In last week’s VC news, Chinese tech-behemoth Tencent injected funds into a French payments startup while short-video powerhouse Kuaishou launched a new VC institution and more.
Tencent Invests in French Payments Startup Alma
Chinese tech giant Tencent joined the ranks of investors in the French buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) platform Alma. The startup managed to raise roughly $131 million in total, hoping to use the funds to fuel its expansion in Western Europe.
Alma’s latest fundraising round saw backers committing over 95 million euros in debt financing, bringing the total raised by the company to 210 million euros.
Launched three years ago, Alma offers a service that guarantees full payment to the merchant at the time of purchase, while the customer pays over time.
Kuaishou and G-bits Join Hands to Fund New VC Institution
Chinese short video sharing firm Kuaishou Technology and online game content provider G-bits have joined together to establish Xiamen Nuowei Qifeng Venture Capital. The joint VC was formally established with a registered capital of 100 million yuan ($15.7 million) and was further funded by several other firms. . The fund mainly focuses on cultural creativity and related fields while investing in early, unlisted enterprises.
Commercial inquiry platform Qichacha shows that the company is jointly held by Kuaishou and G-bits, the latter of which published an announcement showing that the company plans to contribute 25 million yuan to subscribe for shares of Nuowei Qifeng. As one of the limited partners, Kuaishou contributed 20 million yuan.
The establishment of this VC shows Kuaishou’s continued investment in the game industry. Kuaishou has been serious about its game business and regards it as part of its long-term strategy. Last year, Kuaishou upgraded its game business department to a stand-alone business department, devoting itself to a long-term investment in the game business.
Kuaishou is a video-sharing mobile app developed by Beijing Kuaishou Technology Co., Ltd, with a particularly strong user base among users outside of China’s Tier 1 cities.
Machine Vision Sensor Firm Sincevision Completes Series B+ Round of Financing
Machine vision sensor firm Shenzhen Sincevision Technology Co., Ltd. recently announced it has secured several hundred million yuan in round B+ financing. The co-leading investors were Matrix Partners and GL Ventures, in addition to Industry Capital.
The company intends to use the newly raised funds for R&D, team growth and the advancement of product lines.
Sincevision’s customers are mainstream firms in 3C, automotive lithium batteries and photovoltaic fields, including OPPO, Vivo, Huawei, Foxconn, CATL and BYD.
Sincevision, which was established in 2014, focuses on the research and development of 3D precision measurement sensors for industry use based on core technologies such as machine vision, 3D algorithms, optical imaging, hardware acceleration and precision measurement. At present, three product lines have been built and put into mass production, namely: line lasers, point lasers and point spectrum.
Metaverse-Based Social Platform BUD Takes in $15M in Series A+ Round of Financing
Global metaverse-based social platform BUD announced the completion of an A+ round of financing totaling $15 million. This round of financing was led by Qiming Venture Partners and was followed by Source Code Capital, GGV Capital and Sky9 Capital. MM Capital served as the exclusive financial consultant for this financing round. The funds will be mainly used for overseas business research and growth.
Risa, co-founder of BUD, spoke about the financing deal: “We are looking forward to using games, AI, virtual characters, and non-player characters (NPC) on the BUD platform when our technology is more mature, because our philosophy is to let every user have the opportunity to create dreamy 3D scenes and continuously lower the threshold for users to build a metaverse world through technological innovation.”
Founded in 2019, BUD is a user generated content (UGC)-oriented social media platform, allowing users to create personalized 3D interactive content using codeless tools. Its target user base is the worldwide market of generation Z’s.
Mobile Robot Manufacturer SEER Secures Series B Financing
Mobile robot manufacturer SEER announced it has received hundreds of millions of yuan in round-B financing, led by SAIF Partners, IDG Capital, and Broadstream Capital. Scheme Capital served as exclusive financial adviser. The funds are to be allocated for investment in the research and development of intelligent manufacturing products, scaling its products’ applications, and vigorously exploring overseas business channels.
The SRC series core controller is one of SEER’s main products, featuring such core functions as map building, positioning and navigation, as well as model-editing for mobile robots.
As a mobile robot manufacturer, SEER provides one-stop intelligent logistics solutions for enterprises in industrial logistics scenarios. It received its round-A financing from several strategic investors such as GLP Hidden Hill Capital, ECOVACS, China Growth Capital, Harmontronics, and Silicon Valley Huiyin.
Hecom Closes $35M Investment From Sequoia China and Weilai Qichuang
Hecom (Beijing) Technology Co., Ltd. recently announced it has secured 225 million yuan ($35.4 million) from Sequoia China and Weilai Qichuang. Previously, Hecom received funding from many notable investors and institutions, such as Xiaomi founder Lei Jun, Fosun RZ Capital, Peakview Capital, OFC and New Hope Group.
On February 7, 2022, Hecom announced it had submitted counseling materials for the public offering of its shares with a listing on the Beijing Stock Exchange (BSE). The documents, which were reviewed by the Beijing Bureau of the China Securities Regulatory Commission on January 27, were accepted on January 29. The counseling institution was China Capital Management. Upon approval, Hecom will become the first SaaS (software as a service)-based firm to be listed on the BSE.
Hecom is an emerging software operation service providing mobile marketing management services based on SaaS and cloud technology for enterprises.
Security Computation Company Lanxiang Zhilian Bags $31.44M in Series A Financing Round
Lanxiang Zhilian, an online security computation company, announced that it had completed an A round of financing worth nearly 200 million yuan ($31.44 Million). This round was led by Xicheng Jinrui and followed by Oriza Prior and Legend Star.
After this round of financing, the company will further strengthen its staffing, strengthen its technology R&D, data operations and customer service, while enhancing the application of its products in more situations.
About Lanxiang Zhilian
Founded at the end of 2019, Lanxiang Zhilian has secured working agreements with dozens of financial institutions, operators and leading Internet enterprises such as the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom. The firm has also become the drafting unit of multi-party computation and learning standards for the People’s Bank of China and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
Agricultural Autonomous Driving Firm AIForceTech Secures Series A+ Financing
AIForceTech, an agricultural autonomous driving enterprise, announced that it had secured investment through an A+ round of financing, led by China Creation Ventures (CCV) and followed by Vertex Ventures and Delian Capital.
AIForceTech has already obtained an A round of financing in June 2021, driving its total amount of the two rounds to over 100 million yuan in less than one year. Its founder, Han Wei, said that the latest round of financing will be mainly used for product research and development and market expansion.
Incubated in the Institute of Microelectronics of Chinese Academy of Sciences, AIForceTech has the largest unmanned working area of agricultural machinery in China. The company is committed to improving farmland operation efficiency and solving issues related to agricultural labor shortages.
Morion NanoTech Completes Series B Financing
Guangdong Morion NanoTech (Morion) announced that it had completed a B round of financing worth over 100 million yuan ($15.7 million). Zhao Hongzhong, CEO of Morion, revealed that this round of financing will be used mainly for the construction of production lines, the R&D of products, and business development.
Morion products include graphene materials, thermal management products, graphene and plasmonic micro- and nano-cavity superconducting film, as well as graphene new energy conductivity materials.
About Morion NanoTech
Morion, established in 2015, is a high-tech new material company specializing in the application and development of advanced materials focusing on graphene. At present, the firm has mastered a variety of graphene-related technologies and applied for several international patents.