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Hugo Shong, IDG Capital's Founding Chairman, and Jim Breyer, IDG Capital's Co-Chairman and the CEO of Breyer Capital, are forecasting strong growth for the artificial intelligence (AI) industry. During the Fortune Global Tech Forum in Guangzhou, both Shong and Breyer predicted that AI underlies growth in many key seemingly unrelated parts of the economy during the next decade – from healthcare to cryptocurrency. The two IDG Capital executives also told Fortune Executive Editor Adam Lashinsky that by 2028, 18 out of the world's 20 top AI companies will be based in either the U.S. or China.
LAIX, a NYSE-listed artificial intelligence education company, reported $26.3 million in revenues in Q3 2018, more than double revenues in the same quarter one year earlier. According to the co-founder and CEO Yi Wang, the Shanghai-based company is now actively building partnerships in K-12 and adult education around the world. Yang said that LAIX is now at the forefront of next-generation education technology. In 2017, IDG Capital joined LAIX's Series C funding round.
Lime, the San Francisco-based electric scooter startup, has launched electric bicycle-sharing operations in the U.K. Lime’s service is centered in Milton Keynes, west of London. In 2017, IDG Capital invested in Lime, now part of Neutron Holdings. Lime is currently valued at more than $1.1 billion.
Tencent division WeChat, China's largest messaging app, will partner with Line, Japan's largest chatting app. The e-wallet partnership will allow retail stores in Japan to process WeChat Pay transactions via terminals, and in doing, facilitate the shopping experience for an increasing number of Chinese tourists in that country. IDG Capital was an early investor in Tencent, which went public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2004.
Agora.io, a Chinese cloud communications company, raised $70 million in a Series C funding round. The Shanghai-based firm, which also has offices in Santa Clara, California, said it would use the latest funding to expand marketing for real-time voice, video and data communications products. Agora.io currently has 1 billion end users worldwide. IDG Capital invested in Agora.io's Series B round in 2014.
IDG Capital co-led a $20 million Series A funding round in KuCoin, a Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange. With operations in Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines, the firm now has more than five million registered users. KuCoin said it plans to use the investment to enhance customer security, improve trading and expand into Vietnam, Turkey, Italy, Russia and many Spanish-speaking countries.“IDG Capital has been investing in crypto-related companies since 2012," IDG Partner Young Guo said.“We want to be at the forefront of this movement to ensure that legitimate projects led by teams with integrity get noticed.”
IDG Capital joined a $30 million Series A funding round in SongShuPinPin, a Chinese community group-buying platform. IDG Capital was previously an angel investor in the Beijing-based firm. SongShuPinPin hires neighborhood representatives to collect group orders and payments in the neighborhood they are responsible for using China's popular WeChat messaging App. SongShuPinPin was founded by Yang Jun, a co-founder of Meituan-Dianping, one of the most popular group buying and food delivery platforms in China.
Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi and photo-editing app Meitu announced a strategic partnership under which Xiaomi will assume responsibility for Meitu's R&D, production and sale of phone devices optimized for selfies. Xiaomi reported a 49% growth in revenues and a net profit of $357 million in Q3. Both Xiaomi and Meitu are IDG Capital-backed companies. Meitu debuted on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2016 and Xiaomi followed suit on the same exchange two years later.
SenseTime, the world's most valuable artificial intelligence (AI) startup, is dramatically expanding its facial recognition business. Valued at $4.5 billion, SenseTime serves more than 700 companies around the world and is expected to triple revenues to $300 million according to Bloomberg's estimation. IDG Capital was one of SenseTime's earliest investors, actively participating in several funding rounds since the firm was founded in 2014.
Baidu's new artificial intelligence (AI) lab named nine internationally renowned scientists to its Baidu Research advisory board. The Chinese search engine conglomerate said its AI board now has representatives from Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and AT&T Labs. With offices now in Beijing, Seattle and Silicon Valley, Baidu Research operation focuses on cutting-edge AI topics, including natural language processing, computer vision and deep learning. IDG Capital was an early investor in Baidu, which first went public on Nasdaq in 2005.
iQiyi, the Chinese equivalent of Netflix, has acquired the exclusive streaming rights to“The Late Late Show with James Corden”from CBS Studios International. The deal marks the first time that China will stream a U.S. talk show, including current and past episodes available on demand. iQiyi, based in Beijing, now has 126 million active daily users streaming programs online. In 2017, IDG Capital backed iQiyi, which went public on Nasdaq in March of this year.
IDG Capital led a $14 million Series A round in DGene, a Shanghai-based provider of 3D imaging technology. The firm specializes in four-dimensional light field acquisition, rendering and display technology with applications in virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality. DGene's co-founders include scholars from University of Delaware and Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well as former principal researcher at Microsoft. The firm previously raised $6.5 million angel investment in 2016.
Lime, the ubiquitous e-scooter and e-bike startup, launched a car-sharing service in Seattle with 50 vehicles. The San Francisco-based firm plans to add 500 cars by year-end. Lime, a part of Neutron Holding, also predicts it will have 1,500 cars on the road in Seattle by early 2019, making it the largest car-sharing program in any U.S. city. Lime currently has urban bike- and scooter-sharing operations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Austria, France, Germany, Spain, the Czech Republic, Australia and New Zealand. IDG Capital invested in Lime in 2017.
Neutron Holdings, the electric scooter and bike-sharing company known as Lime, has launched e-scooter operations in Sydney, Australia. The move is the latest expansion by the San Francisco-based firm. Lime also recently rolled out operations in New Zealand and has also launched several pilot projects in Melbourne, Australia. It also now has a sizeable presence in more than 100 cities around the world. IDG Capital invested in Lime in 2017.
British luxury apparel brand Burberry is collaborating with Farfetch, an e-commerce fashion platform, to expand its customer base in China. According to Burberry, the partnership will also help boost the 162-year-old brand's outreach to a young, tech-savvy audience in second- and third-tier Chinese cities. In 2016, IDG Capital invested in Farfetch, which is based in London and is now listed on the New York Stock Exchange.