China digest: Ultrapower closes new RMB fund at $19m; Baijia Food raises nearly $28m

Photo by Fidel Fernando on Unsplash

Ultrapower Fund has closed a new RMB-denominated vehicle to back early-stage corporate services startups in China, while instant noodles brand Baijia Food has completed a Series B round led by GL Ventures.

Ultrapower Fund closes new RMB fund at $19m

Chinese investment firm Ultrapower Fund announced on Thursday that it has closed a new RMB-denominated vehicle at 137.5 million yuan ($19 million) to back early-stage corporate services startups in the country.

Limited partners (LPs) in the new fund include two investment platforms with close links to the local government in Beijing and others, it said in a statement.

The new vehicle will primarily make investments in startups’ angel and subsequent early-stage rounds.

Ultrapower Fund was created in 2017 by China’s Beijing Ultrapower Software, a Shenzhen-listed provider of IT operation, maintenance and management solutions, and other domestic investment firms including Shenzhen-based Qianhai Wutong Mergers and Acquisitions Investment Fund.

The company has invested in over 50 startups in the fields of entertainment, education, internet finance, communication, big data, and AI.

Its portfolio companies include Beijing-based cloud communication service provider RongCloud, online anti-fraud solutions developer Eversafe Online, big data startup Juyun Weizhi, and cloud service firm Quyun Technology, among others.

Ultrapower Fund will continue to focus on investments in “technological innovative startups with independent R&D capabilities, especially those in the cloud service area,” said Yang Yang, a partner at the firm, in the statement.

Instant noodles brand Baijia Food raises nearly $28m

About four months after the completion of its Series A round, Chinese instant noodles brand Baijia Food has raised another 200 million yuan ($28 million) in a Series B round of financing led by Hillhouse’s venture capital unit GL Ventures.

China’s Yisan Capital, and MTCCBT, a private equity JV between Chinese luxury liquor maker Kweichow Moutai and China Construction Bank’s affiliate CCB Trust, participated in the investment, according to a statement on Thursday.

Existing investors including Chinese venture capital firm Before Capital and Shenzhen-based private equity fund Cowin Capital also re-upped.

Founded in December 2016, Baijia Food mainly offers packaged instant sweet potato noodles, Chinese dumplings, seasoning for Sichuan-style dishes and other convenience food products to customers.

After seeing a surge in consumer demand for instant noodles and tinned food due to the coronavirus outbreak in the first quarter, the startup said that its sales volume has returned to pre-COVID levels.

Meanwhile, the proportion of its revenues generated from online sales channels such as Alibaba’s Taobao, JD.com, and other social e-commerce platforms reached nearly 50 per cent.

The startup closed 110 million yuan ($16 million) in a Series A round led by Chinese private equity firm Cowin Capital in February. Before Capital and Qianhai Equity Investment Fund, which is backed by the local government in southern China’s Shenzhen city, had backed the round.

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.