China Digest: Alibaba acquires IDsManager; Nasdaq-listed 51job backs Fountain

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Alibaba Group is seen at the World Internet Conference (WIC) in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, China, October 20, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song

Alibaba’s cloud computing unit has sealed a deal to acquire Chinese IDaaS startup IDsManager, while Nasdaq-listed Chinese recruitment website 51job participated in American startup Fountain’s $23 million Series B funding round.

Alibaba Cloud inks deal to acquire IDaaS startup IDsManager

Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing unit of e-commerce giant Alibaba, is acquiring IDsManager, a Chinese startup that develops identity verification and access management solutions.

IDsManager will become part of Alibaba Cloud Security Division upon completion of the transaction, the startup said in a statement on Thursday.

IDsManager, founded in October 2014 and based in Beijing, mainly provides next-generation identity verification and management solutions to government departments, state-owned companies and private enterprises.

Its solutions and services can be adopted in private and public clouds, and mobile internet, among others, helping corporate clients ensure online business security by verifying the identity of their employees, corporate partners and customers.

“Alibaba Cloud’s strengths in cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, as well as a practice field supported by its millions of clients, will promote the iteration of cloud and AI-enabled next-generation identity verification and management services,” said Shang Honglin, founder and chairman of IDsManager, in a statement.

The startup raised 60 million yuan ($9 million) in a Series A round from Chinese investment companies Qiming Venture Partners and Fortune Capital in June 2018.

Nasdaq-listed 51job backs $23m Series B round of American recruiting startup

Nasdaq-listed Chinese recruitment website 51job has invested in a $23 million Series B round of financing in Fountain, a San Francisco-based recruiting platform for gig economy and hourly workers.

The Series B round was led by Silicon Valley-based global venture capital firm DCM, with participation from Fountain’s existing investors, including US investment firm Origin Ventures, and Uncork Capital, a 15-year-old venture firm that backed Eventbrite, according to a recent statement.

The investment, which took the total capital raised by Fountain to $34 million, will see DCM co-founder David Chao join Fountain’s board as a director and DCM partner Kyle Lui become a board observer.

Founded in 2015 during the initial heights of the gig economy, Fountain now claims to process more than 1 million applications to fill 150,000 hourly and gig positions every month, serving clients in the fields of food & beverage, hospitality, and on-demand services. Its customers include American scooter and bike rental startup Lime, fast-food chicken chain Chick-fil-A, and supermarket operator Safeway.

“The vast majority of the workforce are shift-based or hourly workers. In fact, 85 per cent of the global workforce, or nearly 2.7 billion people, are paid hourly, and in the U.S. alone, there are more than 80 million hourly workers,” said Fountain in a statement.

“This segment of the workforce is constantly evolving due to factors like low unemployment, legislation, and automation,” the company added. “Unsurprisingly, the gig and freelance economy is now growing three times faster than the rest of the workforce and will make up 43% of the workforce by 2020.”

Proceeds will be used to accelerate product research and development for existing customers, as well as expand its reach across businesses within the restaurant and hospitality industry.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.