China VC Weekly: Autonomous Driving, AR and Gaming

CHINA VC WEEKLY-momenta
(Source: Momenta)

In last week’s VC news, global automotive corporation General Motors invests in Chinese autonomous driving startup Momenta, Beijing-based maker of augmented reality glasses Nreal raises new funds for international expansion, NetEase invests in Londong and Singapore-based game publisher Kepler Interactive.

General Motors invests in Chinese autonomous driving startup Momenta

General Motors announced on Thursday that it will invest $300 million in Momenta, a Chinese autonomous driving startup, in an effort to accelerate the development of self-driving technology within the vast domestic market.

In March this year, Momenta announced the completion of a C round of financing totaling $500 million, led by SAIC, Toyota, Bosch, as well as renowned investment institutions Temasek and YF Capital.

The Beijing-based autonomous driving firm has also secured investment from Tencent, Nio, Zhen Fund, Shunwei Capital and others.

In fact, GM has invested in the field of autonomous driving before. In 2016, the American car company acquired Cruise, a self-driving startup, and supported the company’s growth to a $30 billion valuation.

About Momenta

Momenta is one of the few companies in China with a Grade A qualification for electronic navigation maps, a type of map that can collect and produce HD-Map data, and is a key tool in automatic driving technology.

Augmented reality glasses maker Nreal bags $100 million for expansion

Chinese augmented reality (AR) glasses maker Nreal has raised a $100 million round to fund its international expansion and develop new products.

The funding round values Nreal at a total of $700 million, according to CNBC, referring to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. The person was not authorized to speak publicly about the valuation.

Chi Xu, CEO of Nreal, told CNBC that the company plans to spend the money on research and development, as well as expanding its footprint globally.

“China is definitely a huge market, and [we plan] to enter that market next year, and also the U.S. and maybe more countries as well,” Xu said.

Nreal has not launched any products in Mainland China yet.

(Source: Nreal)

About Nreal

Founded in 2017, Nreal is a developer of ready-to-wear mixed reality glasses headquartered in Beijing.

SEE ALSO: Make Mixed Reality for Everyone: Interview with Nreal CEO Xu, Chi

NetEase invests in game publisher Kepler Interactive

Game developer and publisher Kepler Interactive announced on Tuesday that it received $120 million in funding from Chinese gaming firm NetEase Inc.

The group, composed of seven gaming companies including Alpha Channel and Sloclap, plans to offer game studio founders to become co-owners, share resources and financial gains, while being in charge of their own studios.

“We have a studio committee, which meets on a weekly basis – they get involved in major company decisions, but they don’t get involved into individual studio decisions, so the studios remain independent,” CEO Alexis Garavaryan said in an interview.

(Source: Kepler Interactive)

About Kepler Interactive 

Singapore and London-based Kepler Interactive is a collective in which game studio founders band together and become co-owners. The game studios share resources, operational support and financial gains, while maintaining their own creative independence.