In last week’s VC news, Matrix Partners completed two weighty capital injections in computer chips and robots, sweeping robot company LeSheng Smart secured its Series A+ financing round, and more.
Chinese Industrial AI Firm GT AI Completes Round-C Financing Led by GS Capital
GT AI announced that it has obtained several hundred million yuan in C-round financing. The lead investor was GS Capital, while existing shareholders Qualcomm Ventures and Broad Vision Funds also contributed.
GT AI takes aim at the field of AI machine vision, empowering firms in the traditional manufacturing industry with AI vision technology to replace traditional manual visual inspection. To this end, GT AI builds on its core AI technology to create a unique “Technology, Product, Solution” structure.
About GT AI
Founded in 2018, GT AI is an industrial AI enterprise focusing on quality control in the high-end manufacturing field. It has completed seven rounds of financing over the past four years.
Robotics Firm Mooma Completes Pre-A Financing Round Led by Vitalbridge
Mooma AI Technology, a Shanghai-based industrial robotics startup, announced the completion of a pre-A round of financing worth tens of millions of yuan, following exclusive investment from Vitalbridge. BetterView Capital served as the financial adviser in the deal. The funds will mainly be used for the R&D of cognitive intelligence algorithm technology for industrial robots.
Mooma focuses on solving the difficult aspects of industrial robot deployment, providing enterprises with intelligent solutions for industrial robots and helping enterprises in the manufacturing sector realize flexible production. The company has R&D centers for AI and robotics in Shanghai, China, and Berlin, Germany. It also has an engineering application center in Ningbo, China.
Exway Bags Over $6M in Financing From Sequoia China Seed Fund
Exway, an electric skateboard brand, has completed round-A financing of 40 million yuan ($6.28 million). The investor in this round of financing is Sequoia China Seed Fund, and the fresh funds will be mainly used to improve delivery capacity and service quality.
At present, Exway’s service network covers more than 50 countries and over 200 cities around the world, serving more than 50,000 active players. In 2019, its sales were close to 40 million yuan. By March 2021, the firm had sold 100,000 electric skateboards, which have become popular both within China and abroad.
Exway was founded in 2016, and its operator is Shenzhen Sunto Technology Co., Ltd. At present, the firm has four different series of electric skateboard products, including the X1, Atlas, Flex and Wave, with prices ranging from $599 to $1999, meeting a diverse range of consumer needs. Its main markets are overseas, with the American market accounting for more than 60% of its revenue.
Chinese Sweeping Robot Company LeSheng Smart Completes A+ Investment
LeSheng Smart, a company engaged in the business of smart robot cleaners, recently completed a round of A+ financing worth 200 million yuan ($31.4 million). The exclusive leading investor was Fortune Capital and the funds are marked for use in constructing a headquarters as well as several research and production bases.
In the past two years, LeSheng Smart’s shipments have increased by about 20% and it is expected to reach 2.5 million this year. The company now has three factories with a total area of more than 60,000 m² and about 1,500 employees.
About LeSheng Smart
LeSheng Smart was established in Dongguan, Guangdong Province in 2017 and employs just over 200 staff. The company serves dozens of customers, including Haier, Conga (Spanish brand), Roidmi, Yunmi and other leading brand customers. Half of the company’s orders are derived from Chinese clients while the rest are from overseas clients.
IDG Invests in Round A Financing for Gokin Solar
Silicon wafer developer startup Gokin Solar announced the completion of its round-A financing worth 1.6 billion yuan ($251.34 million). Previous shareholders IDG and Zhuhai Huafa Group continued to increase their investment.
Other financial investment institutions joined this latest round of financing, including China Life Science and Technology Innovation Fund under China Life Investment, CCB Private Equity, Guangdong Finance Fund (Guangdong Industrial Development Fund), Shenzhen Investment Holdings Capital, ProCapital and Huamei Capital. Industrial investment institutions, such as Aiko Solar Energy and Midea Capital, also participated in the round.
About Gokin Solar
Established in July 2019 and headquartered in Zhuhai, Gokin Solar was jointly founded by IDG and Zhuhai Huafa Group, both of which are experienced in the industry. The company focuses on the R&D and manufacturing of high-efficiency and large-size photovoltaic silicon wafers and has mastered a number of core technologies in large-size and thin wafers. The company is currently investing 17 billion yuan in the construction of a 50GW mono large-size silicon wafer project.
ZenusTech Wins Tens of Millions of Yuan in Angel Round Financing Led by Gaorong Capital
ZenusTech, a computer software startup based in Shenzhen, announced that it has completed an angel round of financing worth tens of millions of yuan. The funding was led by Gaorong Capital and followed by Qingsong Fund.
Funds from the recent round will reportedly be used for upgrades to its “ZENO” system and for supporting the development and testing of 3D content generation software. The company will also invest in recruitment and product promotion.
Established in September 2020, ZenusTech has independently developed ZENO, the first full-process 3D content generation software in China, integrating physical simulation, biological simulation, programmed geometry, programmed materials and real-time rendering. At present, ZENO has started alpha testing for key customers.
Inssent Bags Tens of Millions of Yuan in Series A+ Round of Financing From Poly Capital
Inssent, a Beijing-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider, announced that it has completed a Series A+ round of financing garnering tens of millions of yuan, led by Poly Capital and an industrial fund, followed by equity management platform Carta. In March of last year, the company completed a Series A round of financing with Tencent Investment serving as lead investor.
