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TechNode’s Top 10 Fundraising Stories of 2016
It’s finally 2017. While the capital winter has spooked China’s internet industry since the beginning of 2016, many have still managed to score new funding and hope that this year will be better than last.
Overall, social networking, biotech, electric cars were some of the hottest verticals in China. Contrary to what we believed before we started looking at our traffic data, funding stories of small and medium-sized startups, rather than BAT (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent), grabbed the top spots in the list. This indicates a shift in interest from China’s internet behemoths to the more innovative startups coming from China.
Here’s the list:
1. Chinese Tinder-Like ‘Tantan’ Rakes In 32 Million USD
China’s Tinder-like dating app Tantan raised a 32 million USD series C funding from a group of investors, including LB Investment, Vision Capital, and DST Global. The two-year-old app claimed 2.5 million active users, around 80% of which are part of China’s post-90’s generation.
2. Chinese Startup Connecting College Students And Part-Time Employers Raises $8.5 Million Series A
Chinese startup Qingtuanshe completed a 55 million RMB (about 8.5 million USD) round of series A funding this April. Qingtuanshe’s student-facing app connects university students with part-time jobs, such as shopkeeping at a hamburger joint, live streaming on an app, and even “liking” a company’s social media posts. On the other side, companies can download Qingtuanshe’s free corporate app and post job opportunities and track applications.
3. iCarbonX Becomes China’s First Biotech Unicorn
iCarbonX, a six-month-old biotech startup, raised a 1 billion RMB (about 154 million USD) round of Series A funding, boosting the Shenzhen-based company to unicorn status with a valuation of $1 billion USD.
4. Used-Car Trading Platform Guazi Seals 200 Million USD Funding
C2C used-car trading platform Guazi.com completed a 200 million USD financing round in March 2016. Guazi.com was established by online classifieds site Ganji.com, which later merged with rival online classifieds site 58.com.
5. Diabetes Management Platform Weitang Raises Series B From Yidu Cloud
Diabetes management platform Weitang raised tens of millions USD in series B round of funding led by Yidu Cloud Technology Company Ltd. The app helps patients to track their blood sugar levels, food intake, exercise, and medication using the app, generating a real-time medical record. Based on the data, doctors can then provide customized management plans for patients.
6. Online Education Firm VIPKID Secures $100M From Yunfeng, Sequoia Capital
Education platform VIPKID closeda 100 million USD series C from existing investor Sequoia Capital and new investor Yunfeng Capital, the VC firm co-founded by Alibaba founder Jack Ma.
7. SoftBank, Foxconn Commit $30M To Chinese AI And Cloud Startup
CloudMinds, an AI and cloud computing startup, raised a 30 million USD round of seed funding, led by SoftBank International.
8. NextEV Co-Founder Lands $120M For Consumer Electric Vehicle Company
Chinese electric vehicle company Chehejia has raised a combined 780 million RMB (120 million USD) in series A funding at a valuation of 2.98 billion RMB from seven investors.
9. Alibaba’s Cainiao Logistics Confirms First Financing At $7.7B Valuation
Alibaba-backed logistics company Cainiao has sealed their first-ever funding round, worth over 10 billion yuan (1.54 billion USD), from a consortium including Singapore’s Temasek Holdings and GIC Pte Ltd, Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional Bhd, and China’s Primavera Capital.
10. This Startup Wants To Disrupt China’s Floral Business
FlowerPlus, a subscription flower delivery service, raised a 70 million RMB (10 million USD) series A round led by New Margin Ventures in May. As an early entrant to the field, FlowerPlus is among a series of no-frills flower delivery services that targets China’s rising middle class. Other similar services include AmorFlora, EasyFlower, and Floral & Life.
Image credits: Shutterstock; TechNode