China VC Weekly: Smart Manufacturing, Chips and More

In last week’s VC news, Sequoia China and CATL invest in intelligent manufacturing startup AIMS, Xpeng injects funds in a young lidar company, and more.

Vital Thin Film Materials Takes Home Over a Billion Yuan in Latest Round

Chinese developer of materials used in electronic displays and semiconductors, Vital Thin Film Materials Co., Ltd. (VTFM), has raised over 1.2 billion yuan ($188.3 million) in a Series A round of financing.

The round was led by private equity firm CICC Capital and Chinese EV-maker BYD. Another notable investor in the round was Sinopec Capital.

The new financing is expected to help the company scale up its market share and accelerate product R&D.

About Vital Thin Film Materials

VTFM is affiliated with Vital Materials, a China-headquartered rare-metal-based advanced materials and resource provider with commercial operations across 16 countries in Asia, Europe, North and South America. Following the establishment of its parent in 1995, VTFM was started in 2014 as a joint venture between Vital Materials and Belgian materials tech firm Umicore to produce indium tin oxide (ITO).

AIMS Raises Hundreds of Millions of Yuan From Sequoia China and CATL

AIMS, a smart manufacturing and industrial intelligence enterprise, has recently completed a Series B round of financing worth several hundred million yuan. The investors are Sequoia China and battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Ltd. (CATL), while all existing shareholders such as Addor Capital, SoftBank China and Fenghe Capital followed suit.

AIMS will use the funds to expand its R&D of intelligent products, deepen the integration of technology and production, and provide customers with one-stop intelligent solutions of “algorithm + platform + equipment” to help customers achieve breakthroughs in production capacity, quality and cost control. In addition, in the fields of new energy batteries and nuclear power, AIMS will deepen its layout, recruit more talent and build a sophisticated technology R&D team and a professional product delivery service team.

About AIMS

Founded in 2016, AIMS is a high-tech Chinese enterprise focusing on intelligent manufacturing and industrial intelligence. It has a strong team of core data scientists, R&D and delivery teams, and has accumulated rich experience in several hundred intelligent transformation projects of traditional manufacturing industries.

Nano-Core Chip Receives Tens of Millions of Yuan in Pre-A Round of Financing

Nano-Core Chip, an intelligent Internet of Things computer chip design company, completed a Series Pre-A round of financing worth of tens of millions of yuan. Investors included Hubei Xiaomi Changjiang Industrial Investment Fund Management Co., Ltd. and Liling Fund. Existing shareholder Sequoia China and Beijing Yuanpei Fund under Founder H Fund continued to invest, and Lighthouse Capital served as exclusive financial consultant.

Nano-Core Chip is headquartered in Hangzhou and has wholly-owned subsidiaries and branches in Wuxi and Shanghai. After this round of financing, the company plans to set up R&D sub-centers in the Netherlands, Beijing and Shenzhen. The founding team has published six AIoT chip measurement results that broke through the current world record in the past three years at the ISSCC (International Solid-State Circuits Conference).

About Nano-Core

Nano-Core Chip has four international leading technical systems in the field of AIoT chips, including ultra-low power event-driven chip architecture, closed-loop adaptive near-threshold circuit, ultra-low power high-precision sensing technology and high-energy-efficient embedded AI engine technology.

Stoke Voltaics Raises $7.8 Million in Pre-A Round Led by Lightspeed

Stoke Voltaics, a Chinese developer of outdoor 3C (computer, communications, and consumer) electronics hardware, has secured 50 million yuan ($7.8 million) in a pre-A round financing round, led by Lightspeed China Partners and followed by Shunwei Capital and One Capital.

The proceeds will be used to develop innovative outdoor 3C products while also helping establish the company’s brand around the world. The money will also be used to incubate distributed energy devices and other product brands.

“We believe that human beings need to constantly explore unknown boundaries. Today, the area covered by the power grid is no more than 1%. With the popularization of distributed energy equipment, more and more human outdoor electricity needs will be expanded,” said Chief Executive Officer of Stoke Voltaics, Marshall Yuan.

About Stoke Voltaics

Founded in August 2021, Stoke Voltaics designs, develops and sells outdoor 3C hardware products for the global market. Its energy brand provides personalized distributed energy solutions.

QuantInfo Technology Secures Over 100 Million Yuan in Series B Round

QuantInfo Technology, a Shanghai-based company that provides quantitative trading technology and services, announced that it has completed a B round of financing worth over 100 million yuan ($15.7 million). This round was led by an internet-related strategic investor, followed by Koala Fund. The funds will be mainly used for the R&D of its products.

About QuantInfo Technology

QuantInfo Technology is a financial technology company focusing on building FICC transaction infrastructure. It hopes to ride this trend by gradually building a trading infrastructure with electronic trading platforms and networks. FICC refers to “Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities.”

