China Digest: HaoXQ M-Health closes $17m; ex-Microsoft exec backs US news platform

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Chinese online healthcare services platform HaoXQ M-Health has raised 125 million yuan ($17 million) in a Series A round of financing, while Chinese computer scientist Harry Shum has invested an undisclosed sum in Silicon Valley news startup News Break.

Online healthcare platform HaoXQ M-Health bags $17m

HaoXQ M-Health, a Chinese online healthcare service platform that specialises in mental health and chronic disease management, has secured 125 million yuan ($17 million) in a Series A round of financing led by China’s 6 Dimensions Capital.

Taiwanese financial institution CDIB Capital Group and venture capital firm Korea Investment Partners (KIP) participated in the investment, KIP said in a WeChat post on Thursday.

Founded in 2016 and also known as “Haoxinqing,” HaoXQ M-Health offers online one-on-one mental health consultations. It claims to have over 27,000 registered psychosocial specialists and neurologists on its platform, serving an aggregate of more than three million users as of April 2020.

The startup is also actively building an offline network of psychological consultancy centres after it opened up its first such clinic in Beijing towards the end of 2019. It claims to have recorded revenue of nearly 300 million yuan ($42 million) in 2019.

The Series A round brought the total capital raised by HaoXQ M-Health to over 200 million yuan ($28 million).

The startup raised 50 million yuan ($7 million) in an angel round led by Shenzhen-listed drug maker Nhwa Pharmaceutical within one year after its inception. It roped in KIP and Shanghai-based asset manager Sinoson Capital as new investors in 2018.

Ex-Microsoft executive Harry Shum invests in News Break

Harry Shum, a Chinese computer scientist and a former executive vice president at Microsoft, has invested an undisclosed sum in US intelligent local news platform News Break and has joined the company as the chairman of its board.

News Break, which is operated by Particle Media Inc, was created in Silicon Valley in 2015 with Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang as its chief advisor. The news platform works much like Jinri Toutiao, a Chinese news and information service launched by Beijing-based ByteDance that delivers a tailored feed list of content for each user using artificial intelligence (AI).

The American news platform launched its iOS and Android apps in 2016. The brand now boasts 10 million daily active users (DAUs), 23 million monthly users, and a network of over 10,000 content providers that cover more than 20,000 local communities throughout the United States.

“Harry and I both recognize that while people think globally, they live their lives locally,” said Jeff Zheng, founder and CEO of News Break, in a statement on Thursday.

Shum served as an executive vice president at Microsoft between November 1996 and March 2020, shows his LinkedIn profile. He was responsible for driving the company’s overall AI strategy and forward-looking research and development efforts spanning infrastructure, services, and apps and agents such as Bing, Xiaoice, and Cortana.

“By creating an intelligent news platform centred around local communities, News Break is transforming how news and information are published and shared and further bringing people and communities together,” said Shum.

Before the new investment, News Break had raised $20.6 million across three funding rounds from 2015 to 2017, according to Crunchbase.

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.