China Digest: JS Global to acquire Qfeeltech; Xie Zhu raises $37m

Closeup photo of white robot arm. Source: Franck V./Unsplash

Hong Kong-listed JS Global Lifestyle has agreed to acquire all shares in Chinese machine vision startup Qfeeltech, while intelligent hotel solutions provider Xie Zhu Technology has raised 258 million yuan ($37 million) in equity and debt financing to consider SE Asian expansion.

JS Global Lifestyle to acquire Chinese AI startup Qfeeltech

Hong Kong-listed household appliances maker JS Global Lifestyle has agreed to acquire all shares in Chinese machine vision startup Qfeeltech for up to 210 million yuan ($30 million).

The transaction will be processed through a few tranches and is expected to complete in 2023, shows a document JS Global Lifestyle filed with the stock exchange on January 6.

The acquisition will “further enhance our innovation capability” in the fields of household robot and smart home appliances, which will help the firm “meet global consumers’ current and future demand for these products,” said JS Global Lifestyle.

JS Global Lifestyle raised $381 million in an initial public offering (IPO) on the main broad of the Hong Kong stock exchange on December 18, 2019.

Founded in July 2014, the startup has so far completed at least four funding rounds. In the most recent investment, Qfeeltech raised about $10 million in a Series B round jointly led by Tus-Holdings, an enterprise owned by China’s Tsinghua University, and integrated circuit-focused China Fortune-Tech Capital in October 2017.

AIoT-based  hotel solutions provider raises $37m

Xie Zhu Technology, which uses artificial intelligence of things (AIoT) to offer intelligent hotel solutions, announced on Tuesday that it has raised a combined 258 million yuan ($37 million) in equity and debt financing.

The fresh funds include 150 million yuan ($21.5 million) in a Series A+ round of equity financing from Chinese investment firm SR Capital, which has backed companies including online travel agency eLong. Chinese state-run venture capital firm SND Ventures Group, and internet-based home decoration platform Qijia.com, also poured money into the investment, according to a statement.

The company received the rest 108 million yuan ($15.5 million) in debt financing from commercial banks, China Merchants Bank and Bank of Jiangsu.

Founded in June 2015 and based in eastern China’s Suzhou city, Xie Zhu Technology leverages AIoT, big data, and cloud technologies to develop intelligent management solutions for hotels and apartment operators. The company said its solutions are used by 8,000 hotels in China.

The company is looking at business opportunities overseas with “a preliminary plan” to explore the Southeast Asian market, said Chen Haibin, founder and CEO of Xie Zhu Technology.

Chen added that the new financing will also help the company mull an initial public offering (IPO) in 2020. He did not provide a more detailed timeframe or location of the IPO plan.

Proceeds will be used to finance the research, development, and iteration of solutions and technologies, such as AIoT-based chips and intelligent voice control.

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.