China Digest: PackGene Biotech, AI chip startup Axera close fresh funding

Photo: Bloomberg

China’s PackGene Biotech and AI chip startup Axera have raised funding.

PackGene Biotech raises funding

Chinese global AVV packaging supplier PackGene Biotech has completed its pre-C round of funding raising ‘tens of millions of US dollars’ from a slew of investors, per a company statement on Wednesday. 

China Merchants Bank’s CMB International and Guangzhou Hi-tech Investment Group’s investment arm Guangzhou Juguan Investment joined the round as new investors. 

Return backers Sequoia Capital China, Cathay Capital China, Kaitai Capital, Oriza Seed, and Decheng Capital re-upped in the current round. Investment bank Haoyue Capital served as the financial advisor. 

Sequoia, Cathay, Oriza and Decheng had in October last year invested an undisclosed sum in the company’s Series B+ round. 

The company will use the proceeds for its manufacturing facility, talent recruitment and production capacity. 

PackGene, registered in Massachusetts, US, and based in Southeast China’s Guangzhou, operates as a contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) aimed at developing recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) led gene and cell therapy. 

Axera closes fresh funding 

Beijing-headquartered AI chip startup Axera has garnered ‘tens of millions of US dollars’ in its pre-A and Series A rounds of financing, the investee announced in a statement on Wednesday. 

The pre-A round was led by Chinese global venture capital firm Qiming Venture Partners with participation from Legend Holdings’ Legend Star.

Beijing Heju Investment served as the lead investor for the Series A round. Glory Ventures and Zoo Capital joined the round along with existing investors Qiming, Legend, Cedarlake Capital. 

Axera will invest the fresh funding for product R&D, market expansion, mass production and commercialisation. 

Set up in 2019, Axera has been engaged in designing AI chips for computer vision applications that support smart services like facial recognition.

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.