Bluepha Completes 1.5 Billion Yuan Financing Round

Leading Chinese synthetic biology firm Bluepha announced that it has completed a B3 round of financing, bringing total round-B funds to 1.5 billion yuan ($235 million).

Bluepha’s B3 round was jointly led by Genesis Capital and China State-owned Enterprises Mixed-ownership Reform Fund (Mixed Reform Fund), followed by Zhongping Capital, Jiangsu Huanghai Financial Holding Group and Central China Blue Ocean Investment Management Company, with additional investment from existing shareholders FreesFund Capital, Country Garden Venture Capital, GL Ventures Capital and Trinity Innovation Fund.

About Bluepha

Bluepha was founded by Dr. Zhang Haoqian of Peking University and Dr. Li Teng of Tsinghua University in 2016. It is an enterprise engaged in molecular and material innovation based on synthetic biotechnology, and is committed to designing, developing, manufacturing and selling new bio-based molecules and materials.

Zvision Bags Hundreds of Millions of Yuan in Pre-C Financing Led by XPeng

Zvision, a provider of vehicle-level MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) lidar solutions, announced its completion of several hundred million yuan in a Pre-C round of financing, led by XPeng Motors and followed by SAIC Group’s Shangqi Capital, Dongfeng Bank of Communications Auto Fund and previous shareholder Intel Capital. China Renaissance acted as exclusive financial adviser for this financing round.

The fresh funds will be used for lidars’ pre-loading and mass production, the strengthening and upgrading of production lines, supply chain and quality management, and to continuously promote the R&D of MEMS lidar solutions.

About Zvision

Founded in November, 2017, Zvision has been deeply involved in the field of MEMS lidar, and also on the independent R&D of underlying chips and components. The company has cooperated with many enterprises across the fields of autonomous logistics, terminal distribution, unmanned ports, Robotaxis and robots.

Vehicle Autopilot Technology Developer Smarter Eye Raises $47 Million in Series B Financing

Smarter Eye, an automated driving product research and technology company, announced that it had completed a Series B round of financing totaling nearly 300 million yuan ($47.07 million), with leading investors including China Development Bank Venture Capital and Lenovo. Other investors include Moom Group and One Capital.

About Smarter Eye

Founded in Beijing in October 2014, Smarter Eye provides auto-level 3D environment perception solutions and active safety systems based on binocular vision algorithms.

SEE ALSO: China VC Weekly: Chips, Cars and Robots

Ince Capital Raises $700 Million for Two Funds

China-focused venture capital firm Ince Capital announced the completion of its latest fundraising of about $700 million, including two funds: INCE Capital Partners II, L.P. (Fund II) and INCE Opportunity Fund, L.P. Among them, INCE Capital Partners II was oversubscribed with the final account closing amount of $478 million, exceeding the initial fundraising target. Up to now, the total scale of funds under the management of Ince Capital has exceeded $1 billion.

This fundraising of Ince Capital has been supported by several top global institutions, including Duke University, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, Kaiser Permanente, Dietrich Foundation, Commonfund, Unicorn Capital, Axiom Asia and Siguler Guff, among others. The university endowment funds, foundations and parent funds which have been the funders of INCE Capital Partners all continue to contribute in INCE Capital Partners II.

About Ince Capital

Since its establishment on July 1, 2019, Ince Capital has invested in 24 enterprises exhibiting great potential, some of which have grown into unicorn companies and industry leaders. Ince mainly focuses on consumption, science and technology and platform projects.

Manjitech Secures Nearly 100 Million Yuan in Series A Financing Led by Yunqi Partners

Shanghai Manjitech Information Technology Co., Ltd., an SaaS provider for medical education and training, completed A-round financing totaling nearly 100 million yuan ($15.68 million), with Yunqi Partners serving as lead investor. The funds will be used to upgrade the iterative cloud platform, deepen professional medical content and further expand regional markets.

About Manjitech

Founded in July 2014, Manjitech is an internet service operator for medical education. It is committed to R&D and focuses on providing comprehensive solutions for medical schools, hospitals and lifelong vocational education. It provides high-quality, efficient and professional medical education services for medical institutions.

UWin Tech Completes Series C Financing Led by GL Ventures

UWin Tech announced its completion of round-C financing, which was led by GL Ventures and followed by SIG and Stora Capital. The new funds are mainly to be used for product R&D, marketing, channel construction and the introduction and development of high-end talent.

Up to this round of financing, UWin Tech has provided DevOps solutions for more than 15 mainstream industries and more than 300 leading enterprises in China, and has accumulated abundant cases in banking, securities, insurance, funds, real estate, manufacturing, operators, government, energy, transportation and other fields.

About UWin Tech 

UWin Tech was founded in 2015 by a team with senior executives who are mainly former Tencent technical experts. The firm is a new prominent development and operations (DevOps) and maintenance solutions service provider in China, providing comprehensive IT solutions for enterprises.