Gobi Dealmaker Is Latest To Spin Out An Asian VC Fund

Victor ChuaThe trend of venture capitalists spinning out their own funds continues as former Gobi Ventures vice president Victor Chua teams up with Darren Chua to form a new venture capital fund, Vynn Capital, focused on Southeast Asia and going after a $40 million close. Gobi has inked several successful deals in the region since opening there a few years ago from its China base. Chua said the strategic-value focused VC firm is now live to work with families and corporates as well as entrepreneurs who are looking to create more synergistic value and build the ecosystem together. The past year has seen venture partners from Sequoia Capital, Kleiner Perkins, Khosla Ventures and others go out on their own with new funds.

China co-working market continues to be red hot, as China’s co-working space giant Ucommune secures $17.4 million in new funding, barely two months after it raised $47 million in a Series C funding round, also led by the same M&A fund, Qianhai Wutong.  The startup is backed by renowned investors such as Sequoia Capital, Zhen Fund, Noah Wealth Management and Sinovation Ventures. Its valuation was estimated to be $1.3 billion after the Series C round as of December 2017.
Interestingly, the same M&A fund backed China’s largest co-working space operator UrWork (rebranded as UCommune) in fund raising of $45 million late last year. 

DataVisor, a provider of fraud detection solutions using machine learning, snapped up a $40 million Series C round of financing led by Sequoia China, with participation from existing investors New Enterprise Associates and GSR Ventures. Rock Wang, managing director at Sequoia China, will join DataVisor’s board of directors. With this new round of financing, the Silicon Valley based startup with offices in Beijing and Shanghai plans to expand its global footprint in the fraud detection and prevention market, which is estimated to reach $41.6 billion by year 2022, 
according to research firm MarketsandMarkets.
Yinglian Xie, CEO and co-founder of DataVisor, called Sequoia China an ideal partner to help scale the business as it improves its technology and expands globally in the fraud fight. 

JD truckNew funding of $2.5 billion goes to the logistics unit of Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com, the closest rival to Alibaba. The deal  was led by investment firms Hillhouse Capital Group and  Sequoia Capital China, plus internet giant Tencent as well as several state-owned companies. The money is being earmarked to further develop drone deliveries and robotic assists. 

LimeBike duoSilicon Valley-based bike-sharing company LimeBike has raised a series B extension of funding of $50 million led by Fifth Wall Ventures (typically a real estate investor) and Shenzhen manufacturer Rainbow Technology Co. The connection to real estate is that Fifth Wall will work with LimeBike to establish hubs nearby buildings and local retail establishments where bikers can rent bikes, explained Brandon Wallace, co-founder and general partner at the Los Angeles-anchored VC fund.

IPOs
iQiyiChinese search leader Baidu is making plans to take its video streaming platform iQiyi public in New York sometime soon.

And, Alibaba is taking a 33 percent stake in its online payment affiliate Ant Financial in a deal that could lead to a public listing of the unit, which was spun off from Alibaba in 2014 as a separate entity.

NOTEWORTHY UNICORNS TO WATCH
Here are 10 Chinese unicorns that are on track to conquer markets. Silicon Dragon has been tracking these already but thought you might like to see this list from Wired UK

 

Q&A website Zhihu
Chinese Education in English VIPKid
China’s AirBNB Tujia
Deep learning chip Cambricon
Music streaming service NetEase
Group buys site Meituan-Dianping
Electric vehicle maker Nio
Smartphone maker Xiaomi
AI startup SenseTime
Fashion e-commerce site Mogujie

Artificial Intelligence! 
Who isn’t writing about it these days? and with a China angle.
China is racing ahead in AI with funding and patents, grabbing nearly half the venture capital and closing the gap on the talent race.
Baidu is betting its future on artificial intelligence, launching its Alexa of China series of lamps, projectors and speakers while racing to keep up with Google in autonomous driving. Baidu just opened a second R&D lab for AI research in Silicon Valley.
Alibaba is also playing its AI hand, relying on the technology to making shopping more convenient, efficient and fun. You know about its new Hema grocery stores that are fully automatic and digitalized – no cashiers, no check-out lines — just QR codes and AliPay.

RECOMMENDED TRAVEL
If you want to be in the center of action in Tel Aviv on your next business trip, you should stay at the new boutique hotel Poli House, in 1930 Bauhaus style.  It’s really cool with a panoramic rooftop pool, sun deck, cocktail bar, spa treatment room and quaint cafe for breakfast. The Poli House is one of a growing trend of boutique hotels in Tel Aviv as the city by the sea populates with newer, luxurious hotels such as the very chic Carlton, where you can have breakfast overlooking the surfers.