China VC Weekly: Retail, Biotech, EVs and Digital Media

Unmanned retail solution provider SandStar raises a series B+ round

Chinese unmanned retail solution provider SandStar announced that it has raised hundreds of millions of yuan in a series B+ round of financing led by True Digital Group, Thailand’s leading telecom company.

In September 2019, SandStar raised roughly 100 million yuan in its series B round led by Guopeng Capital. Before that, at the end of 2017, it also completed a Pre-A round led by Kinzon Capital. Other participants included Baidu Ventures and Fengshion Capital. The firm also managed to raise tens of millions of yuan in an angel round in October 2017.

About SandStar

Founded in 2017 and formerly known as YI Tunnel, SandStar develops AI retail ecosystems by using machine vision. Currently, its products include an AI unmanned cash register solution for traditional retail checkout scenarios, a pure visual technology-based unmanned store solution, and smart store analysis solutions that help stores develop e-commerce businesses.

Supermarket chain Yipin Fresh gets a capital injection of 2.5 billion yuan

Yipin Fresh, a Chinese fresh supermarket chain, completed a 2.5 billion yuan ($360 million) series C round led by existing investors Tencent Holdings and Capital Today, with Eastern Bell Venture Capital also contributing.

Proceeds of the round will go towards accelerating the expansion of Yipin Fresh’s online and offline businesses, industry chain integration, investment in technology development, and creation of a national warehouse distribution system.

About Yipin Fresh

Founded in 2013, Yipin Fresh provides consumers with high-quality, low-priced, fresh products. It markets itself as the nearest 24-hour community supermarket to consumers. Yipin Fresh currently has nearly 900 stores, spanning 17 cities in China and has expanded to prefecture-level cities and counties, becoming one of the fastest-growing brands in the industry.

Lepu Biotech bags 1.3 billion yuan in a series B round

Chinese biotech firm Lepu Biotech raised nearly 1.291 billion yuan ($186 million) in a series B round of financing co-led by Riverhead Capital, Sunshine Insurance Group and Ping An Capital.

SDIC Unity Capital, Haitong Innovation Capital Management and State New Central Enterprises Operating Investment Fund also participated in this round.

Proceeds will be used for research and development, clinical trials and launches of the company’s multiple anti-tumor drugs.

About Lepu Biotech

Founded in 2018, Lepu Biotech is a Chinese biotech firm focusing on development of cancer diagnosis and therapy. The company, through its nine subsidiaries, has established a comprehensive industrial platform for target discovery, drug development, and drug production. Its core products PD-1, PD-L1, and several antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) products have entered into the clinical stage varied from stage I to stage III.

Brite Semiconductor raises 350 million yuan

Chinese ASIC design solution provider, Brite Semiconductor, raised 350 million yuan ($50.22 million) in its recent series D round led by Haitong Securities and Sunic Capital.

Oriza Hua, Xiaomi Industry Fund, Volcanics Venture, Teda Investment, GP Capital and several existing investors also participated in the round.

Proceeds of the round will be allocated towards further promotion of the company’s ASIC one-stop design solutions and SoC technology development.

About Brite Semiconductor

Founded in 2008, Brite Semiconductor is a Shanghai-based ASIC design solution provider. It provides flexible one-stop services from RTL/Netlist to chip delivery.

XPeng Motors completes pre-IPo round of $400 million

Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer Xpeng Motors has raised an additional $400 million ahead of its US IPO listing. The investment was led by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group. Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund and Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund also contributed to the round.

If the $400 million investment proceeds, Xpeng will have raised a total of approximately $900 million after two rounds of financing, C+ and C++, in less than two weeks.

About Xpeng

XPeng Motors is an intelligent electric vehicle startup founded by He Xiaopeng, a Chinese entrepreneur who also founded Chinese mobile Internet company UCWeb.

SEE ALSO: China VC Weekly: Xpeng Beats All Odds with $500M Series C+

Digital media outlet Jiemian raises a hefty Series C round

Chinese online media outlet Jiemian announced the completion of its Series C round of financing, with the total amount of financing reaching over 500 million yuan, considerably boosting the company’s valuation. Investors in this round of financing included China Internet Investment Fund and Shanghai Xuhui State-owned Assets Investment Group.

About Jiemian

Jiemian was established in September 2014. It is an important part of the new media matrix of the Shanghai United Media Group, that also owns other big publications including The Paper.