China Digest: TenaFe raises $29m in Series A; Qiming backs Yunyinggu

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China’s Northern Light Venture Capital (NLVC) and Eight Roads Ventures have co-led a $29-million Series A round in solid-state drive (SSD) controller developer TenaFe, while Qiming Venture Partners has led two rounds in Chinese chipmaker Yunyinggu.

China’s NLVC co-leads $29m Series A round in TenaFe

TenaFe, a Silicon Valley-based startup that develops SSD controller technologies, announced on Monday the completion of a $29-million Series A funding round led by Bermuda-based Eight Roads Ventures and China’s NLVC.

The Series A round comes as US research firm IDG projects the entire digital universe to reach 44 zettabytes (ZB) by 2020, representing a burgeoning data storage demand driven by the rapid development of cloud computing, big data, AI, and Internet of Things (IoT), as well as the accelerating digital transformation of traditional industries.

Founded in January 2019, TenaFe develops revolutionary SSD controllers for data storage solutions adopted by emerging edge applications. With its patented technology, the company aims to transform next-generation solutions by offering reliable and energy-efficient SSDs for a wide range of devices from connected gadgets to personal computers to data centres.

Proceeds will be used to speed up the development of products oriented towards corporate clients and data centres.

“The IoT era is promoting an explosive growth in data volume. NLVC has always been bullish on the data storage segment, with a thorough investment layout in the upstream and downstream of the industry chain,” said NLVC founding partner Deng Feng in a company WeChat post on Monday.

With $4.5 billion in assets under management (AUM), the China-focused venture capital company was also a long-term investor in Tidal Systems, a startup jointly created by TenaFe co-founder and CEO Mike Lee in 2013 to develop SSD controllers.

NLVC reaped an investment return of over 800 per cent when Tidal Systems was acquired by Nasdaq-listed American computer data storage producer Micron Technology in 2015.

Qiming leads $28m rounds in chip developer Yunyinggu

Yunyinggu, a Chinese company that develops integrated circuits (ICs) for consumer electronics, has raised over 200 million yuan ($28 million) in Series C and C+ rounds of financing led by Chinese venture capital firm Qiming Venture Partners.

Chinese smartphone brand Xiaomi, California-based chipmaker Qualcomm, Beijing-based fund manager AVIC Fund Management, and China-focused NLVC, also participated in the investment, said investment bank China Renaissance in a WeChat post on April 26. China Renaissance served as the exclusive financial adviser of the deal.

Established in May 2012, Yunyinggu focuses on the development of display technology, authorization of intellectual properties, as well as production and sales of circuit boards and AMOLED driver chips, a display device technology used in smartwatches, mobile devices, laptops, and televisions.

Upon the completion of the new round, the firm will continue to increase investment in the R&D of chips and to forge closer cooperation with partners in the industry. The firm also plans to lift its capabilities in developing AMOLED driver chips and silicon-based microdisplay ICs.

The Shenzhen-based company completed an investment led by Qualcomm Ventures, the investment arm of Qualcomm, in February 2018.

NLVC, China National Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund, a $29 billion state-backed investment entity also known as the “Big Fund,” Shenzhen-listed software firm Thunder Software Tech, and China’s Visionox, which develops organic light-emitting display (OLED) technology, poured money into the previous round.

Its early investors also include Singapore’s Vertex Ventures, Chinese alternative investment firm CITIC Capital, and Chinese display maker BOE Technology Group, shows the company website.

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.