China VC Weekly: AI, Gen Z and More

In last week’s VC news, AI application company Singularity Systems closes A+ round of financing, streetwear retailer Knowin secures several hundred million yuan in a round led by Alibaba, self-driving solutions provider Senior Auto receives $16 million with ByteDance as lead investor, and more.

AI Startup Singularity Systems Closes Series A+ Financing

AI application company Singularity Systems Inc. announced on Friday that it had received an injection of tens of millions of dollars in an A+ round of financing. The round was led by Ince Capital and followed by BitRock Capital, with Yuanyi Capital acting as the exclusive financial adviser. Previously, it received a strategic investment of tens of millions of yuan from Huatai Innovation, a subsidiary of Huatai Securities.

Singularity Systems is an international AI enterprise with world-leading natural language processing (NLP), intelligent image processing and big data analysis and prediction technologies. It mainly focuses on financial services and is committed to developing light-sized, agile and efficient technologies and solutions.

About Singularity Systems

Founded in 2019, Singularity Systems is headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey, and has offices in Beijing and Shanghai. Its customers include many leading global commercial banks, insurance companies, investment banks, world mining giants, oil and gas energy giants, and leading advanced manufacturing enterprises.

Cloud Native Basic Engine Provider Galaxy Future Bags Tens of Millions of Dollars in Financing

Galaxy Future, a cloud native basic engine provider established less than half a year ago, announced that it has completed an angel investment round worth tens of millions of dollars.

This financing includes the initial angel round, led by Future Capital and Chuxin Capital, and an angel+ round, led by Matrix Partners China and followed by Future Capital and Chuxin Capital. Huang Dongxu, CTO of PingCAP, and He Ting, Vice President of Products of Agora, also participated in the round.

The fresh funds will be mainly used for the establishment of an R&D team, the development of cloud native basic engine products, an open-source community and market development. In addition to the domestic market, Galaxy Future plans to expand internationally within one or two years to participate in the globally surging open-source, cloud-native digital transformation.

About Galaxy Future

Galaxy Future was established in June 2021. Its founder and CEO Liu Daoru has served as the head of R&D for Chinese microblogging platform Weibo’s feed stream product line, as well as the head of its infrastructure department. Other major members of Galaxy Future come from various infrastructure departments or core R&D teams of well-known companies in the industry such as Alibaba, ByteDance, Weibo, Kuaishou and Didi.

Semiconductor Storage Firm DERA Secures Nearly $157 Million in Round C Financing

DERA Technology Co., Ltd., an R&D company dedicated to the development of semiconductor storage, recently completed C-round financing worth nearly 1 billion yuan ($157 million).

This round was jointly led by the Phase II Fund of China Reform Fund and CICC’s Chuanhe Fund, followed by Unicom CICC, Hongta Venture Capital, CITIC New Future Investment, Shenzhen Capital and Yihua Capital. Old shareholders such as Xianfeng Venture Capital and Yunhang Capital also joined in.

This is the second financing round obtained by DERA this year. The firm was established in 2015 with headquarters in Beijing, as well as R&D centers and customer technical support centers in Shanghai, Wuhan and Shenzhen.

About DERA

As the pioneer in the R&D of enterprise SSD controllers in China, DERA has created a complete link from design, manufacturing, packaging, testing and module manufacturing to marketing and services, to provide safe and reliable high-performance storage products for enterprises’ data centers, cloud computing platforms and other fields.

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Commercial Robot Maker Jingwu AI Receives $1.5 Million in Series A Financing

Jingwu AI, a commercial robot company based in China, has received 10 million yuan ($1.57 million) in round A of financing. The round was led by SOSV-SCGC China Fund while Extremex Capital continued to serve as the exclusive financial consultant.

The proceeds of this round of funding will be mainly used for product R&D and market expansion.

Currently, the company’s delivery robots have reached extensive cooperation with chain groups such as Home Inn, Jinjiang and Huazhu, as well as hotel giants such as Marriott and Hilton.

About Jingwu AI

Founded in 2019 Jingwu AI mainly focuses on the development of hotel robots and works to provide customers with robotic and systemic solutions to reduce overall costs and increase income.

Chinese Streetwear Retailer Knowin Secures Several Hundred Million Yuan, Led by Alibaba

Knowin, a one-stop trends and lifestyle brand geared towards Gen Z customers, announced its completion of a new round of financing worth several hundred million yuan. This round was led by Alibaba, followed by previous shareholders Sky9 Capital, Matrix Partners and Zhen Fund. Palm Capital Asia Partners continues to serve as the exclusive financial advisor.

At the early stage of its establishment, the company obtained an angel round of investment led by Bilibili. Wang Sicong, as an early investor, also helped the growth of Knowin. In May 2021, the company received nearly 200 million yuan ($31.39 million) in A-round financing. This new round is the third one completed by Knowin this year.

About Knowin

Founded in 2020, Knowin aims at young people aged 20-30. The company constantly explores and meets the needs of young customers and brings together people with the same tastes. The firm also aims to create a space for the brand to interact with its customers and is a one-stop trends and lifestyle platform integrating exhibitions and brand marketing.

Chinese Autonomous Driving Company Qiangua Technology Rakes in $31.4 Million From Baidu and XPeng Motors

Qiangua Technology, a Chinese autonomous driving truck company, has recently completed financing of about 200 million yuan ($31.4 million), and is now valued at over 1 billion yuan. Investors in this round are SF Express, Baidu, XPeng Motors and IDG.

About Qiangua Technology

Qiangua Technology was established in July this year as a startup that provides logistics and transportation services based on automated driving technology. Its founders are Sun Haowen and Ding Fei.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Developer Cemt Secures Nearly $31.39 Million in B Round of Financing

Chinese tech firm Cemt Co., Ltd. received nearly 200 million yuan ($31.39 million) in a Series B round of financing, with investors including Oriza Prior, CCB Trust and Moom Group. Scale Partners acted as the company’s capital consultant.

