China VC Weekly: Foodtech, IoT, Big Data and More

Last week saw several notable investment rounds raised in the world of China VC. The most prominent companies announcing fundraising news on our radar included Singapore’s Alchemy Foodtech, Guangzhou-based IoT powerhouse Rootcloud, Chinese luxury resale pioneers Plum, Big Data firm MiningLamp Technology, intelligent warehouse solutions provider Quicktron Intelligent Technology.

Singapore’s Alchemy Foodtech raises 7 figures for China expansion

Singaporean company Alchemy Foodtech announced that it has secured a 7-figure investment round led by seafood giant Thai Union, and joined by Shanghai-based food tech fund Bits x Bites, Muang Thai Group’s investment arm Fuchsia Venture Capital, and South Korean VC Sunbo Partners. Existing investors Heritas Capital and SEEDS Capital also contributed to the financing round.

The Singaporean startup plans to use the funding to fuel its international expansion with a focus on China, as well as grow its production capacity. The company revealed its China-focused expansion plans earlier this year.

“The partnerships will help to provide us with better market access into international channels such as leading supermarkets, convenience and retail chains, and countries including China which we have identified as a key market opportunity,” Alan Phua, Co-Founder & CEO, Alchemy Foodtech.

About Alchemy Foodtech
Alchemy Foodtech is a food science and technology company that develops novel active food ingredients aimed to fight diabetes.

IoT firm Rootcloud closes $122 million Series C round

Guangzhou-based IoT firm Rootcloud announced on Thursday that it has closed a Series C round of financing raising 800 million yuan ($122 million) led by Beijing-based global investment and asset management company IDG Capital.

Several new investors also participated in the latest round including Tencent, Haitong Investment Group, KY Private Equity Fund, China Cinda Asset Management’s joint fund Jian Xin Jin Yuan Investment, and Tianya Capital.

Existing backer, China and Southeast Asia-focused Chinese VC fund, ZWC Partners, also joined the round, according to Rootcloud’s announcement on WeChat.

ZWC Partners, MatrixPartners China, Galaxy Holding Group and others had previously injected 500 million yuan ($77 million) in the company’s Series B round of funding in June 2019. MatrixPartners also invested in Rootcloud’s Series A round in 2018.

“Going forward, Rootcloud will continue to focus on IoT platform services and solutions driven by technology innovations, as well as to establish an emerging IoT ecosystem in partnerships with counterparts,” said Dongdong He, co-founder and CEO at Rootcloud, in the statement.

About Rootcloud
Formerly part of Chinese heavy equipment manufacturing giant Sany Heavy Industry Group, Rootcloud leverages new generation technologies such as cloud computing, big data, AI, 5G and blockchain to help in the digitalization of the manufacturing industry.

Luxury resale platform gets tens of millions of dollars from Matrix Partners and Unity VC

Chinese luxury resale platform Plum announced that it has raised “tens of millions” of dollars in an investment round led by Matrix Partners and Unity VC, according to Chinese tech news outlet 36Kr.

China’s luxury resale market is currently dominated by domestic businesses like Plum and rival Pawnstar. Vestiaire Collective, despite announcing in 2017 that China would be a major target for expansion, made public this year that although the company considers China a potentially big supply market in the future, it doesn’t have plans to enter the country in 2020.

About Plum
Founded in 2017, Plum is one of the leaders in China’s luxury resale space and previously raised $58.4 million in six rounds of funding. At present, the consumer-to-consumer platform’s sell-out rate within 90 days has hit 90%; its inventory turnover averages at 45 days.

Big Data and AI unicorn MiningLamp Technology gets a $200 million injection from Russia-China Investment Fund

Chinese big data and artificial intelligence (AI) firm backed by Tencent and Temasek, MiningLamp Technology, announced on Friday that it had raised $200 million in its Series E+ round of financing led by Russia-China Investment Fund (RCIF).

Besides the lead investor RCIF, a fund created in 2012 by government-backed investment institutions in Russia and China, MiningLamp’s existing shareholders Tencent and Beijing-based dual-currency fund Hundreds Capital joined the round.

Other investors included Oriental Pearl Media Industry Equity Investment Fund, owned by Chinese media entertainment firm Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group, Greater Bay Area Homeland Investments, and CITIC Securities Investment, an investment unit of Chinese brokerage firm CITIC Securities.

UOB Venture Management (UOBVM), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore’s United Overseas Bank, Capthrone and China Sky Global also took part in the round.

As part of the investment, MiningLamp will establish cooperation with investors to expand its global foothold. The firm plans to join hands with investors to implement its industry ecosystem strategy, under which it will work with Tencent, CITIC Securities Investment, and Oriental Pearl Media Industry Equity Investment Fund in various areas like smart cities, intelligent industry, smart marketing, fintech, and new media.

About MiningLamp Technology
Founded in April 2014 with support from early-stage backers like Sequoia Capital China, MiningLamp started as a provider of online ad performance evaluation solutions and fraud detection services.

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Intelligent warehouse solutions provider Quicktron Intelligent Technology bags $100 million Series C

Chinese intelligent warehouse solutions provider Quicktron Intelligent Technology has reportedly raised a $100 million Series C+ round from German warehouse equipment provider Kion Group and Saudi Arabian Oil’s Prosperity7 Ventures.

Chinese financial institutions, including BOCOM International, the financial services arm of Bank of Communications, and Hong Kong-listed financial and equity investment firm Shenwan Hongyuan Group also participated in the round, as well as Quicktron’s existing investor China Creation Ventures (CCV).

The Quicktron deal is Prosperity7 Ventures’ first direct investment in China, according to Aramco Ventures CEO Mahdi Adel.

The company plans to use the new financing to enhance its global business layout, improve its technologies and products, expand the team, and lift production capacity.

About Quicktron Intelligent Technology
Founded in 2014, Quicktron is involved in the R&D, production, sales, and project implementation of AI-based intelligent warehousing robots and operation solutions. Its customers include Chinese e-commerce giant, online discount sales website, and Alibaba’s logistics arm Cainiao.