Sequoia China backs $25m Series A round in US biotech firm Simcha

Laboratory equipment. Photo: Pixabay

Sequoia Capital China has participated in a $25 million Series A funding round for US-based biotechnology firm Simcha Therapeutics, according to an announcement.

Other investors in the round included WuXi AppTec’s Corporate Venture Fund and Connecticut Innovations.

Simcha Therapeutics engineers novel cytokines designed to unlock the precision and power of the immune system. Simcha’s lead program, ST-067, is a designer IL-18 cytokine that has shown potent antitumor effects in animal models.

The company intends to use the funds to advance its development efforts.

Sequoia Capital China, which is widely viewed as a bellwether for Chinese tech investments, primarily invests in companies in the fields of healthcare, technology, consumption & modern service, as well as media & entertainment.

The China-focused division of American venture capital major Sequoia Capital has backed companies such as e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, Chinese ubiquitous microblogging platform Sina Weibo, Australia-based payment unicorn Airwallex, and Shenzhen-based DJI, which is the largest consumer drone maker worldwide.

The investment firm, most recently, entered into a strategic partnership with Starbucks that will see the two companies make strategic co-investments in China’s technology sector, according to Reuters.

In February, Sequoia Capital China made another close of its four China-focused funds, raising a combined $317.9 million in commitments. In March, it completed a strategic investment of over 1.2 billion yuan ($171 million) in Chinese dairy products maker Junlebao to become the firm’s largest institutional shareholder with a 15.26 per cent stake.

Last year, Sequoia Capital China participated in a $16-million Series A round for US-based drug discovery company Cullgen Inc, along with Chinese healthcare-focused investment firm HighLight Capital. Following the investment, Sequoia secured a seat on Cullgen’s board.

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.