China Digest: Nanyan raises $37m Series C round; HK-based C Ventures backs QCODE

BLACKOUT, the first series developed and produced by QCODE. Source: QCODE Facebook

Chinese insurtech startup Nanyan has garnered 250 million yuan ($37 million) in a Series C round led by Cenova Capital, while Hong Kong-based venture capital firm C Ventures has invested in US podcast media studio QCODE.

Insurtech startup Nanyan closes $37m Series C round

Chinese insurtech startup Nanyan Information Technology announced on Thursday that it has raised 250 million yuan ($37 million) in a Series C round of financing led by healthcare-dedicated fund Cenova Capital.

Investment firm SIG China and Bluerun Ventures — a Silicon Valley-born, early-stage VC firm — which entered China in 2005, participated in the round.

Founded in 2015, Nanyan delivers big data and AI-based solutions to help insurance firms, reinsurance firms, and insurance intermediaries lift efficiency and reduce costs in the process of product management, marketing & sales, claim settlement, management of third-party administrators (TPAs) and beyond.

The Shanghai-based firm plans to use the fresh proceeds to integrate diversified healthcare resources through M&As and to develop more competitive health insurance products. It seeks to build “the Chinese version of HMO (health maintenance organisation),” which is a medical insurance group that offers health services for a fixed annual fee.

Upon the completion of the Series C round, Nanyan’s total fundraisings have crossed 500 million yuan ($74 million) across five rounds. In December 2019, the firm raised over 100 million yuan ($14.9 million) in a Series B2 round from investors like BlueRun Ventures; SIG China; and BOC International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bank of China.

It had also secured $15 million in a Series B+ round in October 2018 and “tens of millions of US dollars” in a Series B round in December 2017. BlueRun Ventures had backed its $1.76 million Series A round in December 2015.

HK-based C Ventures backs US podcast media studio QCODE

QCODE, a Los Angeles-based content studio and podcast network, announced on Thursday the completion of a Series A funding round of $6.4 million. The round was led by Nasdaq-listed smart speaker maker Sonos, with participation from Hong Kong-based venture capital firm C Ventures.

QCODE is a podcast and media studio launched in 2019 by former Creative Artists Agency agent Rob Herting in partnership with production company Automatik and management firm Grandview. The firm works with creators to originate and innovate stories in the audio format that have the potential to grow and be adapted in other mediums like television series and feature films.

It has released eight scripted podcasts, all of which have been top 10 overall on the Apple Podcast Chart. With the additional investment, the firm plans to scale up to over 15 originals per year across a variety of different genres and through partnerships with other talent, production, and media companies.

“We are excited to partner with QCODE and tap into our global ecosystem to help expand the reach of its original and compelling fictional audio content,” said Adrian Cheng, co-founding partner of C Ventures, in a statement.

“We believe that storytelling enriches our imagination, creates unique experiences, and unifies our culture which QCODE has mastered and we look forward to joining them on this journey,” said Cheng.

Co-founded by Hong Kong billionaire Cheng, and Asia’s media sector financier & executive Clive Ng, C Ventures primarily invests in a cultural ecosystem targeting millennials and Generation Z with a focus on business in lifestyle and technology.

The firm has an investment layout covering the fields of e-commerce, consumer products & services, technology, media & entertainment, and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) across China, Europe and the US.

Some of its portfolio companies in China include family fitness equipment maker FITURE, new-generation food brand Wholly Moly!, AI solutions provider Aibee, and K12 online education platform KnowBox.

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.