Gobi, Sequoia Add Sizeable Funds For More Asian Startup Deals

Gobi Goes For The Gusto With A Third RMB Fund
Gobi Partners has launched an RMB 600 million ($94 million) fund focusing on investments in early stage startups, the firm’s forte.  Average deal size for the firm’s third RMB fund, Gobi Yingzhi II, is expected to be approximately RMB 100 million($1.6 million).
Founded in 2002 and based in Shanghai, Gobi has raised six funds and invested in more than 100 portfolio companies, including two that are tracking well  – China-made photo app Camera360 and online travel agency Tuniu.
Sequoia Capital Ups Ante In  India With $800 Million Fund In Works
Sequoia Capital, angling to capitalize on India’s rising tech market, is planning to raise a new $800 million fund to invest in plenty more startups as India becomes an increasing draw for venture capital firms.
One of the forerunners, Sequoia set up in India in 2006, and has since invested in more than 100 companies across a broad range of sectors in technology, healthcare, consumer and financial services, including some of India’s best-known startups.
Plans for the new fund comes in quick succession to several earlier efforts, including a fourth fund of $530 million in May 2014.
Closing the new fund should give Sequoia a substantial advantage in a market that is bound to heat up just as China cools down.
 
U in C2The rivalry between Didi Kuadi and Uber in China is heating up to be one of the fiercest battles in startup history. The stakes are huge: China boasts the world’s largest market of urban commuters, with some estimates putting it at 750 million people and growing. 
 
In July 2014, as Uber CEO Kalanick was preparing for an all-out push into China, he visited Didi Dache, the country’s dominant ride-hailing company at the time. He soon learned that the CEO of his Chinese rival, Cheng Wei, was inspired by Uber’s success and looking to top it in China.
During a meeting between the two, Kalanick suggested that Uber invest in Didi, an offer that was promptly rejected. The reasoning? In a line that recalls Jack Ma’s ambitions with Alibaba, Didi’s CEO put Uber on the alert. He declared that while Uber was earlier than Did globally, the Chinese-born app will someday surpass Uber. Whether he means that globally or just in China is a matter for debate.  


 

Candice Lo croppedUber is set to close $1 billion-plus in funding for its China unit as the  U.S.-based ride service competes against well-funded market leader Didi Kuaidi.

Investors in Uber’s Chinese unit include Hillhouse Capital, Asia’s biggest hedge fund, Chinese Internet giant Baidu Inc, China CITIC Bank Corp Ltd, China Life Insurance Co Ltd and Ping An Insurance Group Co of China.

The round values Uber China at $7 billion, with the unit planning to be spun off from Uber and list on the mainland by 2020.

Uber China manager Candice Lo detailed the company’s expansion strategy at a Silicon Dragon forum in Hong Kong  on April 22.

 

 

unicornUnicorn startups may be fewer and farther between if the current market volatility continues, say in-the-know venture investors. The number of privately funded startups with billion-dollar valuations had climbed to 49 this year. Now valuations could be cut for the unicorn club.

China unicorns in particular may be in for a rougher time in the economic slowdown underway. Silicon Dragon will discuss this issue at its Shanghai venture and tech forum, Sept. 16.

Coursera Eyes India, China With Near $50M Funding

courseraAiming to penetrate the key growth markets of China, India and Latin America, Coursera Inc., a provider of massive open online courses, has raised $49.5 million in a Series c led by New Enterprise Associates with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, International Finance Corporation, GSV Asset Management and Learn Capital. The new rounds brings the company’s total funding to more than $130 million to compete in the rapidly expanding educational technology startup market.

In the hard-to-crack China market, Coursera under the leadership of John Hayes has been gaining through local partnerships for translation and distribution. More localized content for China is on the way for the company based in Mountain View.

Made-In-China Drone Startup Raises $42 Million

Chang Kim

Co-founder Chang Kim spoke at Silicon Dragon

Amidst a wave of high Chinese drone startup valuations, Beijing-based drone maker Ehang Technology Co., Ltd. has closed a $42 million round of financing. This Series B was led by GP Capital, with participation from GGV Capital, ZhenFund, Lebox Capital, OFC, and PreAngel.

The company had raised $10 million in Series A funding in January. Ehang’s latest funds will be used on product and business development, marketing, and hiring.

Ehang was featured at a Silicon Dragon forum in the Valley in January 2015.

The startup has been pumped up in part by such venture superstars as GGV investor Jenny Lee.

InnoSpring Plants More Seeds With $10M
InnoSpring 2A Shanghai-based holding company of Silicon Valley-based incubator InnoSpring has raised a strategic $10 million from Chinese automotive giant and financial enterprise Wanxiang Group. InnoSpring plans to earmark the funds for its portfolio companies in the U.S.-China corridor to hatch.
Among InnoSpring’s success stories is mobile security company TrustGo, acquired by Baidu in 2013 for $30 million.

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