China VC Weekly: Ride-Hailing, Snacks and More

In last week’s VC news, Didi rival T3 bagged over a billion dollars in financing for market expansion, Alibaba injected funds in a young content creation company DGene, snack brand Xijie Zha Chuan raised $46 million from a cohort of prominent investors, IoT unicorn Aqara completed a one-billion-yuan investment round, cross-border supply chain firm Surpath closed its Pre-A round of financing and solid-state battery manufacturer ProLogium raked in $326 million from investors.

Didi rival T3 raises a whopping $1.2 billion for expansion

Ride-hailing company T3 announced that it had raised 7.7 billion yuan ($1.2 billion) to fund its expansion. Investors in the funding round included Yingtong Technology, online travel platform Tongcheng, Virtue Capital and an investment company led by Dong Yang, former head of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), T3 said in a statement.

T3’s funding round comes as ride-hailing companies step up efforts to take market share from China’s market leader Didi, which has been facing a cybersecurity investigation by domestic authorities.

The company did not disclose its valuation after the funding.

About T3

T3 is backed by state-owned automakers FAW, Dongfeng and Changan. Along with other ride-hailing companies such as Meituan and Geely’s Cao Cao, the firm currently focuses on offering promotions to attract more users.

Alibaba backs content creation company DGene

Alibaba led a $20 million Series A funding round for an emerging content creation company called DGene, involved in virtual production and immersive entertainment.

The Chinese tech giant also listed Mong investors who backed the company in a prior phase before the Series A. The influx of capital is planned to help DGene fund studio operations as well as the company’s suite of restoration tools that the company says can help revive film libraries in a cost-effective manner. The library effort is aimed at optimizing catalog film and TV titles for the streaming era.

About DGene

Founded in Shanghai by computer science experts Jingyi Yu, Jason Yang and Yi Ma, the company is positioning itself for the exploration of the metaverse. DGene has staffed up in the U.S. and ramped up Hollywood activity of late, including opening a volumetric capture stage in Baton Rouge, LA. The 900-square-foot facility uses artificial intelligence to create holograms of humans and objects for use in AR, VR, holographic displays, mixed-reality glasses and framed video. Applications for volumetric video span entertainment, gaming, advertising, training, education and other sectors.

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Chinese snack brand Xijie Zha Chuan bags $46 million from Source Code Capital and others

Xijie Zha Chuan (‘Fried Skewers’), a Chinese snack brand, has completed its A Round of financing, garnering 295 million yuan ($46.1 million), jointly led by Source Code Capital and Focustar Capital, with Maxceed Capital acting as the exclusive financial consultant. The funds will be used for supply chain upgrading, team expansion and digital construction.

According to Wang, at present, the average monthly turnover of Xijie is nearly 150,000 yuan, and the overall revenue of the company this year is expected to achieve four-fold year-on-year growth. In addition, Xijie attaches importance to the layout of food delivery services, and the turnover of food delivery of stores accounts for as much as 40%. This year, it was listed as one of the top 100 Meituan Waimai stores, and the average order fee of food delivery exceeds 50 yuan.

About Xijie Zha Chuan

Xijie, mainly selling Chinese-style fried skewers, was established in 2019 and is headquartered in Nanjing. It aims to provide delicious and healthy leisure snacks for young consumers. At present, the brand has signed agreements for more than 1,400 stores in China, and founder Wang Kuankuan has said that his goal is “to open 10,000 stores in 100 cities.”

IoT unicorn Aqara completes 1-billion-yuan investment round

Aqara, a unicorn company within the IoT industry, announced on Thursday that it had completed a new round of financing in which it garnered 1 billion yuan ($156.3 million) – one of the largest financing rounds in the industry this year. The investors in this round of financing are Shenzhen Capital Group, Joy Capital, China Telecom, Greenwoods Asset, Zhongyuan Capital and Unicom CICC. In this round, Yunmu Capital continues to serve as the exclusive financial adviser.

The round was focused on Aqara’s product R&D and innovation, global commercial channels construction and landing, brand building and talent introduction. The company has successively completed six rounds of financing since 2014. After this round of investment, the valuation of Aqara has exceeded $1 billion.

About Aqara

Aqara has the ability to provide intelligent one-stop wireless solutions for the whole house on a large scale, and has the ability to provide 2B IoT software and hardware integrated solutions and 2C intelligent customized solutions for the whole house. Its products and services have been widely applied in home, apartment, hotel, real estate, office, pension and other industries.

Aqara’s products, interconnected with many smart products around the world, support multiple platforms including Mi Home, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Cross-border supply chain firm Surpath rakes in 100 million yuan in a Pre-A financing

Surpath, a cross-border supply chain technology company, announced on Thursday that it had continuously completed an angel round and a Pre-A round of financing exceeding 100 million yuan ($15.64 million), in which the angel round was partly led by China Merchants Venture, and the Pre-A round was exclusively invested in by Matrix Partners.

This round of financing will be used for optimization including technological upgrading and marketing, and Index Capital acted as the exclusive financial consultant.

At present, the company has launched eight management systems related to supply chain and an intelligent data system, realizing visualized operation and timely prediction of orders. The revenue of products and services has exceeded 100 million in half a year.

About Surpath

Surpath was established in 2019. Driven by data and technology, the company improves the visualization of the industry and combines warehouse allocation operations and technology to achieve intelligent distribution, further reducing costs.

SEE ALSO: ByteDance to Debut Independent Export E-Commerce App

Solid-state battery manufacturer ProLogium closes a massive $326 million round

Solid-state battery manufacturer ProLogium Technology Co., Ltd. announced the completion of a new round of financing worth $326 million, with investment from Primavera Capital Group, dGav Capital, and SoftBank China Venture Capital.

The company plans to use the new funds to expand its mass production of solid-state lithium batteries, expand plants in Asia, Europe and the U.S. from 2023 to 2025, and thereby satisfy the demand facing mainstream car factories for local manufacturing and local supply of high-quality power batteries. This will accelerate the provision of solid-state battery solutions for ProLogium’s EV strategic partners.

According to CVSource, ProLogium has undergone four rounds of financing, with investors including SBCVC, TEDA Venture Capital Corporation Limited and Bank of China Group Investment Limited.

About ProLogium

Founded in 2006, ProLogium is a leading solid-state battery maker, and has developed nearly 500 patented technologies related to oxide solid-state batteries. At present, it is a global leader in solid-state battery technology. In 2013, ProLogium successfully commercialized the solid-state lithium battery.