Tencent, Sequoia lead $100m Series C in China’s Smart Fabric

Logos of Tencent are displayed at a news conference in Hong Kong, China March 22, 2017. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Smart Fabric, a startup providing internet-enabled solutions for the textile industry in China, has raised $100 million Series C funding round led by China’s internet giant Tencent Holdings and Sequoia Capital China, China Money Network reported.

News investors including CBC Capital, a Chinese PE firm specialising in TMT investments, participated in the round.

Meanwhile, the company’s existing shareholders, Matrix Partners China, 10Fund, Alibaba co-founder Wu Yongming-led Vision+ Capital, and IDG Capital also joined in this round.

The fund raised will be used to develop new technologies, expand its market presence and recruit talent.

Established in 2014, Smart Fabric features a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that aims to help transform both the manufacturing and trading of China’s textile industry. Its clients include H&M, Walmart, Amazon, Hugo Boss, Armani. and Calvin Klein.

The new investment in China’s textile industry shows that Tencent is now looking to capture values in the country’s industrial internet sector.

The operator of social media platform WeChat is now looking beyond consumers to the huge potential of the industrial internet – where it aims to support the digital transformation of China’s economy, South China Morning Post reported.

It wants to enable greater connectivity across Chinese industry, leveraging the capabilities and expertise it has built to serve the billion-plus users of its consumer-facing platforms, enhancing products and services, according to Tencent CEO and founder Pony Ma Huateng.  

“Tencent is committed to open ecosystems and will leverage the company’s strength in the consumer internet to support our partners’ evolution to the industrial internet,” said Tencent President Martin Lau.

“Tencent will provide advanced technologies to support our partners to upgrade their capabilities, and jointly develop digital solutions for different verticals. Internet connectivity would become a core capability to increase their overall productivity,” he added.