Elon Musk denies claims of xAI securing USD 500 million
On January 20, Bloomberg reported that xAI, an artificial intelligence company founded by Elon Musk in March 2023, has secured USD 500 million in commitments from investors toward a USD 1 billion goal.
Citing information obtained from individuals privy to the talks involving xAI and the investors, the company is discussing a valuation between USD 15–20 billion, though terms could still change in the coming weeks. These individuals declined to be named by Bloomberg as they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. Musk responded on social media that the report was “fake news.”
This report follows coverage in December last year of Musk raising around USD 135 million toward the same USD 1 billion goal, based on documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Bloomberg also covered that story.
xAI is one of the alternatives to ChatGPT creator OpenAI, which was co-founded by Musk before he left in 2018 due to a conflict in interest.
Tumodo raises USD 35 million in pre-seed round
Tumodo, a Dubai-based B2B travel platform, has raised USD 35 million in a pre-seed funding round jointly led by various MENA-focused angel investors.
Tumodo will use the funds to boost its presence in the region and aims to scale to 25 more countries by 2026. The company is also developing an AI feature for organizing trips that can be integrated into the human resource (HR) systems of its clients. —Tech in Asia
[Updated] Bluesheets reported to have secured Series A funding
Bluesheets, a Singapore-based developer of AI-powered financial automation software, has reportedly raised capital in a Series A funding round, according to regulatory filings accessed by DealStreetAsia. The investors that participated in this round include Insignia Ventures Partners, Kistefos AS, 1982 Ventures, and KipleX, among others.
Update: This news brief has been edited to include the names of investors that participated in Bluesheets’ Series A funding round, according to Alternatives.pe.
Recent deals completed in China:
- Dingtai Jiachuang Technology, a Shenzhen-registered company specializing in electronic product testing and validation solutions, has raised an eight-figure RMB sum in a pre-Series A funding round from Qingsong Fund. The funds will be invested primarily in R&D and market development. —36Kr
- Zhuoyi Intelligent Technology, a Beijing-headquartered developer of drones and unmanned systems, has banked RMB 250 million (USD 34.7 million) following the completion of its Serie B funding round. The round saw participation from Zhongguancun Science City Innovation Development, AVIC, Kaiding Investment, Sheen Asset Management, and other institutional investors. Zhuoyi will utilize the capital for R&D, market expansion, and the extension of its production capacity. —36Kr
- BIBO, a Shanghai-registered company focused on the development of automotive chassis control systems, has snagged over RMB 200 million (USD 27.7 million) in a Series A+ funding round jointly led by Meridian Capital and Orinno Capital with the support of various investors. Winsoul Capital was appointed as the exclusive financial advisor. —36Kr
- Secretech, a Shenzhen-registered biotechnology company, has secured an eight-figure RMB sum of angel funding in a round led by SHC. YuanBio Venture Capital, Zhongxin Venture Capital, and Sinan Yuanke Private Fund Management participated in this round. —36Kr
- Tonglu Cloud, a Shanghai-based provider of data and digital services for the optimization of roads and transportation networks, has secured an eight-figure RMB sum of Series A+ funding from Coco Capital’s Tongyang Fund. The company will utilize the funds to expand its team, conduct product R&D, and explore new markets. —36Kr
- Logical Qubit, a Hangzhou-based quantum computing company, has raised an eight-figure RMB sum worth of seed funding in a round led by ZJU Joint Innovation Investment with the support of Ofound Angel and individual investors. Logical Qubit intends to acquire talent and iterate its product and technology using the newly raised capital. —36Kr
- Endoso, a developer of high-end medical endoscope systems and devices, has received over RMB 100 million (USD 13.9 million) in funding following the completion of a Series A funding round led by Weigao Songyuan Fund. Lapam Capital participated in this round. Endoso will use the funds to diversify its product offerings and expedite the expansion of its sales channels. —36Kr
- Leapstack, an insurtech company, has secured RMB 200 million in a Series C+ funding round led by Qiming Venture Partners. The round also saw participation from Soochow Yihe Capital and existing investor Legend Capital, with exclusive financial advisory services provided by MountainView Capital.
Latest funding deals in India:
- AquaExchange, a Hyderabad-based aquaculture startup, has raised USD 6 million in a Series A funding round led by Ocean 14. Existing investors Endiya Partners and Accion Venture Labs also participated in this round. The startup will use the capital to scale the adoption of its platform and target international markets for export-related opportunities. —Inc42
- Clientjoy, an Ahmedabad-based provider of customer relationship management (CRM) software for businesses, has been acquired by Synup, a platform-based provider of local listings, review management, and social media marketing solutions, for an undisclosed amount. —Inc42
- IPO-bound fintech company MobiKwik is raising a term loan of INR 100 million (USD 1.2 million) from Equentia Financial Service (CredAble) for its working capital needs, days after the company filed its draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). —Inc42
- Rashi Peripherals, a distributor of technology products, has raised INR 1.5 billion (USD 18 million) in a pre-IPO funding round from Volrado Venture Partners and the family office of Madhusudan Kela, contributing INR 1 billion (USD 12 million) and INR 500 million (USD 6 million) respectively. —VCCircle
The Parentinc, Flowdesk, Mirae Asset, and more led last Friday’s headlines:
- The Parentinc, a parenting-focused technology company, acquired Motherswork, a retailer of mom-and-baby products in Singapore and China, to bolster its commitment to building a self-sustaining content, community, and commerce ecosystem for parents in Southeast Asia.
- Flowdesk, a digital asset trading technology company, announced the completion of its Series B funding round. The round was led by Cathay Innovation with the support of Cathay Ledger Fund, Eurazeo, ISAI, Speedinvest, BPI, and Ripple.
- Mirae Asset Capital Life Science, a venture capital firm investing in private biotechnology companies, emerged from stealth with the announcement of its inaugural USD 50 million fund. The firm is supported by a diverse investor base comprising limited partners (LPs) within the Mirae Asset Financial Group.
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