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China Venture Roundup

Temasek-backed Didi Freight competes with Lalamove | China Venture Roundup Volume 21

Written by KrASIA Venture Roundup Published on 

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China Venture Roundup Volume 21 covers China’s investment activity from January 25 – 31, 2021.

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Key trends

KrASIA tracked 97 private investments in the past week, with fundraising amounting to RMB 34.9 billion (USD 5.4 billion). We highlight the complete industry and funding round breakdown in the full-version of China Venture Roundup.

Top Stories: VCs and Investments

Didi Freight (also known as Didi Huoyun), the land freight arm founded in June 2020 by ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing, has finalized the financing agreements with its first batch of signatories. The Series A round is set to be completed in February and brings with it USD 1.5 billion from top investors such as Temasek Holdings, Citic PE, and IDG Capital.

Land freight in China is an important piece of the logistics puzzle—and an emerging investment battlefield. In December 2020, Didi consolidated several business lines, including shared bicycles, designated drivers (a service specifically designed for users who enjoyed a night out drinking and need to get home), and land freight, into one unified division. In mid-January 2021, the company announced an organizational restructure that will place heavier emphasis on the development of its land freight arm.

Top IPOs of the week

Faraday Future
Valuation: USD 3.4 billion

Faraday Future, the California-based electric vehicle maker with Chinese origins, has confirmed its plan to list on Nasdaq with the ticker symbol FFIE. The listing will take place through a merger with a special purpose acquisition corporation (SPAC). Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, the owner of Volvo Cars, said it will be one of the anchor investors in the SPAC.

There have been long-standing doubts surrounding Jia Yueting, co-founder of Faraday Future. Jia has been involved in several financial controversies and declared bankruptcy in late 2019, in part due to the collapse of LeTV, which he founded in China in 2004. Faraday Future has a high cash burn rate and has repeatedly failed to achieve mass production and deliver vehicles.

Startups on our watchlist

MedTech

Novast (联亚药业)
Founded in 2005; Series A

Novast has completed a new financing round of nearly RMB 400 million (USD 62.23 million) led by Highlight Capital, just months after raising RMB 1 billion (USD 155.58 million) in May 2020. Novast is focused on the research and development of drug delivery systems and sustained-release dosages. The company has 40 pharmaceutical preparations approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, including more than 30 hormone products and nine sustained-release dosages.

Dr. Zhang Guohua, the founder and chairman of Novast, said the company is committed to two major goals. The first is to internationalize high-end pharmaceutical preparations developed and produced in China. The second is to lower the cost of imported drugs by introducing leading pharmaceutical preparations from the US to China.

The article has been updated to correctly reflect Didi Huoyun as Didi Freight

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