China Digest: Self-driving firm Neolix raises $29m; VDN Cloud closes $14m

Level 4 autonomous driving vehicles developed by Neolix Technologies

Neolix Technologies, a startup that delivers level 4 autonomous driving vehicles, has received nearly 200 million yuan ($29 million) in a Series A+ round, while edge computing-based cloud service provider VDN Cloud has closed almost 100 million yuan ($14 million) in a Series A+ round.

CHJ leads $29m Series A+ round in self-driving startup Neolix

Neolix Technologies, a Chinese startup that delivers level 4 autonomous driving vehicles for the logistics industry, has received nearly 200 million yuan ($29 million) in a Series A+ round of financing led by the country’s electric vehicle maker CHJ Automotive.

CHJ Automotive, which first backed the startup in its angel round in April 2018, has become the second-largest shareholder of Neolix after the transaction.

New investor Addor Capital, a Chinese investment firm with 106.6 billion yuan ($15.33 billion) under management, poured money into the investment. Shanghai-based venture capital companies Yunqi Partners and Glory Ventures, which are both existing shareholders of Neolix, continued to invest in the new round, according to a statement on Wednesday.

Besides the Series A+ round, Neolix is also expected to close another new investment in 2020.

Beijing-based Neolix offers L4 autonomous driving vehicles – defined as vehicles that can perform all safety-critical driving functions and monitor roadway conditions for an entire trip – to serve as mobile convenience stores, or intelligent vehicles for parcel delivery and 24-hour security monitoring.

Created in December 2015 and introduced the first product in July 2018, the company claimed to have delivered more than 200 L4  autonomous driving vehicles. It operates a production base in eastern China’s Changzhou city, Jiangsu province that boasts a production capacity of 10,000 vehicles per year.

Proceeds will be used to further expand the company’s research and development team, to speed up the delivery of its autonomous driving fleets, and to explore their application in more potential verticals.

The company raised almost 100 million yuan ($14 million) in a Series A round from Yunqi Partners and Glory Ventures in the first quarter of 2019, shows the company website.

VDN Cloud closes $14m in Series A+ round

Chinese edge computing-based cloud service provider VDN Cloud has closed almost 100 million yuan ($14 million) in a Series A+ round of financing from a group of domestic investment companies.

Shenzhen-based venture capital firm Fortune Capital, alternative investment management firm China Renaissance Capital Investment (CRCI), and Legend Capital, the investment unit of Chinese conglomerate Legend Holdings invested in the new round, said VDN Cloud in a WeChat post on Wednesday.

VDN Cloud, formally known as Beijing VDN Cloud Service & Technology, leverages edge computing to offer a wide range of cloud services that cover private, public and hybrid cloud, to enterprises in the space of gaming, short video-sharing, online education, and live streaming, among others. The company realized profitability in 2019.

The company was founded in February 2016 and started as a cloud-enabled content delivery network (CDN), which connects a geographically distributed group of servers to provide fast delivery of internet content.

In 2018, VDN Cloud expanded into the edge computing cloud service field, delivering more offerings like remotely managing customers’ IT infrastructures and/or end-user systems on a protective basis and under a subscription model, which is known as a managed service provider (MSP).

Proceeds will be used in the technological and product R&D, construction of edge nodes, as well as marketing and brand promotion, said the company chairman and CEO Peng Qing, in the post.

In August 2016, the company received 50 million yuan ($7 million) in a Series Pre-A round from investors including TMT-focused equity investment firm CBC Capital, Beijing-based private equity company QF Capital, and Guojin Capital, which mainly backs early and middle-stage internet companies in China.

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.