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Key trends we observed
There was an increase in investment activity for the week of 11-18 October, totaling 60 investments. As predicted, enterprise services and healthcare remain the leading industries, accounting for 19 (31.7%) and 14 (23.3%) transactions accordingly.
Investors focused on the growth stage, with 13 investments (21.7%) in Series A and 19 investments (31.7%) in Series B.
Top stories: VCs and Investments
Coming out of the National Day holiday slowdown, there has been an increase in the number of big-ticket investments (rounds valued at RMB 100 million and above). Fervor in the automobile and transportation industry is particularly notable. Shouqi Yueche (首汽约车) raised several hundred million in US dollars for its Series C, closing the biggest investment of the week.
Additionally, car sharing platform GoFun raised its Series B, bringing its valuation to hundreds of millions of RMB. According to insiders, this fuels GoFun’s future plans to go public. The sharing model for automobiles is beginning to trend once again.
In the education industry, Huohua (火花思维) raised USD 100 million through its E2 round. Huohua has demonstrated considerable growth—from a small mathematics class to a general education brand. Within the past year, it has launched its Chinese language and AI-drive English classes.
Investments in the education industry have increasingly favored established, high performance companies since 2019. The trend has continued into 2020, as the Matthew effect is observed from a capital flow perspective—the top echelon of companies continue to receive much interest from investors.
Startups on our watchlist
Automobile and Transport
QCraft (轻舟智航); founded in 2019, funding round undisclosed
QCraft was founded in Silicon Valley in 2019. Its autonomous driving business is based on core technologies such as large-scale intelligent simulation system, self-learning decision-making framework, multi-sensor fusion and time sequence fusion schemes, and intelligent navigation developed for Level 4 autonomous driving (driven by QCraft) in complex urban traffic.
It is currently being tested and operated in Beijing, Shenzhen, Suzhou, Silicon Valley, and other cities in China.
KrASIA hosted QCraft’s CEO and co-founder Yu Qian in September as a speaker for a closed door bespoke webinar session with ST Engineering. Read more about that session here.
To learn more about how KrASIA can connect you with China’s leading startups, drop us as email at email@example.com.
Consumer, culture and entertainment
Edge (嘿市): founded in 2018; raised pre-Series A round
Edge started off as a C2C shopping and trade platform. On this basis, the team launched a community function based on fashion this March. The team’s aim was to target the unmet lifestyle needs of generation Z male consumers and eventually to become an entry platform to inform the community’s consumption decisions.
Plustwo (普拉斯兔): founded in 2020; funding round undisclosed
Plustwo started out in early 2020 as a personal fragrance brand focused on female consumer’s home needs. It combines quality ingredients with advanced formulations to meet users needs in terms of efficacy and experience. At present, its products cover three categories: hair care, body care, and fragrance.
It sold over 60,000 units of its representative product in September alone.
Thirteen (十三余品牌): founded in 2016; raised pre-Series A round
Thirteen is a traditional clothing brand founded by two traditional culture enthusiasts and influencers. In the past three years they have built up the brand through content creation and built a sustainable supply chain. During the 2019 11/11 sale season, Thirteen amassed sales of nearly RMB 30 million, with annual sales volume peaking at RMB 300 million.
YMLC (御米粮仓): founded in 2019, raised seed round
YMLC grew from a grain husking company to developing smart household appliances to store such staple foods. One of their main products is an intelligent plasma rice box for food storage and purification.
Rice oxidizes if not kept in air tight conditions, making it is easy to breed mold. Naturally, the main purpose of a rice box is to prevent mildew, insects, and moisture. Such household appliance has been a mainstay in Japan and South Korea for the past 40 years. Despite rice being an essential national product for families, using rice boxes is not popular in China. Hence the gap in the domestic market for YMLC to target.
Xiang Xin (箱信): founded in 2015, raised Series A
Xiang Xin aims to be a transportation platform that reduces logistics costs for ports. Using AI technology to resolve the problem of idle, empty vehicles they are also able to reduce their own logistic costs.
Hours (沃时科技): founded in 2018, funded by angel investment
Hours Tech focuses on intelligent manufacturing and process optimization. It aims to build an industrial level intelligent decision-making platform for customers, optimize the production process with the power of data and algorithms, and reduce costs while improving production efficiency.
At present, Hours Tech’s propriety intelligent decision-making platform can be applied in the fields of medicine, chemical industry, energy, industrial parts manufacturing, and more.
Menxlab: founded in 2019, raised Series A
Menxlab is a health management platform for men, focused on male consumers’ overall health and wellness; including hair loss, skin care and general health supplements. Targeted at the high-net worth age group of 25 – 45 years old, Menxlab provides a comprehensive medicine-grade product matrix and complimentary, integrated services.