China VC Weekly: The ‘Interviewing Cloud,’ Cancer Therapy and Social Media Management

In last week’s VC news, Tiger Global led the latest round of financing for Karat, a company helping enterprises outsource interviewing services, cancer therapy developer Anticancer Bioscience raked in over $10 million in its latest financing round, while Shanghai-based social media management platform KAWO secured fresh capital investment from the Sequoia China Seed Fund.

Tiger Global leads $110 million Series C financing round for interviewing services provider Karat

Karat, a company operating what it calls the ‘Interviewing Cloud,’ has closed a financing round of $110 million, valuing the Seattle startup at $1.1 billion. The company’s product is essentially an “interviewing-as-a-service” platform that provides customers with a way to funnel candidates to Karat’s team of trained online interviewers who screen applicants for skills and problem-solving abilities as part of the online assessment.

The round was led by Tiger Global, which also led the company’s $28 million Series B in 2019. Norwest Venture Partners, 8VC, Exor, Base Partners and Sempervirens Fund – all previous backers – also participated this time.

Karat plans to use the funding to continue building more technology and data science into its process, both to train and guide the interviewers, and to analyze the interviewing process to improve it in the future. Longer term, it might also look to bring in interviewers, skillsets and data to grow beyond technical hiring.

“We believe Karat’s human + technology Interviewing Cloud is the way most companies will hire engineers,” said Scott Shleifer, partner at Tiger Global, in a statement. “We know the gap between the supply of engineering talent and demand will continue to widen and are excited to deepen our investment in the category creator and leader.”

About Karat

Founded in 2014 by Mo Bhende and Jeffrey Spector, Karat claims to have created the world’s first Interviewing Cloud to solve the multi-decade global shortage of software engineers.

Cancer therapy developer Anticancer Bioscience bags over $10 million in latest financing round

Anticancer Bioscience (ACB), developer of synthetic lethal approaches to precision oncology, announced today that it had secured an additional 68.4 million yuan ($10.6 million) from new Chinese investors. The seed extension financing was led by Three Rivers Capital, joining existing private Chinese investors. The total amount raised in the seed round is now over $31 million (or roughly 200 million yuan).

According to the company, the proceeds will be mainly used to accelerate the preclinical development of the company’s two most advanced programs, MYC-synthetic lethal and contact inhibition restoration. The funds will also be used to optimize lead compounds for polyploidy-synthetic lethal therapy and to identify additional lead compounds for the company’s contact inhibition restoration approach to combatting cancer.

Commenting on the financing, Dun Yang PhD, Founder, President and CEO of ACB said, “This successful financing round is a further strong endorsement of our innovative approach to identifying first-in-class and best-in-class therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, using synthetic lethal strategies. It underlines our progress over the past months and will help accelerate our five drug discovery programs through optimization to candidate selection and IND enabling studies. We aim to initiate two clinical trials in 2022.”

SEE ALSO: China’s Cancer Screening Pioneer New Horizon Health Raises HK$2.42 Billion in Hong Kong IPO Debut

About Anticancer Bioscience

ACB is applying synthetic lethal approaches to develop targeted cancer therapies, with the potential to be much safer and more effective than current therapies. ACB has access to world-leading cancer biology expertise and drug discovery platforms that enable the company to identify novel compounds that can target both genetic and epigenetic vulnerabilities of cancer cells.

China-focused social media management platform KAWO raises $5 million from Sequoia China Seed Fund

Shanghai-based entreprise social media management platform KAWO has raised $5 million from Sequoia China Seed Fund. KAWO plans to use the new investment to accelerate digital transformation in marketing teams across China, where workplace adoption of Software as a Service (SaaS) is estimated to be 10 years behind the West, according to the company’s statement.

“Marketing teams have been working in the same inefficient ways for years and hoping for different results. The performance of their social channels is declining, meanwhile teams are burned out from working overtime. It’s time to work smarter, not harder,” said Alex Li, CEO of KAWO.

Built in China, for China, KAWO markets itself as the only platform that connects to major domestic social media platforms including WeChat, Weibo, Douyin and Kuaishou. KAWO’s SaaS platform starts from $3,000 per year, providing brands with a comprehensive planning and analytics solution at an affordable price.

About KAWO

Founded in Shanghai, China in 2017 by Alex Duncan and Brian van Damme, KAWO has built an industry-leading, user-friendly platform providing global companies with social media planning and analytics. KAWO claims it is trusted by more than 500 global brands across 12 industries, ranging from finance and government to sports, luxury and entertainment. International brands using KAWO include Bundesliga, The North Face, Ritter Sport, Samsung and Vera Wang.