This is a preview. Sign up with our free subscription program to receive China VC/Startup ecosystem newsletters, Chinese market and industry reports, and invitations to closed-door events.
There were 132 investments in the past week. 33.3% of total deals were strategic investments. New economy startups were the favorites, while healthcare and enterprise services remained highly popular, ranking second and third, respectively.
Top Stories: VCs and Investments
Logistics company Lalamove (also known as Huolala) closed its USD 515 million E round, led by Sequoia Capital China, with participation from existing shareholders Hillhouse Capital and Shunwei Capital. The funding will be channeled to intelligent logistics technology upgrades as well as business development in fourth- and fifth-tier cities.
Top IPOs of the week
Filed for IPO on December 18
Gracell Biotechnologies focuses on the research and development of cell drug therapy. The company submitted a formal application to the US Securities and Exchange Commission on December 18, with a target to raise USD 100 million through an IPO on Nasdaq under the ticker GRCL. Citigroup, Jefferies Financial Group, Piper Sandler, and Wells Fargo Securities are the joint underwriters.
Founded in 2017, Gracell Biotechnologies has developed two proprietary technology platforms—FasTCAR and TRuUCar. FasTCAR tackles common pain points of autologous CAR-T therapies with enhanced T Cell fitness, shorter manufacturing time, improved production quality, as well as reduced cost. TRuUCar, on the other hand, enables CAR-T therapies to be applied without HLA-matched donors. With TRuUCar, CAR-T therapies can be administered “off the shelf” to cover a wider range of cancer patients at lower cost and with higher convenience.
Startups on our watchlist
Consumer and Lifestyle
Zhirens (职人社)Founded in 2016, angel round
Zhirens is a networking and recruitment platform for experienced professionals. After its last round of funding in 2019 from K2VC, Zhirens launched a one-stop online event management platform called “Changyu.” Changyu provides a virtual venue for organizing virtual events. Since mid 2020, more than 60 events have been held on “Changyu,” involving over 40,000 participants.
Real Estate Services
Chengtu (橙途)Founded in 2018, pre-Series A round
Chengtu is an operations service provider with an asset-light model that helps landlords deal with issues related to leasing, such as renovation, furnishing, rental promotions, and room service management. The company improves the rental experience by solving longstanding pain points in the industry—costly online and offline services, a lack of consistent housekeeping quality, and difficulties in managing a rental business at a large scale. Closing its pre-Series A round with millions of US dollars from Nasdaq-listed Quhuo Tech Group, Chengtu added a new line to its business matrix this year, targeting the home-stay industry.