China VC Weekly: Biotech, Coffee, Supermarkets

In last week’s China VC news, local coffee brand Nowwa Coffee bags $31.51 million in its Series B and B+ Rounds, supermarket chain T11 rakes in $100 million in its latest financing round led by Alibaba and more.

China-based healthcare-focused VC BioTrack Capital injects funds in Cargene Biopharma

Biotech startup Cargene Biopharma raised $19.2 million in funding led by Chinese healthcare-focused venture capital firm BioTrack Capital.

Other investors that joined the pre-Series A round were China-based Hyfinity Investments and Legendstar Capital.

The funding comes amid a flurry of activity in the biotech arena caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

About Cargene Biopharma

Cargene, which has offices in Singapore, Shanghai and Boston, is working on a technology known as oligonulcleotide therapeutics which aims to modify and silence a diseased gene in cardiovascular, fibrotic and pulmonary diseases.

Nowwa Coffee secures $31.51 million in Series B and B+ rounds of financing

Nowwa Coffee, a Chinese coffee chain, announced that it has completed two rounds of financing, a B round and a B+ round, with a cumulative amount of 200 million yuan ($31.51 million) raised. The funds will be mainly used for product R&D, market expansion and construction of supply chain and IT system.

The B round was led by Jue Capital, with all previous shareholders following the investment, while the B+ round was led by SIG China, with new shareholders Belle International and Peakview Capital following the investment, and all the previous shareholders also followed the investment. Cygnus Equity served as the exclusive financial consultant for the two rounds of financing.

Nowwa Coffee has previously completed three rounds of financing with investment from Jinshajiang Venture Capital, 37Games, GurryShark Capital, Peeli Venture Capital, V Star Capital and some angel investors.

About Nowwa Coffee

Nowwa Coffee was established in June 2019, aiming at people aged 22-29, providing high-quality freshly ground coffee, tea, baked goods and other products with prices around 15 yuan ($2.36), positioning itself as an affordable boutique coffee brand.

Autonomous Mobile Robot startup ForwardX Robotics closes first tranche of Series C round

Beijing-headquartered autonomous mobile robot company ForwardX Robotics announced that it has closed the initial tranche of its Series C funding round as it looks to expand globally.

The round was led by Taikang Life Insurance with participation from Qualcomm Ventures and Starlight Capital, an early-stage Chinese investment firm focused on industrial upgrades.

The startup is currently fundraising for the rest of its Series C round during a time in which investors are courting warehousing and manufacturing robot makers in China, the company’s chief operating officer Yaxin Guan told TechCrunch in an interview.

The company has raised roughly $100 million in total since Nicolas Chee, a former vice president at Oracle, founded the company in 2016. The startup declined to disclose its post-money valuation or how much it plans to rake in for the entire Series C.

About ForwardX Robotics

Headquartered in Beijing, ForwardX Robotics specializes in R&D of computer vision robots that apply to consumer and business products.

XSky bags $62.8 million in Series F round from Tencent, Source Code Capital and more

XSky Data Technology, a China-based technology company focusing on software-defined infrastructure products and services, announced the completion of round-F financing in which it garnered 400 million yuan ($62.8 million), with Tencent, Source Code Capital and V Fund participating.

Following the announcement in September this year that Kunlun Fund participated in the firm’s E-round of financing, XSky has achieved cumulative financing of over 1 billion yuan in 2021.

XSky revealed that it will use the raised funds to further increase its investment in core technology R&D, build the technological capability of its industrial chain and strengthen its services to customers in key industries.

About XSky

Established in 2015, XSky has grown into one of China’s leading data infrastructure technology platforms. In terms of products, XSky provides solutions including converged storage, distributed data storage platform and hybrid cloud storage.

Sky Semiconductor raises a hefty Series B round of financing

Xiamen Sky Semiconductor, a company dedicates to 5G RF device packaging and integration technology, announced on Monday that it had completed a B round of financing worth several hundred million yuan, with investors including CLP CICC, Jinpu New Emerging Industry Equity Investment Fund Partnership, Delian Capital, Xiamen Venture Capital, TEDA Holding and Yinxinggu Capital.

According to the company, this financing will mainly be used for the construction of the Sky Semiconductor Phase II mass production line, which will accelerate the company from product design and development to mass production.

About Sky Semiconductor

Sky Semiconductor was established in July 2018. It has developed many high-level technologies including Through Glass Vias (TGV) technology, providing OEM services for nearly 100 global customers.

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T11 Food Market rakes in $100 million from Alibaba and others

T11 Food Market, a Chinese fresh grocery supermarket brand, has recently received financing of $100 million led by Alibaba, which will be used for the development of existing self-operated business and to conduct new attempts in retail technology, supply chain, e-commerce and entity store empowerment.

According to T11 inside sources, in addition to financial support, there are still some platform docking attempts between the two sides.

Alibaba’s intention of entering the fresh groceries industry dates back to 2012, when Tmall Supermarket set up a fresh-food channel, launched an imported fresh food platform Miao Fresh aiming at the high-end level, set up an agricultural product sales platform TaoXiangTian, invested in fresh food e-commerce platform Yiguo Fresh, then launched brands such as Hema Fresh and Taobao Grocery Shopping. On September 14, Alibaba MMC announced that it would integrate and upgrade “Hema Fresh Market” and “Taobao Grocery Shopping” to “Taocaicai” to establish a unified customers perception.

Judging from the trends above, it is not surprising that Alibaba has invested in T11 to expand their business in the fresh groceries sector this time.

About T11 Food Market

Established in 2018, T11 Food Market mainly aims at upgrading the consumption needs in China’s first-tier cities, and provides global premium fresh food and general food business. It is another entrant of “fresh + catering” after Hema Fresh and 7FRESH. Its founder, Du Yong, was also the founder of 7FRESH.

EV battery maker SVolt closes B+ round of financing

Electric vehicle (EV) battery maker SVolt has completed a B+ round of financing worth 6 billion yuan ($942 million) on December 11, with investors including Sichuan Energy Investment, Hans Laser and Xingyu Lighting, CDH Investments, Industrial Bank and others.

“The 6 billion yuan raised by this round of financing will be mainly used for R&D and to build a Changzhou Phase IV production base, Changzhou R&D center and Changzhou headquarter management center,” Yang Hongxin, chairman and CEO of SVolt, said.

About SVolt

SVolt, established in December 2016, is a new energy technology company specializing in R&D, trial production, testing, mass production of automotive batteries and raw material production. Since April last year, SVolt has completed four consecutive rounds of financing totaling 20.78 billion yuan.

Jidun Technology completes pre-A round of financing led by IDG Capital

Chinese network security company Jidun Technology recently completed pre-A financing worth tens of millions of yuan, with IDG Capital serving as the main investor.

The company has already independently developed and released two products, “Mizong” and “Xice,” and has now served dozens of large- and medium-sized enterprises in the fields of banking, real estate and the internet.

About Jidun Technology

Founded in December 2020, Jidun Technology is a network security company engaged in the detection and response capabilities in enterprise business scenarios.