China: Yunfeng backs Yao123.com; BAI funds Zaozuo; Qiming leads $29m round in drug developer

Photo: Reuters

Private equity firm Yunfeng Capital, backed by e-commerce billionaire Jack Ma, has co-led a $17-million Series A round in online drug retailer Yao123.com, while Zaozuo, China’s version of IKEA, has secured $20 million in funding from Bertelsmann Asia Investments and others.

Jack Ma’s PE fund co-leads online drug retailer Yao123.com’s Series A

Yunfeng Capital, a private equity firm founded by Alibaba Group’s Jack Ma and Chinese entrepreneur David Yu, and Lang Sheng Investment have co-led a RMB120 million ($17 million) Series A round in Chinese online drug store Yao123.com, according to a report by the China Money Network.

Yao123.com is backed by state-owned China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm). The retailer will use the funds to expand its retail and distribution channels.

Founded in 2015, Yao123.com acts as the e-commerce platform for its parent firm. The company has reportedly integrated over 30 drug retailers and distribution firms under Sinopharm through its portal. It boasted of total transaction value of RMB600 million ($88 million) during the last 12 months.

Meanwhile, Alibaba Health Information Technology Ltd, the healthcare service unit of the e-commerce giant, has been facing challenges in the online drug retail market as China does not allow pharmacies or third-party platforms such as Alibaba’s Tmall to sell prescription drugs online, according to China Money Network.

Alibaba has been connecting people who want to buy medicines online to the closest offline pharmacy and arranging for pick-up or delivery.

BAI Fund, others invest $20 million in IKEA-like retailer Zaozuo

China-based Bertelsmann Asia Investments (BAI) has led a $20 million Series B round in Beijing-based furniture provider Zaozuo.

Existing investors Morningside Venture Capital, IDG Capital and Vision Plus Capital, as well as Zhen Fund and Tiger Cub Funds also participated in the round, the China Money Network reported.

The Asia strategic investment arm of German multinational group Bertelsmann was earlier also an investor in Zaozuo’s $15 million Series A round.

Founded in 2014, Zaozuo currently operates retail stores in Beijing and Shanghai, and provides delivery services in 158 cities in China. The company reportedly has average monthly revenue of over tens of millions of Chinese yuan, and is expected to achieve RMB200 million ($29 million) in this year’s revenue. Its products, ranging from sofas, tables, to beds and lamps, are targeted at high-end consumers.

Qiming leads $29m Series A in Sino Biological

Venture capital firm Qiming Venture Partners has led an RMB200 million ($29 million) Series A round in Beijing-based antibody drug developer Sino Biological, the China Money Network reported citing a company statement.

Founded in 2007, Sino Biological offers a comprehensive set of premium quality reagents, which are produced in-house and cover a broad range of life science research and drug development. It also provides one-stop services for protein and antibody discovery, research, development, production and commercialisation.

The company claims to develop 800 to 1,000 types of recombinant protein and 1,500 types of antibody every year. It has also provided services to universities, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and inspection agencies in over 90 countries.

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.