China: SenseTime backs WeRide; Starquest leads funding for Miaoshou Doctor

Autonomous driving startup WeRide has announced fresh investments from artificial intelligence (AI) unicorn SenseTime and a subsidiary of the Agricultural Bank of China, while Starquest Capital has led a 500 million-yuan ($72.77 million) Series C+ round of financing for Miaoshou Doctor.

SenseTime invests in WeRide

Level 4 autonomous driving startup WeRide (formerly known as JingChi) has announced raising “tens of millions of US dollars” in fresh funding from AI firm SenseTime and ABC International, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Agricultural Bank of China.

The latest investments are part of the startup’s Series A round that saw lead investor Alliance Ventures, the strategic venture capital arm of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, make a strategic investment in the Chinese company in October 2018.

“The investment and fundraising for autonomous driving is no longer made solely based on technology, but also the capability of commercialization. The cooperation with SenseTime Technology and ABC International reinforces WeRide’s leading role in L4 autonomous driving technology and business model in the market,” said WeRide CEO and co-founder Tony Han.

Founded in 2017 in Silicon Valley, WeRide plans to deploy a fleet of 500 autonomous vehicles in 2019 with an accumulated mileage of 5 million kilometres. The company said it is working on operation and commercialization trials with partners in Guangzhou, Anqing and other cities.

WeRide, which currently has more than 200 employees worldwide, is the first autonomous driving company in China to use 5G network for remote control of a driverless vehicle.

Other investors in the Series A round include existing backer Qiming Venture Capital, Hanfor Capital, Atop Capital, Johnson Electric, Xiaopeng He, Idinvest Partners and OceanIQ Capital.

Starquest leads Series C round for Miaoshou Doctor

Chinese private equity firm Starquest Capital has led a 500 million-yuan ($72.77 million) Series C+ round of financing for Miaoshou Doctor, a pharmaceutical e-commerce company, China Money Network reported.

Sequoia Capital China also participated in the funding round.

Founded in 2015, Miaoshou Doctor operates as a medical consultation services provider and online pharmaceutical marketplace. The company provides services through various channels including an online hospital, a mobile application, an online business-to-consumer (B2C) shopping website and an online platform for hospitals to share prescriptions.

Founded in 2017, Starquest Capital is a newly established investment firm sponsored by China National Venture Capital Fund and Sequoia Capital, focusing on private equity and fund of funds opportunities with an initial AUM of nearly 30 billion yuan.

Also Read:

China: SenseTime co-leads $199m round in videotech startup Moviebook

SoftBank fund plans $1b investment in Chinese AI giant SenseTime 

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.