China VC Weekly: Robots, Insurtech and Crypto
Last week’s China VC news: Shenzhen-based robotic automation startup Youibot raised 100 million yuan, crypto services provided Babel Finance bagged a $40 million Series A and insurtech firm Yuanbao capitalized on competitor Waterdrop’s IPO by raising a 1 billion yuan Series C round.
Robotics startup Youibot bags 100 million yuan for R&D
Four-year-old Chinese robotics startup Youibot recently raised close to 100 million yuan ($15.47 million). The funding round was led by SoftBank Ventures. Youibot is focused on the development of autonomous robots to be deployed under a variety of scenarios, and the funding round is another indicator of the potential investors see in the industry.
The proceeds from the funding round will be used by the company to enhance and improve its research and development, particularly in mobile robots and proprietary software. The startup also plans to work on team building and market expansion.
Youibot was founded by a group of Ph.D.’s from Xi’an Jiaotong University in China. The company is currently based in Shenzhen and is focused on the development of solutions for factory automation, logistics, in addition to the facilitation of inspection and maintenance for various industries.
Crypto services company Babel Finance rakes in $40 million in Series A riding the Bitcoin craze
Chinese startup Babel Finance has raised a $40 million Series A round from an international group of investors including Sequoia Capital China and Tiger Global, the latest in a series of venture capital deals fueled by Bitcoin’s upward rally.
The company’s Series A fundraising round was led by Zoo Capital, Sequoia Capital China and Dragonfly Capital, and joined by Tiger Global and BAI Capital, the firm said in an announcement on Monday. The company did not however disclose its current valuation.
The company hopes to use the proceeds of the round and the resources provided by the new backers to expand across Asia, North America and Europe, the startup added. As of February, Babel served about 500 institutional clients and its core lending business has reached $2 billion in active outstanding loans.
About Babel Finance
Founded in 2018, Babel offers financial services to cryptocurrency clients. The company has also been involved in endeavors spanning businesses like asset management and derivatives trading.
Insurance broker Yuanbao raises 1 billion yuan after competitor Waterdrop’s New York IPO
Beijing-based online insurance broker Yuanbao has raised roughly 1 billion yuan ($155 million) in its Series C round led by Source Code Capital and joined by existing investors Cathay Capital, Hike Capital, as well as Susquehanna International Group, the company announced on its official WeChat account on Monday. The news comes shortly after the company’s main competitor Waterdrop (NYSE: WDH) raised $360 million in its recent IPO on the New York Stock Exchange.
SEE ALSO: Waterdrop Makes NYSE Debut, Aims to become China’s UnitedHealth Group in 10 Years
Yuanbao has attracted millions of paying users by offering products from insurers such as Taikang and Huatai, according to the WeChat post. An impressive feat given that the company only launched last year with a national insurance brokerage license.
Founded by Fang Rui, former Vice President of NetEase, Yuanbao features a “smart insurance brain” which matches buyers with suitable products.