While some onlookers believe a capital winter could be just the medicine China’s young tech community needs, established startups are seeking more capital than ever. From real estate to fintech and on-demand services, no one appears to be shying away from a heavy cash burn-rate in 2016.
Here are three multi-billion dollar deals that have come to light over the past week, worth a combined $6 billion, which show just how fearless China’s VC environment is in 2016.
1. Alibaba’s Finance Arm Ant Financial Is Seeking At Least $3.5 billion USD
Ant Financial, the Alibaba-backed finance giant behind Alipay, is looking to raise a round of at least 20 billion yuan ($3.5 billion USD), bringing the company’s total valuation to around $60 billion USD. Ant Financial’s 2015/2016 investment portfolio is incredibly diverse, and includes everything from Indian payment platform, PayTM, to the China’s Postal Savings Bank. The company raised $1.9 billion USD in their first round last year. The latest round could be the foundation for a highly-anticipated IPO.
2. Real Estate Company Homelink Looks To Raise $1 billion USD
Homelink Real Estate Brokerage Co., a Beijing-based property broker founded in 2001, is seeking to raise around $1 billion USD with interest from internet giants Tencent and Baidu, valuing the company at near 40 billion yuan ($6.2 billion USD). While demand for new property has dwindled over the the past 18 months, internet companies are still clamoring to take a bite of the market. Online companies in the industry including Soufun and Fangdd have surged ahead with new funding in the past six months as the country eases restrictions on home ownership.
3. Didi Kuaidi Raises Funding Target To $1.5 billion USD
China’s leading ride-hailing service Didi Kuaidi could see their valuation top $20 billion USD if the company is able to settle their $1.5 billion USD funding target. The company has been locked in an aggressive spending war with Uber, which currently values their China arm at near $7 billion USD. Uber currently claims to hold an estimated 30 percent share of private car services in China, versus Didi Kuaidi’s claim of 86 percent. The actual metrics vary depending on which aspects of the business you measure. The latest injection of funding into the Alibaba-Tencent-backed Chinese service shows that the cash-burning on-demand wars of 2015 are well and truly set to continue into 2016.
Keep those buzzwords flyin’ and the cash will keep coming. If you are an Internet-Plus, 020, Internet of Things company with a sparkly pitch PPT and a long-term vision towards “VR”, you’ll get funded. That should be a warning sign for the smart money out there.
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