Gaw Capital, Beyond Ventures lead $14.9m funding in Chinese startup

Photo by Sharon Chen on Unsplash

Chinese food delivery management startup Candao has raised 100 million yuan ($14.9 million) in a Series A round of funding led by Hong Kong-based real estate private equity firm Gaw Capital and venture capital firm Beyond Ventures.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Gaw Capital said that Chinese mobile internet-focused investment fund MFund also participated in the round.

Candao plans to use the capital to strengthen research and development and explore the application of technologies such as artificial intelligence to its platform.

Founded in April 2014, the Guangzhou-based startup provides a one-stop solution to Chinese restaurants, helping them with software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivery management systems, distribution systems and business data analysis centres.

As of March 2019, the startup claims to have served over 200 restaurant brands, including Haagen-Dazs, Burger King, Papa John’s and Costa. It currently provides services to nearly 30,000 offline restaurants in over 300 cities in China, with over 1.4 billion yuan ($209 million) in month gross merchandise volume.

“The food delivery sector is booming in China….however, many F&B operators are still lagging behind on the resources to deal with the new technology ecosystem, which makes Candao an ideal, easy one-stop platform for them,” said Gaw Capital managing principal and China head Humbert Pang.

Founded in 2005, Gaw Capital has raised five commingled funds with an investment focus on Greater China and Asia Pacific. Commingled fund refers to a portfolio comprising assets from several accounts that are blended together.

Gaw also manages value-add/opportunistic funds in Vietnam and the US, a pan-Asia hospitality fund and a UK creative office vehicle. As of the end of 2018, it had $18.2 billion in assets under management.

The firm is eyeing a final close for its $2 billion sixth opportunity fund by the first half of this year. Gaw Capital has already achieved the first close of the fund at $1.3 billion and secured another $650 million for a sidecar vehicle.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong-based Beyond Ventures was founded in 2017 by Chinese-based investment firm Hony Capital, Hong Kong VC firm e-Garden Ventures and several local serial entrepreneurs. It has invested 240 million yuan ($35.8 million) across 13 companies including Chinese AI startup SenseTime, DNA-testing startup Prenetics, CMOS chipmaker SmartSense Tech, taxi-hailing app HKTaxi and e-commerce platform YOHO.

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