China Digest: IDG Capital backs Lyvgen’s Series C; VirtAI Tech bags over $10m

Source: Jan Antonin Kolar/Unsplash

Biopharmaceutical firm Lyvgen has raised “tens of millions of US dollars” in a Series C round led by IDG Capital, while AI accelerator Beijing VirtAI Technology has pocketed a similar amount in its Series A+ round led by China Mobile’s joint fund.

IDG leads biopharmaceutical firm Lyvgen’s Series C round

Lyvgen, a biopharmaceutical firm focussed on oncology immunotherapy, has announced the completion of “tens of millions of US dollars” in its Series C round of financing led by IDG Capital, according to a company statement on Tuesday.

A slew of new investors, including Suzhou Longmen Ventures, Chengwei Chuangban Investment, and FTZ Fund, a state-backed fund to build and reform free trade zones, participated. New economy-focused China Renaissance facilitated the transaction. 

Led by the founder Dr. Jieyi Wang who served at AbbVie pharmaceuticals earlier, Lyvgen develops proprietary medicines and therapies for lung cancer, melanoma, and gastrointestinal cancer. 

In the statement, Lyvgen claims that three of its drug candidates are under clinical trials in the US and China. Besides, it had, in June 2020, forged a partnership with Merck & Co., Inc for clinical trials.  “The proceeds of the latest funding will help accelerate the development of Lyvgen, and we expect that the innovative drugs by Lyvgen can benefit cancer patients soon,” said China Renaissance managing director and head of healthcare & life sciences Kevin Xie in the statement.

Before the latest round, in 2018, Lyvgen secured $30 million in a Series B round funding from healthcare-focussed 6 Dimensions Capital, Winfair Global, Morningside Ventures, and Shanghai Runling Investment. 

VirtAITech nets over $10m in Series A+ round

AI accelerator Beijing VirtAI Technology Co., Ltd has raked in “tens of millions of US dollars” in its Series A+ round of financing led by China Mobile’s telecommunication fund — a joint fund the telecom major co-launched in 2017 with China Merchants Bank’s CMB International.

VirtAI claims that this is its fourth round of funding in two years since its inception in 2019, the company said in a WeChat post on Tuesday.

Asia-focused PE firm Hillhouse Capital’s venture unit GL Ventures re-upped in the fresh round.

GL Ventures, along with Xiaomi’s Shunwei Capital, Vision Knight Capital, and Yonghua Capital, had invested in VirtAI’s Series A in November last year. In June 2020, GL Ventures with Yonghua Capital and others had collectively infused $10 million in VirtAI’s Pre-A round. 

VirtAI is also backed by Gobi Partners China and AI speech specialist iFLYTEK’s investment arm.

VirtAI will leverage the fresh vehicle to expand its business, while further upgrading its software products.

Located in Beijing, VirtAI provides new generation data centre class AI accelerator virtualisation and resource management software and solutions. Its OrionX software products enable industries to improve GPU resource utilisations, which are widely in internet, finance, telecom, education, entertainment, among others. 

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.