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Kakao Corp.'s cryptocurrency unit raised $90 million through a private coin offering and is planning another investment round soon to raise a similar amount. The move by the South Korea's dominant Internet conglomerate and message-app operator will precede the launch of a new blockchain platform in June, Kakao CEO Jason Han said. The firm's initial fundraising effort, from October to December, reached its financial target last year despite a global plunge in bitcoin prices. IDG Capital was among several international venture capital and private equity funds firms which participated in the 2018 fundraising effort.
Terminus, now valued at more than $1 billion, is combining Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology to create smarter cities in China. The Beijing-based firm recently helped equip a residential compound in Shanghai with smart access terminals and intelligent software to allow the building management to watch the movement of residents, visitors and vehicles in real time on computer screens via facial and image recognition. Terminus said the new system is leading to a significant decrease in once common crimes like theft. IDG Capital invested in Terminus in 2017 and co-led a Series B funding round in 2018.
Ctrip, a Nasdaq-listed online travel service provider, increased net revenues by 22% year-on-year in Q4 2018 as the company expanded into smaller and mid-tier cities in China, as well as internationally. Transport ticketing remained the top revenue contributor, followed by accommodation reservations. The company now expects net revenue to continue to grow at an 18% to 23% rate in Q1 2019. IDG Capital invested in Ctrip in 2000, and the Beijing-based company went public in 2003 with a valuation of $547 million.
Circle, a blockchain-based cryptocurrency fintech firm, completed the purchase of SeedInvest, a US-based equity crowd-funding platform that connects startups with investors online. The company said the acquisition will pave the way for a tokenized private equity market and also create new business opportunities. IDG Capital was the lead investor in Circle's $50 million Series C in 2015 and $60 million Series D funding round in 2016.
Lime, a San Francisco-based electric scooter and bike-sharing provider, now offers the location of its rental scooters and bicycles via the Google Maps app for more than 80 cities, including a handful of international destinations. The company said that the new partnership with Google will demonstrate "if a Lime vehicle is available, how long it’ll take to walk to the vehicle,”as well as “an estimate of how much your ride could cost.”Currently, Lime is the only rental global service provider accessible on Google Maps. IDG Capital joined Lime's Series A funding round in 2017.
Bilibili, a Shanghai-based online animation streaming platform, announced the appointment of two new independent directors to its board of directors: Feng Li and Wenji Jing. IDG Capital led Bilibili's Series A funding round in 2017 and also joined the company's A+ and B rounds. Bilibili is now valued at more than $3 billion, and its stock price has surged 73% since its IPO in 2018.
After double-digit revenue growth in all geographic regions, Moncler, an Italian luxury outerwear maker, is now experiencing a stock surge. Moncler said millennials, attracted by renowned designers on Instagram, are that the main driver for sales growth. IDG Capital was an early investor in Moncler, which went public on the Milan Stock Exchange in 2013.
After 19% sales growth in 2018, Italian luxury outerwear maker Moncler forecasts more growth and higher profit margins this year. The global group developed a new strategy for monthly product launches to keep pace with the younger customers. Moncler's revenue rose to $1.62 billion last year with a core profit margin of 35.2%. IDG Capital was an early investor in Moncler, which went public on the Milan Stock Exchange in 2013.
Infront Sports & Media, the international sports marketing agency based in Switzerland, signed a four-year deal to handle media rights for the International Skating Union. The agreement includes the World and European Championships and World Cup and Grand Prix competitions for speed, figure and synchronized skating in most of the world major winter sports markets. Infront believes the tie-up will make it a dominant player in global industry. China's Dalian Wanda Group acquired Infront in 2015. IDG Capital is also an investor.
Citing ethical concerns, Rossignol, a global winter sports clothing and equipment company, announced that it is now only selling fur-free fashion brands. The company, based in Isere, France, sells 12 major brands in more than 6,000 outlets in 51 countries around the world. IDG Capital invested 20% ownership in the group in 2018.
Chehaoduo, a leading online car-trading company, has raised $1.5 billion and boosted the firm's valuation to more than $9 billion. The Beijing-based company is the parent firm for online sites Guazi, a C2C e-commerce platform for buying and selling used cars, and Maodou, a new car eCommerce platform. Chehaoduo will use latest investment from Softbank in Japan to enhance its capabilities in big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence and make fundamental changes in China's automotive retail business. IDG Capital joined Chehaoduo's Series C round in 2018.
London-based Farfetch, a global online luxury fashion retailer, acquired Toplife, the independent luxury business venture of Chinese e-commerce company JD.com. The collaboration will provide Farfetch with direct access to 300 million active Chinese consumers. IDG Capital led Farfetch's Series F funding round in 2016 and Farfetch went public in 2018 with a valuation of $5.8 billion.
Songshupinpin, a Beijing-based group-buying e-commerce platform, raised $31 million during its Series B1 round. The platform connects Chinese consumers in different residential districts with daily necessities. In 2018, Songshupinpin completed a $30-million Series A financing from investors including IDG Capital.
Bilibili, a Shanghai-based streaming website, attracts 93 million monthly active users whose average age is 21. The company's stock has surged 73% since its IPO in 2018. Previously, IDG Capital led Bilibili's Series A funding round in 2017 and also joined the company's A+ and B rounds. Bilibili is now valued at more than $3 billion.
Farfetch, a leading online luxury fashion retail platform backed by IDG, is now the exclusive e-commerce partner for Harrods, the U.K.'s leading luxury department store. Farfetch, based in London, will help Harrods moving overseas by growing its online business. Backed by IDG in 2016, Farfetch went public in 2018 with a valuation of $5.8 billion.
Circle, a Boston-based leading crypto finance company, is expanding its market surveillance and protection strategy in partnership with NICE Actimize, an autonomous financial crime management firm owned by Nasdaq-listed NICE Ltd. in Israel. The arrangement is designed to protect Circle customers and investors. IDG Capital was the lead investor in Circle's $50 million Series C in 2015 and $60 million Series D funding rounds in 2016.