China Digest: SDIC backs Ribo; Matrix funds online insurance Xiaoyusan

SDIC Fund Management Co, and Matrix Partners China, each led different investment deals, $39 million in siRNA drug developer Ribo, and $14 million in online insurance startup Xiaoyusan, respectively.

SDIC backs siRNA drug developer Ribo in $39m round

China’s SDIC Fund Management Co, through its advanced manufacture industrial investment fund, led a $39 million series B round in Suzhou Ribo Life Science Co Ltd, a small interfering RNA (siRNA) drug developer.

Other investors were Legend Capital, GGV Capital, China Resources, and a number of RMB funds, the report added.

Ribo develops siRNA therapy for hepatitis B, Hyperlipidaemia and liver cancer.

Founded in 2017, Ribo focused on clinical research and development in siRNA pharmaceutical. It launched strategic partnership with RNA interference firm Quark Pharmaceuticals Inc, and established a joint venture Kunshan RiboQuark Pharmaceutical Science and Technology Co Ltd in 2012.

In its previous series A round, Ribo raised $18 million from Legend Capital, GGV Capital, Legend Star, and a string of other investors.

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Matrix leads $14m round in online insurance Xiaoyusan

Xiaoyusan, a Shenzhen-based online insurance platform, raised up to $14 million (RMB100 million) in a Series B round led by Matrix Partners China and Chinese investment firm Tianshili Capital.

Xiaoyusan provides life insurance for the elderly, children, and the adults based on big data analytics. It plans to use the latest proceed to develop its team, improve research and development, and upgrade its products, the China Money Network reported.

Founded in 2015, Xiaoyusan now has over three millions users, and partners with over 50 insurance companies including Ping An Insurance, China Life Insurance Co Ltd, PICC Group and China Pacific Insurance Co Ltd.

Also Read: Matrix Partners China leads $8m financing in parenting startup Niangao-mama

Among its other main goals is to make the insurance underwriting process smarter. The startup aims to further advance in the field of insurance technology, artificial intelligence recognition, and big data.

Xiaoyusan previously received tens of millions RMB from Sequoia Capital China in 2015.

Xiaoyusan is just one of a total of 117 online insurance companies in China. CMN reported Chinese consumers are moving online to purchase insurance products, underwriting a sum of RMB234 billion in 2016. Up to 6.2 billion of insurances were newly added in the same year, of which 64.6 per cent were purchased online.

Also Read: HK’s Value Measured Investment leads $10m round in bio-pharma Sirnaomics

Venture capitalists have been funding online insurance startups seeking to capture the sector’s growth.

In March 2016, Chinese investors backed Huize Insurance in a $31 million series B round.

Also in 2015, Chinese alternative investment firm Hillhouse Capital Group also joined global insurer Allianz and Chinese Internet giant Baidu Inc to establish an online insurance company in China.

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