poloniex acquisition. To date, the New York State Department of Financial Services has granted BitLicenses to only three companies — Circle, Coinbase and Ripple, all IDG Capital-backed.
Meitu is expanding its global offering with BeautyPlus, a photo-editing app designed especially for users outside of China. More than 300 million customers now use this new Meitu app worldwide. In 2015, IDG Capital joined Meitu’s initial $190 million funding round. The company went public in Hong Kong in 2016.
Crunchbase has named self-driving car startup Pony.ai a global “fast climber.” IDG Capital was a seed round investor in Pony.ai and also joined the company’s initial $112 million Series A funding round in January. Pony.ai operates in both China and Silicon Valley.
Toutiao, China’s artificial intelligence-powered news platform, has acquired augmented reality-based selfie app Faceu for $300 million. In November 2017, Toutiao invested $50 million in Live.me, a U.S. live streaming platform. An angel investor in Faceu, IDG Capital joined Faceu’s $10 million Series A fundraising round in 2014. IDG Capital also participated in a $60 million round for Live.me in May 2017.
Moncler recently partnered with the eight of the world’s leading luxury women’s wear designers. IDG Capital backed the global retailer financially in 2011. The company had a successful IPO two years later.
Forbes Magazine last week singled out two IDG Capital-invested companies in its weekly Chinese news roundup. Forbes reports that Toutai, an artificial intelligence news platform, recently acquired Faceu, a popular selfie app that IDG Capital backed in 2014. Also, NIO – likewise backed by IDG Capital – is now testing an SUV model in Silicon Valley. It also recently recruited board members from several leading U.S. technology companies, including Cisco, Tesla, and Apple.
London-based Farfetch, an online boutique fashion retail platform, has formed a strategic partnership with Chanel. During recent years, Farfetch has also teamed up with several other leading global luxury brands, including Fendi, Gucci and Burberry, as well as country-specific e-commerce retailers like JD.com in China and Chalhoub Group in the United Arab Emirates. IDG Capital, Eurazeo and Temasek led Farfetch’s $110 million Series F investment round in May 2016.
Electric vehicle and autonomous car startups are disrupting the traditional auto manufacturing industry in China. In recent years, IDG Capital backed NIO and Xpeng Motors, both of which are scheduled to deliver their first electric vehicle models in 2018. In the auto-driving sector, IDG Capital has invested in another Chinese startup, Pony.ai, which is planning to introduce a robo-taxi service this year.
Beijing’s support for new-energy transportation is encouraging the growth of Chinese electric vehicle startups. Among China’s most prominent electric vehicle companies, IDG Capital recently invested in two: NIO and Xpeng Motors.
The easing of regulations for electric vehicles and autonomous cars is helping spur the growth of multiple startups in China. Of the leading Chinese electric vehicle unicorns in China in 2017, IDG Capital invested in Xpeng Motors and NIO. IDG Capital also joined the Series A of autonomous car startup Pony.ai.