CAN CHINA CONTROL BITCOIN
Silicon Dragon Valley 2018
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Call It Prescient If You Want:
Alibaba Investing In AI Startup SenseTime
Silicon Dragon reported back in early November, hot AI startup SenseTime Group was getting ready to raise a next round of funding before the end of this year. CEO
Xu Li told me then that the amount could surpass its previous intake.
Now Alibaba is investing $227 million in the Hong Kong-based startup that focuses on artificial intelligence research and has multiple advanced technologies for facial recognition, machine learning and smart city systems. Alibaba seeks to become the largest investor in SenseTime, which started out in 2014 at the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park.
With the financing, SenseTime plans to open a R&D center in the U.S. An IPO is in the wings.
Call it prescient but Silicon Dragon presented its annual
Founder of the Year Award
just last month to SenseTime co-creator Dr. Xu.
Check out the
tech chat video
between the SenseTime founder and his early investor
Read more at Forbes: Prescient
Legend Capital co-led a $105 million series C funding
for Beijing-based international travel agency,
Phoenix Travel Worldwide.
Sequoia Capital China has led a pre-A round in Chinese electric car startup
LeapMotor - another example of China trying to go green.
Chinese doctor social network
MedLinker has raised $60 million in Series C financing from state-owned
China Electronics Corp. on top of prior funds from
Sequoia Capital China and
Sequoia China Capital
China Media Capital
have invested in fitness chain
, which operates 24-hour gyms in China that are staff-less. Users can book time via WeChat and access the gym with a password. SuperMonkey runs 30 facilities in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, and plans national expansion. Look for this trend-setting type model in the US anytime soon?
Google has made its first direct investment in an Indian startup, leading a $10-$12 million round in hyper-local concierge service
Dunzo. Interestingly, the startup had been having a hard time raising Series B money from Indian VCs after taking in early funds from
Aspada Investments and
Blume Ventures. Google to the rescue.
Paytm has taken a majority holding in the merger of Nearby and Little, two hyper-local online platforms that introduce customers to deals from local merchants across various consumer lifestyle categories. The mobile payments and e-commerce brand Paytm, which is backed by mega powers Alibaba and Softbank, will integrate its two new services.
Sequoia Capital India has led a $3.42 million investment in Delhi-based vehicle management startup LocoNav, which leverages AI and IoT to improve efficiency, maintenance and security of trucks.
In Southeast Asia, ride-hailing service Grab, backed with $2 billion from Softbank and Didi Chuxing, is giving Uber a run for its money. Will this lead to a scenario such as what Uber endured in China?
China's CopyCat Image is Beginning to Fade.
magazine catches on:
The article quotes VCs interviewed early on by Silicon Dragon, such as
Sequoia Capital China
, who cited the example of Chinese superapp
, which was inspired by
and has moved beyond with delivery and ride-hailing services.
China still is a breeding ground for tech unicorns in 2017, with 22 private companies receiving a valuation of $1 billion or more. But that's slowing down from prior years -- 33 in 2016 and 31 in 2015, according to
China Money Network.
This year's vintage unicorns boast a valuation of $37.3 billion, accounting for more than one-third of newborn unicorns worldwide, and 38% in terms of valuation.
China ranked second worldwide for new unicorns, next to the U.S. with 24 this year. But new Chinese unicorns ranked first for valuation at $37.3 billion, higher than the $34 billion total valuation for new American unicorns.
Can China Control Bitcoin?
It is trying. But the cryptocurrency is bigger than any one country, even the one where it is most popular.
MIT Technology Review
does a deep dive into the decentralized digital currency, and quotes
, founder of
(who was a featured speaker at Silicon Dragon's flagship event in
Hong Kong in 2014
At the same time comes news that Australia's Parliament has approved laws regulating digital currency exchanges for the first time -- in what was called a major milestone for the burgeoning sector Down Under.