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Alibaba invests USD 71.94 Mn in C-Store for O2O expansion: Startup Funding Roundup – China (Nov 5 to 11)

‘Startup Funding Roundup’, the weekly report prepared by The Passage team provides detailed information about venture capital financing, fundraising, investments and acquisitions in China.

Nov 14, 2018 by Yun Nie
Alibaba invests USD 71.94 Mn in C-Store for O2O expansion: Startup Funding Roundup – China (Nov 5 to 11)

Last week (November 5 to 11), a total of 105 investments and acquisitions took place in China, 19 less to the figure between October 29 and November 4.

The hardware trumped software as a service (SaaS) and became the most preferred sector for Chinese investors last week. The 17 investments in the hardware accounted for 16% of the entire funds raised last week. SaaS came in the second place, with 16 investments (See details in Chart-1).

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The majority of the funding remained in early stages as usual (35 Series A, 20 Angel, and 1 Seed), but strategic investments rocketed to 23 (See details in Chart-2).

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Alibaba (阿里巴巴) and Tencent (腾讯) participated in 3 rounds respectively during the time period, while other Chinese giants, including Baidu (百度) and JD.com (京东), kept silent in last week’s funding. Let’s track some of the most significant investments.

Tencent invested in Yuanfudao, Crossingstar Studio and Shengcan Technology

On November 5, China’s tech mammoth Tencent invested USD 250 million in Chinese online live course and tutoring platform Yuanfudao (猿辅导), according to digital media company, The Information.

Yuanfudao’s existing investors Warburg Pincus, Matrix China Partners, IDG Capital and China Media Capital (CMC) also participated.

The private equity round valued Yuanfudao at USD 2.8 billion, but details of how the startup intents to use the funds were not disclosed.

On November 6, Crossingstar Studio (十字星), a Chinese media and entertainment company specializing in animation production, raised an undisclosed amount in a Series A round of financing from Tencent.

Proceeds of the deal would be used to improve on team management, topic selection and operation, as well as adapting comics for games with participation from production committee, reported NewSeed (新芽), an online news platform in China.

On November 7, Tencent’s unit Linzhi Tencent Technology and a listed company SZZT Electronics respectively invested RMB 16 million (USD 2.3 million) and RMB 20 million (USD 2.9 million) in Shengcan Technology (盛灿科技), a Chinese technology-based online marketing startup. Linzhi Tencent Technology would hold a 4% equity in the venture after the investment. Details of the transaction were not available immediately.

Alibaba led the funding of Renren Zuji, Shuwei and C-Store

On November 7, Renren Zuji, or rrzuji.com (人人租机), a leading office equipment rental platform in China, secured an undisclosed amount in a Series A funding round from Ant Financial (蚂蚁金服), the financial affiliate of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba. The specific amount was not revealed.

Renren Zuji would use the proceeds of the round to improve internal teams, integrate business chain and build offline rental service portals, reported lieyunwang.com (猎云网), a Chinese news website.

On the same day, Shuwei (数位), a Shenzhen-based indoor positioning service provider for mobile Internet platforms and smartphone manufacturers, closed an undisclosed Series B+ round led by Ant Financial.

According to Chinese tech news aggregator 36kr.com (36氪), the fresh capital would be used for technology development, expansion of cooperation and offline scenarios.

On November 9, Alibaba invested RMB 500 million (USD 72 million) in C-Store (喜士多), a Chinese domestic convenience chain with over 600 stores throughout mainland China. It valued C-Store at RMB 2 to 2.5 billion (USD 287 to 359 million). After the transaction, Alibaba would take 20%-25% of C-Store’s stakes. Details of how the company plans to use the funds were not disclosed.

Following is a list of highlighted investments last week.

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Yun Nie

Yun Nie is a New York-based tech reporter. She focuses on India-China financial market, global IT giants and technology-centric market trends. She can be reached at Yunnie@thepassage.cc.

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