Followers of Silicon Dragon may not be all too surprised to hear that China venture fund raising has climbed to U.S. levels -- at least if you include RMB funds. Or that China has its fair share of unicorn financings. Or that
Alibaba is competing with
Amazon for the future of commerce while
Baidu is racing against
Amazon for the leadership of artificial intelligence.
Fresh from pulling in $500 million from
Softbank and Hony Capital
just a month ago to expand into China, office sharing outfit
has snared $4.4 billion in new investment from SoftBank Group and its investment-hungry SoftBank Vision Fund to grow in Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia. The huge deal underscores the rapid growth of tech startups in the region and their need for flexible office space, but it's a very crowded area already. Read
Sequoia Capital China has led a $200 million financing of
VIPKid, a China-based online education company that matches Chinese students with North American teachers. The deal values VIPKid in the unicorn sphere, at more than $1.5 billion. Joining the Series D round were
, Yunfeng Capital, Matrix Partners China and
DCM Ventures has led a $31.8 million, Series B investment in a business-to-business oil trading platform
51zhaoyou.com, based in Shanghai. Joining the round were
, GGV Capital, Yunqi Partners, the Uber-like truck logistics start-up Huochebang
, Sky9 Capital and Chuangban Investment.
Warburg Pincus has led a $19 million, second round in
GaiaWorks, a Suzhou-based workforce management solutions provider, and was joined by
Matrix Partners China
Maihaoche, an automotive e-commerce platform located in Hangzhou, has raised $29 million in Series B funding led by
Welight Venture Capital and its founder, Wu Xiaoguang, a former Tencent EVP. Participating were
Northern Light Venture Capital
and the South Korean venture capital firm
In the emerging sector of insurance tech,
Baozhunniu, a customized insurance products provider, has bagged $14 million in Series B funding led by venture firm
Marathon Venture Partners. Other investors in the Chinese startup include
Matrix Partners China
, Xinyi Capital, Zhongguancun Dahe Capital, and GGV venture partner
Denise Peng, a former COO of
Sequoia Capital China reached out to fund a fast-growing AI-powered data analytics startup in Sydney named
Hyper Anna. The $16 million investment was joined by seed investors Reinventure and AirTree Ventures.
The China team of Singapore's
has led a Series B round in
, a three-year-old, China-based online-to-offline real estate agency. Earlier backer
Source Code Capital
was also in on the deal.
Hong Kong's tech startup ecosystem is moving up another notch, thanks to deals such as the $9 million investment in the city's own bike-sharing service
GoBee and the backing of six startups from a Sequoia Capital China-aligned fund with
Hong Kong X Technology Fund.
The six new Hong Kong investments by the newly formed fund indirectly taps Sequoia, which has funded dozens of mainland China startups and emerging companies.
Data protection startup
, which originated in India
and is now in Silicon Valley, has drawn $80 million in funding from Riverwood
Sequoia Capital India
, taking its total pool past $200 million as it steps up R&D.
deal to sell its meal ordering and delivery service Xiaodu for $800 million to Alibaba-backed Ele.me further consolidates the online Chinese catering market.
In an indication of China's booming startup scene, 15 Chinese unicorns were anointed since the start of 2017, topped only by the U.S. with 17. Of 215 unicorns globally, China has 56 while the U.S. counts 107. For perspective, consider that China only had 8 unicorns in 2014. Now this year,
VipKid, MoBike, Ofo, UrWork, Zhihu and more have joined the billion-dollar ranks.
More than one-third of tech's 100 richest live in Asia. Alibaba's
leads the list for Asia's richest tech tycoon for the third year in a row.
Forbes Billionaire Tech list
Ford is revving up its electric vehicle joint venture in China, poaching Jason Luo, the former CEO of auto parts maker Key Safety Systems, to lead the charge in the world's largest auto market.
American powerhouse brand
Airbnb is aiming to quadruple its China tech team to more than 100 in Beijing in the next 12 months to target millennials.
Alipay is partnering with Yelp to tap outbound Chinese tourists and their restaurant bookings in four key U.S. markets with plans to add more.
Alibaba Group and U.S.-China incubator
InnoSpring have teamed up to launch an Alibaba Innovation Center in Jiading, a district nearby Shanghai focused on auto making. This joint venture brings in resources from the Alibaba ecosystem, primarily its cloud computing service, and additional support from the Jiading government and
TEEC (Tsinghua Entrepreneur & Executive Club). The goal is to attract startups to develop Jiading as a center of innovation for smart cars, intelligent manufacturing and robotics, and biomedical sciences.