China VC Weekly: Robots, Art Education and Milk Tea
Most prominent fundraising news of last week brought together robot-maker Flexive, raising $100 million for expansion, online art education platform Meishubao, bagging over $210 million, and one of China’s most popular milk tea brands, Nayuki, that raised a $100 million round and is rumored to be preparing for an IPO.
Adaptive robot maker Flexive closes $100 million Series B round
Manufacturing robot-maker Flexiv has closed a Series B round raising over $100 million from investors including China’s on-demand services giant Meituan, according to TechCrunch.
Other players in the round included Chinese venture capital firm Meta Capital, major Chinese agricultural powerhouse New Hope Group, private equity firm Longwood, Jack Ma’s YF Capital, prominent venture capital firms Gaorong Capital and GSR Ventures, as well as Plug and Play’s China and U.S. ventures.
The round of financing has boosted the Flexiv’s total funding to over $120 million so far. According to a company’s statement, the new capital will be used to implement its AI-driven, general-purpose robots in areas such as services, agriculture, logistics and medical care.
Founded in 2016 by Wang Shiquan, a Stanford’s Biomimetics and Dexterous Manipulation Lab alumnus, Flexiv builds adaptive robots for the manufacturing industry.
Online Art Education platform Meishubao rakes in $210 in Series D round
Tencent-backed Chinese online art education platform Meishubao announced last Thursday the completion of its Series D round, raking in $210 million led by U.S.-based equity company TPG via its Rise Fund
According to a statement from the company, Chinese participants in the fundraising included Shenzhen-based Fortune Capital, education, finance, and health care investor Wisdom Capital, Asia-focused SAIF Partners, Bojia Capital, as well as Chuangzhi Capital. Beijing-based investment bank Taihecap served as financial adviser for the deal.
According to Meishubao’s founder and CEO Gan Ling the new funds will be used for curriculum development, channel and market expansion, product and service upgrades and branding, as well as online and offline business integration in the industrial internet area.
The Beijing-based startup, which counts Xiaomi co-founder Lei Jun and early-stage venture BlueRun Ventures among its early investors, has so far raised roughly 2 billion yuan ($306 million) over seven financing rounds.
Founded in 2014, Meishubao delivers online art courses to over 5 million registered users across 160 countries and regions. The company has a team of nearly 1,000 people devoted to research, development and production.
SEE ALSO: Over One-Third of the Global Industrial Robots Were Manufactured in China
Nayuki owner raises $100 million and might be preparing for IPO
The company behind one of China’s most popular bubble tea chains – Nayuki, also known as Naixue’s Tea in Chinese – has completed a new funding round that could bring its valuation to nearly $2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
The bubble tea chain operator is rumored to be considering an initial public offering in Hong Kong. The company was forced to put its previous attempts at launching an IPO in the US on hold because of the coronavirus outbreak. Nayuki had filed confidentially for an offering in the U.S. in February, Bloomberg News reported.
Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Shenzhen, Nayuki sells fresh-fruit tea – some with cheese foam on top – as well as cold brew tea and baked goods. It has more than 350 stores in 51 cities in China, according to its website. The company completed a funding round in 2018 that valued the startup at 6 billion yuan ($918 million).