China VC Weekly: Semiconductors, Medtech and Insurance

In last week’s VC news, Shanghai-based semiconductor developer InnoStar Semiconductor raises a hefty pre-A round, medtech startup StoneWise completes two back-to-back rounds totalling $100 million and medical insurance firm Waterdrop prepares for listing in New York.

InnoStar Semiconductor raises $100 million in pre-A financing

Shanghai-based InnoStar Semiconductor has raised approximately $100 million in its pre-Series A round of financing.

The company, which includes former employees of Intel, SMIC and Spreadtrum Communications, has reportedly announced it will use the money to produce chips for storage applications, including resistive random-access memory (ReRAM) chips.

In a statement issued on WeChat, Innostar founder and CEO Xiang Zhang said: “we hope that we can design a new generation of memory chip products and improve storage technology, as well as advance the ecosystem of partnerships with semiconductor designers and manufacturers.”

According to reports, Hong Kong-based Crossbar Asia Pacific is the largest shareholder in InnoStar with a 45% stake, followed by Shanghai Lianhe Investment with 30% of the equity. The round was led by Shanghai Lianhe Investment and included New Alliance. New investors to join the round include state-backed Atlas Capital and KQ Capital. Other backers of InnoStar include Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers (KPCB), Lam Research, SAIF Partners China, Northern Light Venture Capital, CBC Capital and Oriza Ventures.

About InnoStar Semiconductor

Founded in November 2019, the company is sometimes described as an integrated device manufacturer (IDM), although their CEO has reportedly said the company wants to partner with semiconductor designers and manufacturers, suggesting either an IP or fabless chip business model.

Medtech startup StoneWise bags $100 million in two rounds

Chinese medtech startup StoneWise, specializing in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to develop medicines, has announced the completion of its Series B and Series B+ funding rounds, which raised a combined total of roughly $100 million.

The company’s Series B round was led by Legend Capital, while the Series B+ round was co-led by Greater Bay Area Homeland Development Fund and Lightspeed China, according to reporting by Caixin. Other investors that participated in the rounds included Eastern Bell Capital, GL Ventures and Long Hill Capital, StoneWise divulged in a WeChat post on Monday.

StoneWise intends to use proceeds from the two rounds to support its global talent recruitment and broaden the use of its AI technology in drug development.

About StoneWise

Founded in 2018, Beijing-based StoneWise provides small molecule drug researchers with a smart drug development platform powered by AI, computational chemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, computational biology and other technologies.

Medical insurance startup Waterdrop prepares for IPO

Chinese online medical insurance startup Waterdrop Inc. on April 17 formally submitted a prospectus to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in preparation for an initial public offering (IPO) at the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “WDH”.

The firm’s underwriters include Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, as well as Chinese investors such as Agricultural Bank of China, China Merchants Securities, China International Trust and Investment Corporation and other domestic securities companies.

Public information shows that ahead of the IPO, Waterdrop Inc. has completed five rounds of financing, gathering a total amount of about 3.2 billion yuan ($490 million). The latest round D of financing, led by Swiss Re Group and Tencent, brought in more than $230 million for the firm in August 2020.

SEE ALSO: Health Startup Waterdrop Submits Prospectus to SEC

About Waterdrop

Waterdrop Inc., founded in April 2016, is the largest independent third-party insurance platform in China, measured by total allocation of first year premiums for life insurance and health insurance in 2020. Through medical crowdfunding, mutual aid platforms and the insurance market, Waterdrop Inc. has established a huge social security and support network to provide insurance and medical services for Chinese consumers.