China VC Weekly: Hillhouse Capital’s New Fund, Autonomous Driving, Macromolecular Drugs, Oatmeal and Toys

Hillhouse Capital’s founder Lei Zhang giving a commencement speech to the graduating class of 2017 at Renmin University (Source: Hillhouse Capital)

Several interesting news surfaced last week, with China’s VC industry getting back on its feet. Self-driving truck innovators Inceptio Technology raised $100 million, similar to the designer toy store chain POP Mart. Biopharmaceutical start-up Mabwell bagged 1.97 million yuan, while another health-focused company Wangbaobao, an oatmeal brand, raised 100 million. All that while one of the most prominent Asia-focused PE firms, Hillhouse Capital, is preparing to raise $13 billion dollars for its new fund.

Inceptio Technology raises $100 million in equity financing to develop self-driving trucks

Self-driving truck technology start-up Inceptio Technology announced a $100 million equity financing round. The company has also received China’s first A-sample validation for Level 3 autonomous trucks jointly developed with Dongfeng Commercial Vehicle Co. (Dongfeng Trucks). 

The validation is “a key milestone of productization in China’s autonomous driving industry and marks a solid step taken by Inceptio in volume production of L3 autonomous trucks,” said the startup’s official announcement.

About Inceptio Technology

Founded in 2018, Inceptio Technology has a goal of building a nationwide freight network of self-driving trucks. In February 2019, Inceptio Technology opened an R&D center in California, joining its centers in China. The company plans to reach a headcount of about 300 people.

Hillhouse Capital reportedly raising a new $13 billion fund

People familiar with the matter revealed that Hillhouse Capital plans to raise a new $13 billion fund, of which nearly $10 billion will be invested in mergers and acquisitions, while the rest will be allocated to growth and venture capital investments.

Hillhouse Capital does not disclose its investment performance figures, but data from the University of Texas’ Endowment Fund shows that after deducting fees, the firm’s average annual rate of return for the past decade has been roughly 20%. David Swensen, the chief investment officer of Yale’s endowment fund, revealed that Hillhouse Capital has brought the university $2.4 billion in investment returns.

About Hillhouse Capital

Hillhouse Capital is a global Asia-focused private equity firm. Founded by Lei Zhang in 2005 with $20 million in seed capital from the Yale Endowment, it currently operates offices in Beijing, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Biopharmaceutical start-up Mabwell raises a 1.97 billion yuan Series A round of financing

Biopharmaceutical start-up Mabwell has completed a 1.97 billion yuan Series A round of financing. This round was completed in two stages and led by Shiyu Capital with Oriental Fortune Capital, Loyal Valley Capital, Haitong Capital and several other funds participating.

Dr. Liu Datao, president of the company, said Mabwell has established a completely new drug R&D industry chain, covering the entire process from early research and development to drug development and pilot production.

About Mabwell

Mabwell is an innovative biopharmaceutical company established in Zhangjiang, Shanghai. Since its establishment in 2017, it has absorbed and newly established 9 biopharmaceutical R&D and production enterprises. At present, the company focuses on R&D and manufacturing of macromolecular drugs.

Oatmeal brand Wangbaobao bags 100 million yuan from BA Capital

Healthy food brand Wangbaobao raised nearly 100 million yuan in its Series B round of financing. BA Capital led the investment. Old investors Source Code Capital, Vertex Ventures China, and Decent Capital followed.

In December 2019, Wangbaobao raised tens of millions of yuan in its Series A financing. SourceCode Capital and Vertex Ventures jointly led the round with Decent capital following. Earlier, Wangbaobao had also raised a 10 million yuan angel round.

About Wangbaobao

Wangbaobao is a D2C brand that was launched on Tmall in August 2018. It mainly specializes in oatmeal and cereals. 

Investors inject $100 million in toy store chain POP MART

Designer toy store chain POP MART raised an investment of $100 million led by Huaxing Capital and Loyal Valley Capital. Close sources revealed that after completing this round of financing, POP MART will apply for listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange next month.

During last year’s Double 11 shopping festival, POP MART ‘s Tmall flagship store sales reached 82.12 million yuan, a year-on-year increase of 295%, ranking first in the Tmall toy category, surpassing Lego, Bandai and other international toy brands.

About POP MART

POP MART is a designer toy store chain founded in 2010. POP MART currently operates more than 800 stores across 63 cities in China.