China VC Weekly: Space, Autonomous Driving and Robots
Private space launch firm LandSpace bags $172 million
Beijing-based private space launch company, LandSpace, announced on Sept. 9 the completion of its C+ round of financing, worth nearly 1.2 billion yuan ($172 million) with an accumulated financing amount of more than 1.8 billion yuan over the past year’s fundraising rounds.
This recent round of financing was led by Sequoia Capital, Country Garden Holdings, MatrixPartners China and Cornerstone Capital, with participation from National Enterprise Development Fund, Huzhou Saiyuan Government Fund, Lightspeed China, Cedarlake Capital, Lakeshores International, Sunac China Holdings, Noah Holdings, and Yanfu Investment, in addition to old shareholders LuXin Venture Capital, YiSheng Investment and Joint Capital.
The company will use this new capital injection for development and launch preparation of their Zhuque-2 liquid-fuelled rocket, as well as further research and development into reusable rocket technology.
At present, global commercial space companies are targeting Musk’s SpaceX as the benchmark, with the company’s reusable rocket technology leading the field. In this regard, LandSpace “are researching on schemes and algorithms for the first stage of the reusable rocket technology, but there are still several steps to go before commercialization and reusability can be achieved,” said Changwu Zhang, CEO of the aerospace firm.
LandSpace is a commercial rocket enterprise, with capabilities spanning the complete chain of design-production-test-launch. Global satellite launches have brought unprecedented market opportunities to Chinese aerospace companies, with LandSpace becoming one of the local industry trailblazers.
Autonomous driving company Idriverplus secures hundreds of millions of yuan in series C+ round
Chinese autonomous driving technology provider Idriverplus announced its completion of a C+ round of financing worth hundreds of millions of yuan. The funding boost was led by Xin Ding Capital, which has previously invested in Cambricon Technologies, Xpeng Motors and WM Motor.
The company completed its C1 round of financing backed by HOPU-Arm Innovation Fund three months ago. In April 2018, it announced a Series B2 round of financing led by GF Xinde Investments, Infore Group and Beijing Changping Micro and Medium Enterprises Innovation Venture Development Fund Co., Ltd. Idriverplus has also completed a B1 round of investment led by Baidu and followed by JD.com and Shunwei Capital.
Established in 2015, Idriverplus is the brainchild of a team associated with Tsinghua University’s Department of Automotive Engineering. The company currently has around 300 employee.
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Video technology service provider Baijiayun raises 178 million yuan
Chinese one-stop video technology service provider Baijiayun announced that it has recently completed a series B round of financing worth 178 million yuan.
The round was led by GP Capital, with Qinglan Capital, Guoke Jiahe, and Houde Qianhai following suit. Baijiayun’s management and employees also participated in the round by increasing their own stakes in the company.
Funder and CEO of the company Li Gangjiang said that the funds would be used for talent recruitment, expansion of their sales network, R&D investment, as well as mergers and acquisitions.
Baijiayun was established in 2017 with the primary function of providing one-stop video SaaS services to customers in educational institutions. The Covid-19 pandemic gave the business a significant boost in demand as schools shifted to online forums to deliver their teaching.
Surgical robot maker Edge Medical Robotics completes a pre-B round of financing
Surgical robot developer Edge Medical Robotics completed a pre-B round of financing, amassing more than 100 million yuan.
The round of financing was led by 3H Health Investment, with additional funds contributed by Guoce Investment, Lenovo Star, and Poly Capital.
The financing helps the startup add on to its 2019 series A and the April 2020 series A+ rounds of financing.
The funds will primarily be used to promote the development of Edge Medical Robotics’ minimally invasive surgical robot products.
Edge Medical Robotics launched single-hole surgical robot animal experiment in 2018. At present, the company has deployed three pipeline products, including single-hole and multi-hole laparoscopic surgical robot system, and a series of ultra-high-definition stereoscopic endoscope products.