Find out what moves China tech with us. We round up what you need to know about the local venture scene every Thursday at 8:00 a.m. (GMT +8), covering major investment stories, MNC partnerships, noteworthy startups, industries with the most investments for the week, and more.
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Top Investment Story
EV startup Leapmotor raised RMB 4.5 billion (USD 695 million) in a new financing round led by the Hangzhou government, with other investors including China Capital Investment Group and CITIC Discatal. The company is aiming for an IPO in Hong Kong at the end of 2021 or in early 2022.
Leapmotor’s self-developed high-performance chips are designed for autonomous vehicles with deep learning capabilities. The company also holds 689 authorized patents in China as of May 31, 2021. It has three models in production—the S01 electric two-door coupe, the T03 electric sedan, and the C11 electric crossover.
Startups on our Watchlist
Established in October 2020, Motphys provides mobile game developers with high-performance physics engine technology to enable enhanced realism and immersive gaming experiences.
A physics engine simulates real-world physical mechanics and effects in video games, allowing characters to perform actions such as running, attacking, and gesturing with a higher degree of realism. This includes the simulation of natural forces such as gravity and buoyancy, making the game experience more vivid and authentic.
Motphys’ physics engine resolves the high risk of graphic distortion for mobile game development. The company currently serves more than 100 million gamers, and has gained recognition for its technical performance and development efficiency. In the future, the company plans to work with game studio partners to develop several flagship games as well as explore applications in VR, the metaverse, and digital twins.
The company raised millions of dollars in its recent angel round financing led by Sequoia Capital China Seed Fund and GL Ventures.
KrASIA News Picks
Last week, we shined the spotlight on the way blue-chip tech investors have been eyeing China’s emerging consumer brands. One of the brands leading this trend is Genki Forest.
Founded in 2016, the fruit-flavored soda brand has had a meteoric rise and shows no signs of slowing down. Defying the drag caused by the pandemic, Genki Forest saw a 1,400% increase in annual sales between 2018 and 2020. Investors’ “frenzy” over the brand led to its valuation growing 600% in just 17 months, ballooning to USD 6 billion in March.
Word is that there was even a venture capital fund that handed over a USD 2 billion term sheet without conducting due diligence.
So what makes this brand worth the hype? What fundamentals have they gotten right? What’s next in their growth plan? Check out part 1 and part 2 of our deep dive into Genki Forest.