China Digest: Biozon, Morewis and Surreal raise fresh capital to expand operations

Photo by Henk Vrieselaar on Unsplash

Clinical mass spectrometry specialist Biozon, industrial software developer Morewis, and synthetic media startup Surreal have secured new financing to expand operations.

Biozon nets $46m Series C

Clinical mass spectrometry specialist Biozon has raked in 300 million yuan ($46 million) in its Series C round of financing led by CITIC Private Equity Funds Management (CPE), a leading alternative asset manager co-launched in 2008 by state-backed CITIC Group.

The latest round also saw participation from healthcare investment firm Sherpa Healthcare Partners and Huagai Capital, an over 15 billion yuan ($2.3 billion) fund that focuses on healthcare, TMT, and culture, per a company statement on Wednesday.

Biozon expects to revamp its new-generation technology for better medical solutions that can help doctors and patients.

Set up in 2015 in East China’s Hangzhou, Biozon is designed to be a biotech company specialising in clinical mass spectrometry services such as detection, equipment, and reagent. Biozon has so far developed over 300 categories of detection programmes in maternal and child health, mental health, endocrine disorders, and oncology. Besides, it has provided solutions to nearly 1,000 medical organisations in the country. 

Before the current round, Biozon had completed five other rounds of fundraising from investors including Fortune Capital, Everest VC, and Puhua Capital. 

Qiming invests $15m in Morewis 

Morewis, a developer of industrial software and systems, has secured 100 million yuan ($15 million) in a Series B round funding exclusively from Chinese global investment firm Qiming Venture Partners, the investor said in a WeChat post on Wednesday. 

With the fresh funding, Morewis expects to support its R&D capacity and market expansion. 

Driven by novel technologies thta consist of AI, internet of things (IoT), computer vision, and blockchain, Morewis is dedicated to delivering intelligent solutions and tools for manufacturing-execution-system (MES) based companies. Its flagship product MC, a low-code development platform (LCDP), enables enterprises to improve operational efficiency. 

The company’s top clients include Chinese multinational home appliances and consumer electronics giants Haier Group and Hisense Group, aviation player Aisino, information technology group Inspur, green construction materials provider 3Trees Group, among others. 

In 2019, Morewis had secured ‘millions of US dollars’ in a Series A+ round from Chenshan Capital.

Sequoia China, ZhenFund back angel round for Surreal

Sequoia China Seed Fund and Beijing-based early-stage investment firm ZhenFund have invested in an angel round worth “millions of US dollars” in Surreal, a nascent Chinese startup that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help content production clients generate synthetic human faces in photos, voices, and videos.

Shenzhen-based Surreal will use the new investment to fund its technological R&D, product iteration, and market expansion, said the startup in a statement on Tuesday.

The angel round is the first financing raised by Surreal since its inception in end-2020. The startup leverages core technologies like deep learning, generative adversarial networks (GANs), reinforcement learning, and 3D modeling to build a content production system.

Its solutions allow enterprise clients to either change faces in uploaded content or generate an entirely new image or video. Xu Zhuo, Surreal’s co-founder, and CEO, told TechCrunch that the firm’s software can not only swap people’s faces, but also translate the languages that they speak accordingly and match their lips with voices.

Before the creation of Surreal, Xu spent six years at US multimedia messaging app Snapchat, building the firm’s ad recommendation system, machine learning platform Barista, and AI camera technology.

Liang Wang, Surreal’s co-founder and chief product officer (CPO), previously held senior positions at TikTok owner ByteDance and US music app Smule.

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.