Silicon Dragon News – mid-January 2015

EHANG co-founder Derrick Xiong

EHANG co-founder Derrick Xiong

CHINESE STARTUPS MAKE A SPLASH AT CES

Large Chinese tech companies such as ZTE, Huawei, Alibaba, Hisense, TCL and Lenovo made a splash again at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show with prominent exhibit space, flashy billboards and signs.

Indeed, if you’re looking for a sign that Chinese tech companies are their way up, consider that one in four of the exhibitors at CES were from China! I did hear a lot of Mandarin.

Although the Chinese tech titans took center stage at CES, it was the startups from China that caught my eye such as Chinese drone maker EHANG, mobile accessories designer Lepow. and next generation iPad touch screen inventor Handscape. The founders of these startups are thinking big, gaining confidence and seem to have few qualms about their ability to scale up globally. That’s EHANG co-founder Derrick Xiong pictured above and HANDSCAPE founder Tong Luo to the left.
Both founders will be speaking at our Silicon Dragon event in Palo Alto on February 5. So will Julianna He, the co-founder and COO of Lepow.

Hanscape founder Tong Luo

Hanscape founder Tong Luo

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Rotomatic, a startup Silicon Dragon first ran into in Singapore a few years ago. Drawing attention for the smells of Indian breads coming from their booth at CES, Rotomatic wowed the crowds with a fully automated roti, poori and flatbread maker, thanks to the ingenuity of its founder Pranoti Nagarkarand. I first met this determined lady when she was a resident entrepreneur at the National University of Singapore (and wrote about her in my book, Startup Asia.)

Keep reading post at Forbes: Splash at CES.

TECH DEAL NEWS

CHINA

The year got off to a big start, with one of the more interesting startups around – a Chinese drone maker named EHANG – getting funding to the tune of $10 million from US and China venture investor GGV Capital and two prominent angel investors, Nick Yang and Xiaoping Xu.

Derrick Xiong, a co-founder of EHANG, is on a mission to make personal drones mainstream. The first rounding funding should be a boost for the innovative startup, which got its start through a crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo last November. EHANG raised $600,000 on Indiegogo for its so-called Ghost Drone product. Keep reading post at Forbes, Ghost Drone.

Top Trends in 2015: Alibaba, Xiaomi, red-hot valuations. Read 2015 recap at Forbes.

China’s taxi app KuaiDi Dache reloads with US$600M in Series D financing led by Softbank

Chinese P2P lending site Dianrong gets fresh funding from Tiger Global

Institutional Venture Partners leads $55 million Series D in mobile analytics app service App Annie.

Alibaba has acquired a minority stake in digital ad firm AdChina.

Chinese e-commerce player WoWo files for IPO on NASDAQ despite only $20M in revenues and losses.

China’s BVCF provides $8M round for US biotech firm DiaCarta, a developer of test kits for detecting cancer.

Xiaomi releases the Note, calling it a lighter, thinner, cheaper phone than the iPhone 6 Plus.

Facebook, Xiaomi discussed possible investment in Xiaomi but Lei Jun was worried about possible political fallout.

Xiaomi, China’s leading smartphone maker, has drawn a new $1.1B war chest in its latest round of fund-raising, which valued the startup at $45B. Investors include All-Stars Investment, an investment fund run by former Morgan Stanley analyst Richard Ji, Singapore’s GIC, DST Global, a fund run by the Russian billionaire Yuri Milner and an early investor in Facebook; China private equity group Hopu Investment Management, and Jack Ma’s private equity fund Yunfeng Capital.

Micro-lending site for Chinese college students in need of iPhones nabs $40M in Series A financing.

Tencent and JD.com invest $1.5B in Chinese car sales website BitAuto.

INDIA

China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and its unit Alipay are in advanced talks to buy a stake for about $550 million in India’s online payment platform One97 Communications.

AppVirality, a Phoenix, Arizona- and Hyderabad, India-based provider of a plug-and-play growth hacking toolkit for mobile applications, raised $465k in seed funding.

TA Associates buys stake in India SaaS provider RateGain, which services the hotel IT business.

Infosys expands Innovation Fund five-fold to $500M to invest in early stage tech.

India’s Lenskart raises $22m in Series C funding led by TPG Capital to ramp up online eyewear retail business.

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