Tencent, Temasek-backed Chinese AI major MiningLamp raises $200m Series E+ round

Photo by Shahadat Rahman on Unsplash

MiningLamp Technology, a Chinese big data and artificial intelligence (AI) unicorn backed by Tencent and Temasek, announced on Friday the completion of $200 million in a Series E+ round of financing led by Russia-China Investment Fund (RCIF).

Besides the lead investor RCIF, which is a fund created in 2012 by government-backed investment vehicles in Russia and China, MiningLamp’s existing shareholders Tencent and Beijing-based dual-currency fund Hundreds Capital joined the round.

Other investors included Oriental Pearl Media Industry Equity Investment Fund, owned by Chinese media & entertainment firm Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group; Greater Bay Area Homeland Investments; and CITIC Securities Investment, an investment unit of Chinese brokerage firm CITIC Securities.

UOB Venture Management (UOBVM), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore-based United Overseas Bank; Capthrone; and China Sky Global participated in the investment.

Synergies with investors

As part of the investment, MiningLamp will forge “in-depth cooperation” with investors to expand its foothold in the international market and to capture opportunities amid digitalisation across multiple industries worldwide.

“MiningLamp will partner with investors, such as RCIF and UOBVM, to jointly explore opportunities brought by digitalisation in areas like infrastructures, energy, consumption, and finance in Russia and Southeast Asia,” said the firm in a WeChat post.

“Since our previous strategic investment, we have continued to lift our efforts in expanding into the overseas market. We now deliver our intelligent maintenance services, based on integrated big data and data analysis, to Singapore’s MRT,” it added.

Founded in April 2014 with support from early-stage backers like Sequoia Capital China, MiningLamp started as a provider of online ad performance evaluation solutions and fraud detection services.

The firm later expanded its focus to the development of natural language processing (NLP), machine learning, and AI-enabled intelligent recognition, recommendation, and marketing solutions for corporate clients in the fields of public security, finance, retail, smart city, and manufacturing, among others.

MiningLamp said that it has delivered its data-driven intelligent solutions to help over 2,000 customers transform and upgrade their businesses. Its customers include Procter & Gamble (P&G); Yum China, the operator of KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut restaurants in China; China Construction Bank; Beijing-based insurer China Life Insurance; and city subways across Chinese cities like Beijing and Shanghai.

The firm plans to join hands with investors to implement an industry ecosystem strategy, under which it will work with Tencent, CITIC Securities Investment, and Oriental Pearl Media Industry Equity Investment Fund in various areas like smart city, intelligent industry, smart marketing, fintech, and new media.

Greater Bay Area Homeland Investments will help promote MiningLamp’s development and business expansion in China’s Greater Bay Area, said the firm.

The Series E+ round marks Tencent’s fourth investment in Beijing-based MiningLamp. It came about eight months after the Chinese gaming & social networking giant had co-led its $300-million Series E round in March 2020. Singapore’s state-owned investment firm Temasek was another lead investor.

Tencent also led the startup’s 2-billion-yuan Series D round in March 2019, with participation from Huaxing Growth Capital, an investment platform of Hong Kong-listed investment bank China Renaissance; property trust manager AVIC Trust; and Beijing-based Gold Endeavor Capital.

MiningLamp’s 1-billion-yuan Series C round in April 2018 was backed by Tencent and Huaxing Growth Capital.

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.