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.

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.