China Digest: Surgerii raises $46.4m; CiDi closes $61.8m in 2020

Chinese robotic surgery devices developer Surgerii has raised nearly 300 million yuan ($46.4 million) in a Series B round of financing, while intelligent driving startup Changsha Intelligent Driving Institute (CiDi) has gathered over 400 million yuan ($61.8 million) across two funding rounds in 2020.

Robotic surgery devices developer Surgerii raises nearly $46.4m

Chinese robotic surgery devices developer Surgerii has secured nearly 300 million yuan ($46.4 million) in a Series B round of financing led by CMG-SDIC Capital, a private equity (PE) firm created between state-owned China Merchants Group and China’s SDIC Fund Management.

Shanghai-based CD Capital, which invests in life sciences and medical technologies, also participated. Existing shareholders including smartphone maker Xiaomi’s co-founder Lei Jun-backed Shunwei Capital, and healthcare-dedicated investment companies Tianfeng Capital and Hyfinity Investments re-upped in the deal.

Founded in 2014, Surgerii is involved in the independent research and development (R&D), production, and sale of minimally invasive robotic surgical system. The firm, which has filed over 270 patent applications globally, has so far obtained 90 patients in China and three patents in other countries including the US. With its headquarters in Beijing, it also operates from a R&D centre in Shanghai.

Surgerii is one of China’s upcoming startups seeking to capture opportunities in a trend of growing adoption of surgical robots worldwide. According to market researcher and consultancy Fortune Business Insights, the global market size of surgical robots is projected to reach nearly $6.9 billion by 2026 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.4 per cent between 2018 and 2026.

Products developed by startups like Surgerii will be competing with the da Vinci Surgical System, one of the world’s most widely used robotic surgical devices made by America’s Intuitive Surgical.

“Surgical robots will become a part of precision medicine, representing the future direction of surgical development. It is an area of great potential,” said Tuck Lye Koh, founding partner and CEO of Shunwei Capital, in a statement. “Although robots have been widely adopted for laparoscopic surgeries in developed markets like Europe and the US, the products are just taking off in the Chinese market, leaving much space for domestic innovative entrepreneurs to explore.”

Surgerii has designed and developed EZ Port, a laparoscopic surgical robot that is expected to entre into the clinical research stage this year.

The startup raised tens of millions of yuan in a Series A round led by Shunwei Capital in February 2019. Tianfeng Capital and Hyfinity Investments also backed the previous round.

Intelligent driving startup CiDi raises $61.8m in 2020

Changsha Intelligent Driving Institute (CiDi), a Chinese developer of intelligent driving technologies, has raised a total of over 400 million yuan ($61.8 million) across two funding rounds in 2020.

The two rounds are composed of a newly closed transaction with unspecified investment amount and a Series A++ round of over 100 million yuan, which was completed in August 2020. The startup said that the total amount of the two transactions exceeded 400 million yuan.

The new financing was led by Chinese equity investment firm Xin Ding Capital, with participation from a group of domestic investors including Founder Securities’ investment management subsidiary Founder H Fund.

CiDi was founded in October 2017 by Li Zexiang, an artificial intelligence (AI) specialist and professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). Li is also an early investor and current chairman of Chinese drone manufacturer SZ DJI Technology.

The startup, which counts Sequoia Capital China and Baidu Ventures among its angel investors, focuses on the development of innovative technologies and applications needed to create practical intelligent driving vehicles and related products. The firm has a 12,000-square-metre research facility located in its headquarters of central China’s Changsha City, Hunan Province.

It has completed multiple projects for various types of commercial intelligent vehicles, such as both unmanned & remote-controlled mining trucks, intelligent buses, and mass-produced connected vehicles and equipment.

The new investment will help the startup better prepare for product enhancement and the expansion of product delivery in 2021.

In a company statement from last August, the firm had expected its annual revenue in 2020 to reach somewhere between 80 million yuan ($12.4 million) and 100 million yuan ($15.5 million).

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.