Mega IPO Of China’s Apple Will Set Bar For Chinese GroupOn and Uber

Chinese smart phone maker Xiaomi has been labeled the Apple of the East and its founder Lei Jun (photo) as the Steve Jobs of China. They are about to become better known in the West now that Xiaomi has filed to go public and raise $10 billion in an IPO that could be the largest in tech since Alibaba‘s record-breaking $25 billion public offering on the NYSE in 2016.
Xiaomi, among the first of several Chinese tech startups gearing up for mega IPOs this year, could set the standards for several other China public listings such as group-buying site Meituan-Dianping (the GroupOn of China), Didi Chuxing (the Uber of China) and AI-news empowered site Toutiao (no U.S. equivalent.)
This is going to be interesting! Alibaba will soon have lots of company.
Many investors outside China tech venture circles don’t have a clue how to pronounce Xiaomi (“ShawMe”) or the name of the Chinese tech entrepreneur (“Lay June”) who started this Beijing-based business eight years ago.
Read Forbes: The Apple of the East

NEW FUNDINGS

Silicon Dragon podcast interview with Castbox

Silicon Dragon podcast interview with Castbox

Podcasting app Castbox has raised $13.5 million from SIG Capital with existing investors ZhenFund and Qiming Venture. Founder Renee Wang sold her Beijing house to get started with Castbox two years ago and now has $26 million in equity financing. Listen to Silicon Dragon podcast interview (just 9 minutes!) with the founder.

The new $820 million raised by Chinese robotics maker Ubtech in a third round led by Tencent will be used by the Shenzhen-based startup to bring the cute-looking robots into the home.

GGV Capital led a $15.7 million financing of Chinese AI medical startup Synyi to bring machine learning into medical data. Existing investors ZhenFund and GGV Capital participated in the funding.

China’s online travel agency Ctrip has made a strategic investment in U.S. supersonic airplane maker Boom to develop a plane that can jet from San Francisco to Shanghai in just six hours, bringing U.S. technology to China. Wonder how this one passed DC scrutiny.

Chinese tea shop chain HeyTea has attracted crowds eager for its cheese-topped tea (!) and also pulled in $63 million in a Series B led by Longzhu Capital, a VC outfit owned by China’s GroupOn, Meituan-Dianping.

Coca-Cola has taken a 12% investment stake in Greek yogurt startup LePur, based in Beijing, making its first investment in Asia and meeting a growing demand for healthy products in the region.

IPOs
China’s livestreaming platform for games, HUYA, is setting its sights on an IPO this week on the NYSE. The Tencent-backed gaming community is looking to raise at least $165 million. Silicon Dragon will interview the CFO of HUYA this week.

VIEWPOINT
Silicon Dragon’s viewpoint in Techonomy on how ban on ZTE buying chips from U.S. leaders Qualcomm and Intel could impact China / Taiwan relations.  Read chips.

NOTEWORTHY
Alibaba‘s new retail concept is coming alive in China. Here’s how the e-commerce giant is seeking to tap into the $4.9 trillion retail market and transform it digitally. Read Silicon Dragon post on Reach Further. Read who’s beating Amazon.

Here’s an interesting piece on what went wrong with Amazon’s entry into China — it lost the leadership after being outspent by China’s own JD. Now, Amazon is seeking to take the lessons learned to India, but it’s going to be tough. Rival WalMart just acquired a 75% stake for $15 billion in Indian e-commerce leader Flipkart. Softbank’s Vision Fund is selling its 20% stake in Flipkart, expecting to make $4 billion on its $1.5 billion investment made 8 months ago!
Some of FlipkKart’s early backers were Accel, DST Global, Iconiq Capital, Naspers and GIC.

DATA POINTS
China’s venture capital market topped the world with investors inking 209 deals at $15.6 billion in April alone. The average deal size in China was $70.24 million in April, more than four times the $16.7 million average deal size in the U.S. during the first quarter of 2018, according to data from China VC Tracker. China’s BAT companies plus Sequoia, ZhenFund, IDG and Legend Capital are leading this surge.

America delivered more AR/VR revenue than China last year, but Chinese growth in the next five years could see it dominate AR/VR long-term – and not by a small margin, according to advisory firm Digi-Capital in a new report on the augmented/virtual reality market. Managing director Tim Merel says China has the potential to take more than $1 of every $5 spent on AR/VR globally by 2022.