China Digest: Angel Pharmaceuticals closes $41m, bebebus raises $14.7m

bebebus' baby chair product

Biopharma firm Angel Pharmaceuticals has secured a $41-million cash investment from a Chinese investor group, while baby products brand bebebus has raised a total of nearly 100 million yuan ($14.7 million) across two tranches.

Angel Pharmaceuticals raises $41m at $106m valuation

China-based biopharma firm Angel Pharmaceuticals has reached a post-money valuation of $106 million after a $41-million cash investment from a Chinese investor group on Monday.

Angel Pharmaceuticals received the new funding from funds associated with Chinese clinical trial and research firm Tigermed, pharmaceutical firm Betta Pharmaceuticals, Taizhou-based Hisun Pharmaceuticals, and asset manager Zhejiang Puissance Capital. The transactions are subject to the satisfaction of certain customary conditions.

Angel Pharmaceuticals was formed as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nasdaq-listed clinical-stage biopharma firm Corvus Pharmaceuticals to bring innovative medicines to Chinese patients for treatment of diseases like cancer, autoimmune diseases and infectious diseases.

The firm licensed the rights to develop and commercialize Corvus’ three clinical-stage candidates – ciforadenant, CPI-006 and CPI-818 – in greater China and obtained global rights to Corvus’ BTK inhibitor preclinical programs.

Under the collaboration, Corvus would retain a 49.7 per cent equity stake in Angel Pharmaceuticals and was entitled to designate three individuals on Angel’s five-person Board of Directors.

The formation of Angel Pharmaceuticals is expected to bring clinical study synergies to Corvus, whereby data from patients enrolled in China studies could potentially be used as part of U.S. regulatory submissions as part of a global pivotal study protocol, said Corvus in a statement.

The California-based biopharma firm also expect R&D synergies, as well as collaboration with Chinese domestic investors, biopharma companies and scientists, through its cooperation with the China-based new venture.

Ted Wang, managing partner of Puissance Capital, co-founder and board member of Angel Pharmaceuticals, said: “Angel is launching at an opportune time, benefiting from China’s explosive growth in demand for innovative medicines, reform in drug regulation and approvals, and change in IPO listing requirements specifically designed to encourage drug innovation.”

Baby products brand bebebus raises $14.7m in Series A, A+

Chinese baby products brand bebebus announced on Thursday that it has raised a total of nearly 100 million yuan ($14.7 million) in Series A round and A+ rounds.

The Series A round was backed by Tiantu Capital, an equity investment firm that focuses on the consumer sector, while the Series A+ round was backed by Matrix Partners China and Chinese venture capital firm Gaorong Capital.

Founded in 2018, bebebus launched its first product, bebebus Art+ baby strollers, on Alibaba’s e-commerce website Tmall in July 2019 and then introduced a series of infant products including child safety seats and baby tableware in the first half of 2020. The startup plans to roll out Travel+ baby strollers, Builder+ cribs, and Growing+ baby dining chairs & tables in the second half of this year.

China’s maternal and infant market is a market of massive consumer demand and great development potential thanks to the country’s well-established marketing and advertising channels, which have “opened a window for the emergence of top brands,” said Wang Huadong, partner of Matrix Partners China, in a statement.

In 2019, China recorded its lowest birth rate since 1949, at just over 10 per 1,000, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The number of babies born in 2019 dropped by 580,000 from 2018 to 14.65 million.

But the scale of China’s maternal and infant market remains large and is expected to grow again after China eased the much criticized one-child policy in 2016.

The market has reached 2.77 trillion yuan ($407.9 billion) in 2018 and is expected to cross 3 trillion yuan ($441.8 billion) in 2020, according to data services provider Analysys. The country’s total online retail transactions of maternal and infant products are estimated to amount to over 700 billion yuan ($103.1 billion), up 52.7 per cent compared to 458.3 billion yuan ($67.5 billion) in 2018.

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.