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Hong Kong-based SenseTime is now valued at US$1 billion or more, making it the city’s hottest artificial intelligence (AI) startup and first unicorn. The three-year-old firm already has more than 400 Chinese customers and strategic partners, including China Mobile, HNA Group, Wanda Group, Meitu, Nvidia, China UnionPay, JD Finance, Sina Weibo, China Merchants Bank and mainland smartphone giants Huawei Technologies, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi. In 2016, SenseTime completed its first major funding round, raising US$120 million from a group of investors that included CDH Investments, Dalian Wanda Group, IDG Capital and Star VC. A second round of funding raised an additional US$410 million in July.
China's interior decoration market is now valued at $264 billion, according to Goldman Sachs. Major investors in the online-to-offline (O2O) portion of the China market now include Matrix Partners China, Sequoia Capital, and IDG Capital.
Meituan-Dianping – a Beijing-based company that enables users to make lunch reservations, order food and buy movie tickets through a single mobile app – announced this week that it raised $4 billion in Series C funding, raising its overall valuation to roughly $30 billion. That puts Meituan-Dianping, an online platform for 5 million Chinese merchants, in the same league as U.S. lodging startup Airbnb. Investors in Meituan-Dianping include Tencent, Sequoia Capital, GIC, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Trustbridge Partners, Coatue, IDG Capital, Tiger Global, China-UAE Investment, and Priceline. Meituan-Dianping currently claims 280 million active annual users in 2,800 Chinese cities.
Foxconn Technology Group and IDG Capital are seeking to raise a 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) fund to seed startups in automotive technologies from self-driving artificial intelligence (AI) to battery development. Foxconn Technology, maker of Apple iPhones and iPads and the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer, and IDG Capital will contribute 10% of capital to the seven-year fund. In a joint announcement, the two firms also indicated that potential investment targets include Nio Inc., a Tesla competitor, and SenseTime Group Ltd., which raised $410 million in July in the largest single round for an AI company to date. IDG Capital previously led a Series A financing round in SenseTime.
IDG Capital and Huasheng Capital have joined a $45 million Series C Round of funding, lead by Hillhouse Capital, in Lefit, a Chinese fitness startup. Lefit offers members access to 200 fitness gyms and 3,200 fitness instructors in eight major cities.
Addressing the Silicon Valley-Beijing Dialogue conference in San Francisco, Tang Ning, the CEO of CreditEase, told an audience of 200 U.S. investors and entrepreneurs, that his Beijing-based fintech conglomerate is committed to building global awareness of financial technologies to propel economic growth. Other speakers at the annual fintech conference included San Francisco Mayor Edwin M, Lee, former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and Barney Frank, the former chairman of the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee. CreditEase and IDG Capital launched the Silicon Valley-Beijing Dialogue conference in 2013.
Jeacy Yan, an IDG Capital Partner, told Chinese media conglomerate Sina this week that her firm remains optimistic about its 18.8% stake in SeCoo, China’s first luxury goods e-retailer. “The market just needs time to establish confidence in the company,” Ms. Yan said. SeCoo (SECO) is currently listed on NASDAQ.
CastBox FM, a Chinese-based streaming service for podcasts, on-demand radio and audio books, has just completed a $12.8 million funding round backed by IDG Capital and GSR Ventures. CastBox, founded by Wang Xiaoyu, a former Google employee, currently has 1.5 million monthly users. The company is aiming for 10 million active monthly users by year-end 2018.
Singapore-based Temasek Holdings and Chinese investment firms Tiantu Capital and Xindahanshi Capital have led a $78.2 million round in Tongdun Technology, a Hangzhou-based fintech start-up specializing in risk control. In 2014, Tongdun completed a $10 million Series A Round, with participation from IDG Capital, CBC Capital and Linear Venture. The firm also raised an Angel Round worth tens of millions of RMB in 2013 from China Growth Capital and IDG Capital.
London-based Farfetched, which closed a $110 million Series F Round of Investment from IDG Capital, Temasek and Eurazeo in 2016, announced that it had also forged a partnership with Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com.
Olympique Lyonnais, a French soccer professor team in which IDG Capital invested $111 million in 2016, has announced that it will soon launch gaming products for the Chinese market. The soccer club’s joint venture with IDG Capital is designed in part to promote and grow the soccer market in China.
San Francisco-based App Annie, which tracks mobile software downloads, has begun tracking Android app usage in China. Launched in 2010, App Annie previously received more than $150 million in funding from Sequoia Capital, IDG Capital and other investors. Forty percent of 500 employees and most of the engineering staff of this mobile app analytics firm are based in China.
Addressing the Demo China Autumn Summit in Beijing, an annual conference organized by Cyzone.cn, IDG Capital Global Chairman and Founding Partner Hugo Shong (Xiong) told attendees that if Chinese start-ups hope to succeed globally, they have to be more innovative.
IDG Capital has invested an additional $15 million in KR Space, an incubator and shared-office space business serving start-up companies in China. In 2016, IDG Capital and Prometheus Capital combined to invest $30 million in the firm.
Bitmain Technologies Ltd., a Beijing-based bit-coin mining operation, reported that it has received $50 million in funding from Sequoia Capital, IDG Capital and other venture investors.
Apartment service provider Chengjia announced that co-founders China Lodging Group (Huazhu) and IDG Capital have jointly invested $50 million. Founded in 2015, Chengjia services more than 40,000 tenants with over 5,000 rooms at property locations in 50 major Chinese cities. The company says it will operate 10,000 rooms in 100 properties by year-end.