Since the middle of this year, Cemt has continuously obtained Series A and B financing from many investment institutions including Fresh Capital, China Capital Management and Xiaoxiang Capital.

Xu Liming, Chairman of Cemt, said that the company will continue to invest in R&D and reducing the costs of production. It will also hire more talent, so as to prepare for the large-scale production of fuel cell stacks and to further develop the hydrogen energy industry.

About Cemt

Cemt, established in 2016, is one of the few hydrogen fuel cell system suppliers with mass production capacity of fuel cell metal bipolar plates and membrane electrodes in China, and is currently the only high-tech enterprise with manufacturing capacity of fuel cell systems and a whole-equipment production line in China.

Gen Z-Focused Consumer Electronics Brand Yowu Wraps Up Pre-A Round of Financing, Led by Xiaomi

Yowu, an electronics brand designed for Gen Z consumers, completed a pre-A round of financing worth tens of millions of yuan. This round was led by Chinese tech giant Xiaomi, and followed by Pop Mart. Long Valley Capital acted as the financial adviser.

Wang Hao, CEO of Yowu, said that the brand is not simply engaged in product design, but also investing in technology and production. Yowu has R&D teams in Shanghai and Shenzhen, and seeks to better integrate hardware solutions. In terms of headset lighting and app control technology, Yowu is also investing its resources in independent R&D.

About Yowu

Founded in Shanghai in 2018, Yowu focuses on the development and innovation of emerging electronic consumer goods, with the post-90s youth as its core focus. Previously, Yowu received exclusive investment from its angel investor Borchid Capital.

NASN Automotive Electronics Secures $78.47 Million in C-Round Financing

NASN Automotive Electronics, a manufacturer of chassis electronic control components, completed a C round of financing worth 500 million yuan ($78.47 million), with joint investment from BOCG Investment, GL Ventures, CATL and CMG-SDIC Capital.

Tao Zhe, founder of NASN, revealed that the company has reached agreements with many leading automakers such as BAIC New Energy, BYD, Changan Automobile and Great Wall Motors. The company claims to have abundant orders and is accelerating the expansion of its manufacturing bases.

After this round of financing, NASN will work with its partners to strengthen new product development, production investment and customer service.

About NASN

Founded in 2016, NASN focuses on the R&D of core technologies related to automotive chassis, intelligent driving and new energy vehicles. The company integrates R&D, production and sales.

AI-Based Drug Development Company Xbiome Completed B Round of Financing of Nearly $100 Million

Xbiome Biotech Co., Ltd., an AI-based microbiome drug development company in Shenzhen, China, announced the completion of a B-round of financing totaling nearly $100 million. The company says this is one of the highest financing rounds in the domestic microbial industry.

Its investors include famed investment institutions such as Legend Capital, Gaorong Capital, 5Y Capital Capital, Primavera Capital Group, Wuyuan Capital, Chunhua HIKE Capital Capital and Tiantu Capital.

Xbiome says the funds are earmarked for the clinical trials of drugs, IND application projects in the US and China, and the R&D of candidate drug lines. The new investment is also meant to help introduce commercial authorization and cooperation with large drug companies, and to accelerate the company’s upgrading process.

About Xbiome

Founded in 2017, Xbiome is an industry-leading AI-based microbiome drug development company in China. The firm is dedicated to the development of microbiome therapies such as fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) and mini-FMT for the alleviation and treatment of intestinal and other related disease.

3D Printing Firm UnionTech Completes Round D of Financing Worth $31 Million

UnionTech, an industrial-grade 3D printing enterprise, has completed round-D financing worth 200 million yuan ($31 million). This round was led by Dening Capital, followed by Cash Capital, Yingke Private Equity, Dragonrise Capital, Evonik Venture Capital Gmbh and others.

About UnionTech 

UnionTech has developed a series of its own software,  including data pre-processing software Polydevs, printing control software RSCON/DSCON, process algorithm software BP and digital production management collaborative system Unionfab.

Senior Auto Receives $16 Million in Series A Round Financing Led by ByteDance

Senior Auto, a provider of driverless solutions and operation services in the pan-port field, announced that it had received 100 million yuan ($16 million) in a Series A round of financing.

The lead investor was Beijing-based tech giant ByteDance, while co-investors included existing shareholders such as Guangfa GF Xinde Investment Management, Jinbang Capital and Chentao Capital. CVCapital acted as exclusive financial adviser for the deal. The funds have been earmarked for R&D, daily operations and market expansion.

About Senior Auto

Senior Auto was founded in April 2020. Previously, the company completed an angel investment round and a pre-A financing round in May 2020 and February 2021, respectively.

MedTech Firm Synapsor Bags Tens of Millions of Dollars in Financing Round Led by Xiaomi

AI-powered chronic disease treatment platform Synapsor completed a fresh round of financing worth tens of millions of dollars, with Xiaomi reportedly serving as lead investor, alongside co-investors Source Code Capital and Shunwei Capital. The funds are to be used for R&D of core products and algorithms, capacity improvement and business expansion in both the Chinese and overseas markets.

Previously, Synapsor received angel investment as high as tens of millions of yuan from Source Code Capital. This fundraising attracted Xiaomi and Shunwei Capital, and retained existing shareholder Source Code Capital. In 2021, Synapsor has raised nearly 100 million yuan in financing.

About Synapsor

Synapsor was founded by a technical team of Oxford University alumni on October 25, 2019. The company is committed to the R&D and manufacturing of AI-powered smart medical wearable devices.