Investments in the Chinese market took a hit in the first week of 2019 (Dec 31 to Jan 6). A total of 63 investments took place during the period - 47.5% slump from the week before.
Software as a service (SaaS) topped with 14 investments accounting for 22% of the entire fund raised last week. Healthcare, hardware, and fintech followed at 17% (11), 17% (11), and 11% (7) respectively (See details in Chart-1).
Most of the funding rounds remained in early stage (19 Series A and 15 Angel). Acquisitions and strategic investments stood at nine each.
Chinese behemoth Baidu (百度) and Tencent (腾讯) showed great interests in the investments, while Alibaba (阿里巴巴) and JD.com (京东) had a silent week. Check out the highlights below.
Baidu, one of the largest artificial intelligence (AI) and internet companies in China, invested in three startups last week, including Reinlight (驭光科技), Serica Integrated Circuits Technologies (华兴集成电路), and RealAI (瑞莱智慧).
On 2 January, Reinlight, a Chinese diffraction optics and micro nano optical solution provider, secured an undisclosed Series B financing round. The funds will be used to increase sales, expand teams, and improve research and development.
THC Ventures (清控银杏), Cathay Capital (凯辉汽车基金), and Lenovo Capital (联想创投), and existing investors including Baidu Ventures (百度风投) and venture capital firm Shunwei Capital (顺为资本) participated in the round, reported Chinese news publisher 36kr.com (36氪).
On 3 January, Serica Integrated Circuits Technologies, a Chinese manufacturer of digital information encryption and decryption chip, raised USD 10 million in a Series A funding round from investment firm Shenzhen Capital Group (深创投), Lenovo Capital, Baidu Ventures, and existing investor TusStar (启迪之星).
On 4 January, Chinese AI technology company RealAI raised a total of USD 3 million in an Angel round jointly led by Baidu Ventures and CAS Star (中科创星), according to funding information aggregator Crunchbase. Tsinghua Venture Capital (水木清华校友基金) also participated in the deal.
On 1 January, Chinese automobile news and information platform Youche Yihou (有车以后) grabbed CNY 200 million (USD 29 million) in a Series D round, which valued the startup at CNY 2 billion (USD 292 million).
Backers of the investment include Tencent, Plum Ventures (梅花创) , Ningbo Xinmei Asset Management (新梅资产), Oriental Fortune Capital (东方富海), and Blueprint Innovation Investment Management (蓝图创投).
On 3 January, Chinese technology innovation company SoundAI (声智科技) completed a CNY 200 million (USD 29 million) Series B round led by private equity firm Addor Capital (毅达资本), with participation from investment company Frees Fund (峰瑞资本), Zhengju Capital (正居资本), Zhongguancun Bank (中关村银行), and InnoVen Capital.
The proceeds would be used to support the SoundAI’s business expansion and future growth through investing in acoustics and AI interaction technologies, said 36kr.com.
Check out the investments details below.