Silicon Dragon Digest: WeLab Going Public?

Simon crop2-WeLab-271x300Hong Kong Fintech Unicorn Eyes IPO
One of Hong Kong’s unicorn startups, online lending startup WeLab, fresh from raising $220 million in funding last month, is considering its next mega move.
Plans are afoot to go to the next stage of growth with preliminary steps toward a public listing in Hong Kong that could raise approximately $500 million.
WeLab has hired investment bankers to begin the IPO process. The step would follow the recent IPOs of China fintech startups PPDai and Qudian.
WeLab, founded in 2013 by Stanford graduate  Simon Loong, (see photo) has gone from strength to strength in raising capital.
Silicon Dragon presented its Annual Entrepreneur of the Year Award to CEO and founder Loong in 2014.
We were right on track!

NOTEWORTHY
Israel: The New Promise Land for
China investors

China’s total investment in Israel almost tripled last year to $16 billion, largely in the hi-tech industry.
A growing number of Chinese investors view Israeli businesses as the next smart buy, fueled by China’s soaring demand for advanced technologies, Israel’s tech smarts and greater connections between Beijing and Israel. Read Promised Land.
Stay tuned for updates on Silicon Dragon’s annual happening in Tel Aviv, planned for January 29, 2018.  See Silicon Dragon Israel 2017 as a guide.

Why China Is Emerging As A Tech Superpower To Rival The West
Just as one example of China’s growing tech clout,
Fortune points to China’s DJI, which controls more than 70%
of the commercial drone market, predicted to soar to $15 billion by 2022 from $1.3 billion last year. With venture funding from
Accel Partners and Sequoia Capital, DJI has a valuation of $10 billion. Analysts estimate DJI sales this year to exceed $1.5 billion, with earnings approaching $500 million.
DJI has been hailed by many electronics industry analysts as the “Apple of consumer drones.” But the comparison is misleading.
Unlike Apple, which proudly proclaims its products are “Designed in California, Assembled in China,” DJI products are designed and manufactured in Shenzhen, which excels as a Chinese source for components in DJI products.

Tencent becomes the first Chinese tech firm valued at more than $500 billion. The closest rival is Alibaba, valued at $474 billion. This half-a-trillion-dollar club includes Apple, Alphabet, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon.

New Financing Deals
Los Angeles-based startup Divergent 3D has raised $65 million in Series B financing led by Li Ka-shing’s Horizons Ventures. The startup is poised to disrupt car manufacturing with 3D printing — the car factory of the future!

Baidu has teamed up with electric vehicle maker NIO to  invest $106 million in a Series B deal in Chinese ride-booking app Shouqi Limousine & Chauffeur. The deal represents another foray by Baidu into seemingly unrelated businesses that can leverage AI.

INDIA
India’s venture capital firms struggle to justify large funds as deals dry up. India continues to struggle to break through, like China has.  DealStreetAsia