China Digest: APTBIO raises $28m; Gaw Capital backs proptech startup

Shopping mall in the central district of Hong Kong. Photo: Pixabay

Hong Kong-based private equity firm Gaw Capital Partners has injected capital into real estate software developer Switch Automation, while Chinese biotech firm Applied Protein Technology (APTBIO) has received nearly 200 million yuan ($28 million) in a Series A round.

Gaw Capital invests in proptech startup Switch Automation

Hong Kong-based private equity firm Gaw Capital Partners has led a $5-million Series A2 round in Switch Automation, a global real estate software company that helps property owners and facility managers reduce operating costs and improve energy efficiency.

Allectus Capital, a tech investor focused on the Asia Pacific and the UK, New York-based proptech venture capital fund MetaProp, and RealTechX, a unit of Sydney-based investment house Taronga Group, all poured money into the Series A2 round.

Switch Automation’s Switch Platform integrates building data, systems and equipment to offer insights into the site and portfolio performance. Based on traditional building systems and IoT technologies, the platform can analyze, automate and control assets in real-time.

The funding will be used to further develop the company’s smart building technology and expand into new markets across the globe.

“We foresee big commercial real estate owners and managers integrating smart building solutions in the not-too-distant future,” said Christina Gaw, managing principal and head of capital markets of Gaw Capital Partners, in a statement.

The Hong Kong-based real estate PE is also a major investor in the Chinese residential brokerage platform Beike Zhaofang, and Ziroom, one of China’s largest property rental players backed by Warburg Pincus, Tencent and Sequoia Capital China.

Biotech firm APTBIO gets nearly $28m in Series A round

Chinese biotech firm APTBIO has received nearly 200 million yuan ($28 million) in a Series A round of financing led by Chinese state-owned Wuxi Financial Investment Management, and Shanghai-listed venture capital firm Lucion.

Guangzhou-based Funway Capital, which manages 980 million yuan ($138 million) across three funds, also participated in the deal, according to a statement on Wednesday.

Shanghai-based APTBIO focuses on the development and application of mass spectrometry, an instrumental method used to identify the chemical constitution of a substance, in life science research, as well as drug discovery, development and clinical diagnosis.

The firm was established in December 2004 and operated by the country’s national academy Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) and its research branch, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences (SIBS). It provides an integrated portfolio of bioanalytical services to support academic and commercial investigators in drug discovery and preclinical development for biologics.

Its offerings include biomarker discovery/validation services, innovative diagnostic tests, as well as proteomics, metabolomics and bioinformatics services, among others. The firm has a nationwide sales network and three offices in Beijing, Guangzhou and Wuhan.

Proceeds will be used for the construction of a production centre for its mass spectrometry platform and a supercomputing centre. The company also plans to increase investment in commercial operation capability, R&D of precision medical products, and expansion in the market at home and abroad.

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.