China VC Weekly: Autonomous Driving, Soft Drinks and HR
In last week’s VC news, prominent autonomous driving technology company Momenta raised $500 million in a Series C+ round, bringing its total Series C financing to a whopping total of $1 billion. Outside of the EV space, soft drink giant Genki Forest is reportedly preparing to complete a new round of financing worth nearly $200 million, while Moka, a startup digitizing human resources management, bagged a $100 million round led by Tiger Global.
Autonomous Driving Upstart Momenta Raises $500 Million in Series C+ Round, Total Financing for the Round Sits at Over $1 Billion
Chinese self-driving technology startup Momenta has raised $500 million in a C+ Round of financing, bringing its overall C Round total to more than $1 billion. So far, its strategic investors include SAIC, General Motors, Toyota Motor and Bosch, as well as prominent investment institutions Temasek and Yunfeng Capital.
Other investors that participated in the round include Mercedes-Benz, IDG Capital, GGV Capital, Shunwei Capital, Tencent and Cathay Capital.
Bai Li, Executive Vice President of GM and President of GM China, said of the deal: “Chinese consumer groups have been very accepting of new energy and autonomous driving technologies. The agreement with Momenta will support General Motors to accelerate tailor-made solutions for Chinese consumers and put them into use.”
SEE ALSO: Autonomous Driving Firm Momenta Secures More Than $1 Billion in C Round Financing
Momenta provides a variety of autonomous driving solutions based on a data-driven automation flywheel. The first production model outfitted with Momenta’s automated driving technology will be SAIC’s electric Zhiji L7 sedan. According to Bloomberg, Deliveries of the new model could start as early as next year.
Founded in 2016 by a team of AI engineers from Microsoft Research, Momenta is using a data-driven approach with its algorithm able to turn sensory information about a vehicle and its surroundings into actionable information in real time. The collecting of the billions of data points needed to power their algorithms requires vast amounts of actual driving conditions, hence the effort to partner with automakers.
Soft Drink Powerhouse Genki Forest Rakes in $200 Million at $15 Billion Valuation
Chinese media outlet 36Kr reported on Tuesday that Genki Forest is about to complete a new round of financing worth nearly $200 million, raising its market valuation to about $15 billion. The financing round will be led by Temasek, followed by Sequoia Capital China and Warburg Pincus. Genki Forest hasn’t commented on the report.
The funds will be mainly used for product research and development, investment in self-built factories and overseas market expansion. This round of financing started in July and follows just three months after the end of its last round of financing. According to 36Kr’s sources, when the round of financing at the beginning of the year drove the company’s valuation to $6 billion, some leading investors believed this round of financing to be worth about $12 billion, but Temasek gave a higher valuation.
The beverage company recently lost tens of millions of yuan due to an incident involving once of its online shops. From 2018 to 2020, its sales volume totaled more than 160 million, 870 million and 2.4 billion respectively, and the company was able to maintain rapid growth for three consecutive years. In 2021, its target sales are 7.5 billion offline and 800 million online.
About Genki Forest
The company’s product range consists of soft drinks, meat products, low-calorie foods, snacks, coffee and alcohol. According to company data, Genki Forest’s products can be found in many major first-and second-tier cities in China, and are also being exported to the United States, Singapore, New Zealand and other countries.
HR Service Provider Moka Bags $100 Million in Series C Round of Financing
Moka, a six-year-old Chinese startup digitizing the worlds of human resources management through software, announced that it has closed a $100 million Series C round.
The startup aims to automate all stages of talent management, from hiring to retaining existing staff. Of the many things the company’s software is able to perform, one feature is the ability to collect post-interview feedback from candidates and store that information in a database. It can also alert employers when staff make changes to their resumes, which signifies they may be mulling new opportunities.
The latest investment round was led by Tiger Global with participation from Blue Lake Capital, GL Ventures — the early-stage arm of Hillhouse Capital, GSR Ventures and GGV Capital.
SEE ALSO: Moka Completes C-Round of Financing Worth $100 Million With Tiger Global as Lead Investor
The new round of financing arrived just over a year after the company garnered $43 million in a Series B round. Moka said it has now reached “unicorn” status but declined to disclose its exact valuation.
Founded in 2015, Moka compares itself to Workday and Salesforce in the U.S. It has created a suite of software products aiming to make recruiting easier and cheaper for companies with less than 500 employees. Its solutions take care of the full gamut of the hiring process.