Sequoia Capital China has picked up a majority stake in global fashion and lifestyle brand WE11DONE. Separately, Waytous, a startup that develops autonomous solutions for the mining industry, has raised nearly 300 million yuan ($47.2 million) in a Series C round.
Sequoia China buys majority stake in WE11DONE
Sequoia Capital China announced on Thursday that it has reached an agreement to acquire a majority stake in WE11DONE, a global fashion and lifestyle brand that originated in Seoul, to fuel the label’s expansion in China and elsewhere.
Neither the quantum of the stake nor the value of the investment was disclosed.
WE11DONE, founded by lifelong friends Jessica Jung and Dami Kwon, is a label known for its unisex, designer-meets-streetwear fashion appeal.
The partnership will leverage Sequoia China’s local and global resources, its knowledge in technologies and retail innovations, as well as its community of founders and experts to help WE11DONE accelerate its direct-to-consumer business in China, the US, and Europe.
The two founders retain a significant stake in the firm and will continue to pilot the brand’s artistic direction after the investment, said Sequoia China. COO Sang Mo Kim will also remain in charge of the overall business.
In a statement, Sequoia China said that the deal marks “another major step” for it to go into the fashion market. Sequoia China — widely viewed as a bellwether for tech investments in China with portfolios including e-commerce giant Alibaba and food delivery firm Meituan — stepped up its dealmaking efforts in the fashion & lifestyle sector with the joining of Vogue China‘s founding editor, Angelica Cheung, as its venture partner last February.
The addition of Cheung came one month after Sequoia China had made an investment in French designer brand AMI to further expand its business globally, especially into the lucrative China market. Sequoia China also invested in Montreal-based luxury fashion platform SSENSE in June as the firm’s first external investor. The deal valued SSENSE at over $4.1 billion.
Autonomous mining solutions provider Waytous raises $47m
Waytous, a Chinese provider of autonomous solutions for the mining industry, announced on Thursday that it has raised nearly 300 million yuan of financing to help the firm further expand product commercialisation.
The new round was led by a 5-billion-yuan ($786 million) fund jointly set up by Chinese carmaker SAIC Motor Corp and China International Capital Corp (CICC). Yuexiu Industrial Fund and Bohai Zhongsheng, a fund affiliated with China’s BOC International, participated in the investment.
The Beijing-based startup develops products including autonomous mining trucks and semi-autonomous excavators, as well as compatible software and hardware for virtual testing and intelligent fleet management.
Chen Long, CEO and co-founder of Waytous, said in a statement that Waytous was growing “at its full speed” in 2021 with “historic achievements” in product delivery, massive adoption, technological breakthroughs, and revenue growth.
It claimed to have delivered a total of over 200 autonomous vehicles by far, serving clients such as the state-owned mining and energy firm China Energy Investment Corporation and China’s State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC), the country’s top green power operator. The total value of the firm’s commercial orders has reached 500 million yuan ($78.6 million) as of the end of 2021.
Before the Series C round, Waytous closed over 200 million yuan ($31.4 million) in a Series B1 round led by a Chinese state-backed fund in August 2021.