Inssent will reportedly allocate the fresh funds to further improve its products and services. It will increase investment in the R&D of SaaS products, especially the at-scale value-added services. It also plans to upgrade and launch more value-added services to meet the equity needs of different types of customers. Furthermore, it will gradually establish an equity service ecosystem, joining hands with partners to provide better one-stop equity incentive and management services.
Founded in 2017, Inssent is positioned as a one-stop equity incentive and management services platform, helping enterprises design equity incentive plans and manage equity assets.
Matrix Partners Leads Pre-A+ Financing of AI Chip Firm Houmo.ai
AI chip developer Houmo.ai announced that it has secured several hundred million yuan in a pre-A+ round of financing. The leading investors were Matrix Partners and GP Yueda Automobile Fund, while co-investors were Lenovo Sub-Fund of China SME Development Fund and Tianchuang Venture Capital. Prior investors Qiming Venture Partners and MSA Capital also joined this round.
The fresh capital will be implemented to step up the firm’s investment in R&D of AI chips with high computing power, and to accelerate its expansion and layout in the fields of intelligent driving and pan-robotics.
Founded at the end of 2020, Houmo.ai is China’s first developer of AI chips featuring high computing power and based on integrated storage and computing technology. It has more than 100 staff members, and over 70% of its R&D team members hold master’s or doctoral degrees. Its employees hail mainly from well-known chip companies both in China and abroad, such as Nvidia, TI, AMD, Intel and Deepshire.
Private Chinese Enterprise Deep Blue Aerospace Completes Round-A+ Financing
Deep Blue Aerospace (DBA) announced that it has completed a round A+ of financing, led by CMBC International and followed by existing shareholders such as Zhencheng Capital. This round of financing will be used to accelerate the firm’s development of recyclable and reusable technology for Nebula series rockets and Leiting series engines, 3D printing additives manufacturing processes and related infrastructure construction.
At the end of July, 2021, DBA completed the first free flight of a Chinese liquid oxygen kerosene rocket in vertical take-off and vertical landing (VTVL). In October 2021, the firm again successfully completed the recovery test of 100-meter VTVL. If everything goes according to the plan, DBA will complete the first orbit launch-recovery mission of its Nebula-M1 rocket launcher by the end of 2024, thus officially opening the curtain for the commercial operation of recyclable carrier rockets in China.
About Deep Blue Aerospace
Since its establishment in 2016, DBA has focused on realizing the technique of reusing Chinese launch vehicles, and has independently developed and produced Chinese reusable rockets comparable to the international market level. It is a high-tech commercial aerospace enterprise that provides launch services to Chinese and international markets.
IDG Capital Invests in Digital Information Management Platform Developer FlowUs
FlowUs, a one-stop digital information management SaaS software, announced that the company has obtained three consecutive rounds of financing worth tens of millions. The investment rounds were led by IDG Capital, Volcanics Venture and In Capital respectively.
After the completion of this round of financing, FlowUs will pay more attention to product optimization and development of its core functionality while also extending its products and services to enterprise customers.
Founded in 2021, FlowUs is committed to providing a one-stop digital information management solution for individuals and enterprises. Its products are positioned as a new generation of productivity tools that integrate functions such as documents, multidimensional tables and folders.
Matrix Partners Invests in R&D Startup Unitree Robotics
Unitree Robotics, a Hangzhou-based manufacturer of high-performance quadruped robots, has recently announced its completion of B-round financing worth several hundred million yuan, led by Matrix Partners and Dunhong Capital Management, followed by Hexagon AB, Shunwei Capital, Winreal Investment and Shenzhen Capital Group Co., Ltd., with Winsoul Capital listed as the company’s exclusive financial advisor.
The capital recently secured by Unitree Robotics will be mainly allocated for three purposes: first, to intensify the construction of mass production lines improving the company’s production capacity; second, to speed up products’ iteration and continuously strengthen the R&D of new products on the basis of improving existing products (the company plans to launch at least one innovative product every year); and third, to further expand its team especially with talent bringing relevant experience in algorithms, software and hardware, production, management, market and brand management.
About Unitree Robotics
Founded in August 2016, Unitree Robotics is a cutting-edge startup that focuses on the development, production and sales of high-performance quadruped robots and six-axis dexterous robotic arms in China. It is also one of the earliest companies in the world to sell quadruped robots to the public. At present, the company has launched various quadruped robot products such as its Laiakgo, Aliengo, A1, Go1 and B1 models. The company’s cumulative sales volume totals thousands of units in dozens of countries.
Lightspeed backs Smart Automation Firm Laiye’s $70m C++ Round
China-based Laiye, an AI-powered automation startup, has raised $70 million in a series C++ round led by Hopu Magnolia Growth Fund, Youshan Capital, and VMS Group, with participation from Lightspeed Partners. The new capital brings Laiye’s total funds raised for its series C round to $160 million.
The funds will reportedly be used mainly to expand its global market, conduct in-depth research of intelligent automation platforms, and strengthen the construction of global developer ecology and partner ecology.
Founded in 2015, the company first made intelligent assistant products and services with self-operated modes, also launching a robot named “Xiaolai.” At the beginning of 2017, it launched the “Wulai” dialogue robot platform for enterprise customers, which is applied in retail, business travel, education, finance and other industries.