China VC Weekly: With COVID-19 Not Letting Go, Chinese Investors Bet on India and VR

As China still struggles to recover from a devastating public health crisis, the local VC activity remains sluggish. To not waste time Chinese investors flock into India with Meituan Dianping supporting the Prosus- led $113 million investment in the local food delivery giant Swiggy and GGV Capital pouring funds into the local edtech company Vedantu. Among the most notable domestic news is the Series A round raised by the Shanghai-based VR startup Oasis VR.

Swiggy banks $113 million from Prosus, Meituan Dianping and others

Indian food delivery champion Swiggy announced on Feb. 19 that it has raised $113 million in a Series I financing round led by Prosus Ventures and joined by the Chinese food delivery leader Meituan Dianpinng and Wellington Management Company. The move comes mere weeks after Swiggy’s archrival Zomato acquired Uber’s food delivery business in India.

According to TechCrunch, the new round values Swiggy at roughly $3.6 billion, slightly above its previous $3.3 billion valuation. The startup has raised about $1.57 billion to date, most of it from Prosus, who previously led the startup’s 2017 $80 million series E and the 2018 $1 billion investment rounds.

Prosus Ventures, previously known as Naspers Ventures and Food, is the subsidiary of the South-African internet group Naspers, whose weightiest asset to date is its 31% stake in Tencent, which makes it the largest shareholder of the Chinese tech giant.

About Swiggy

The Bangalore-based startup is India’s largest food delivery company operating in 520 Indian cities with over 160, 000 restaurant partners whose number is growing by 10, 000 every month, according to the company. The company was founded in 2014 by Sriharsha Majety, Nandan Reddy and Rahul Jaimini after Majety and Reddy’s previous business, an e-commerce website called “Bundl,” failed to take off.

GGV Capital leads a $24 million investment in Indian edtech startup Vedantu

Vamsi Krishna, CEO and co-founder; Anand Prakash, co-founder; and Pulkit Jain, co-founder and head of product of Vedanta (Source: TechCrunch)

One of China’s most prominent VC investors, GGV Capital, invested in Indian edtech startup Vedantu leading a $24 million extended series C round. The Indian startup previously managed to raise roughly $42 million in a series C funding round in August led by Tiger Global and WestBridge Capital. The company has so far raised over $85 million in total funding, according to an official statement.

Vedantu announced that it plans to invest the raised funds to improve brand leadership and add new experiences for its young learners. The company currently serving students in the sixth to 12th grade range eyes expansion into early childhood to lower grades category.

“As we continue to grow our student enrollments by 4.5x year on year, we are gearing to invest in brand and entering very strongly in new categories of age group four to 10 years beyond current customer segments,” said Vamsi Krishna, CEO and co-founder of Vedantu.

About Vedantu

The Indian startup offers individual and group classes to middle and high school students delivered by experienced teachers in a virtual learning environment. Vedantu claims to have roughly 500 teachers on their platform who have taught more than 40,000 students across 30 countries.

Virtual community-builder Oasis VR scoops up over 10 million yuan in Series A round

Promo image for Oasis VR’s flagship game on Steam (Source: Oasis VR)

Chinese virtual reality social platform Oasis VR announced that it has closed its Series A round, led by Morningside Ventures and Bertelsmann Asia Investments, raising over 10 million yuan, according to 36Kr.

While Oasis VR is often compared to similar foreign platforms, including the American virtual social platform VRChat, it is expected to be able to benefit from China’s huge user base and thus realize product upgrade and iteration faster.

About Oasis VR

Founded in Shanghai in 2018, Oasis VR develops software allowing users to create virtual reality identities that can be used in virtual communities or within the company’s games. Oasis VR’s eponymous flagship title has been available on Steam since late 2019.