This is part of a seven-part series on China's VC investment in Q4 2022. This series features firms spanning seven industries, including automaking, healthcare, new consumption, intelligent hardware, smart manufacturing, enterprise services and emerging technologies.
For automaking, we at EqualOcean have identified 20 companies worth watching in Q3. The core criterion is to receive venture capital investments of over USD 20 million on average or the equivalent value in CNY in a single round. When compiling the list, we also considered factors such as growth prospects, brand influences and reputation, as well as planned expansions.
From SMEs about to make their mark in the market, to well-established companies that have already raised significant funds and are still seeking further capital injections, here's a list you won't want to miss.
In October, the Xiamen-based lithium battery manufacturer Xiamen Hithium Energy Storage Technology Co., Ltd (hereinafter referred to as Hithium) (Chinese: 海辰储能) completed its B round financing of over CNY 2 billion (USD 278 million), which was jointly invested by Agricultural Bank of China International (Chinese: 农银国际) and China Construction Bank Principle Investment Management Co. (Chinese: 建信股权). Other financial agencies including Matrix Partners (Chinese: 经纬创投), Chengtun Mining Group (Chinese: 盛屯集团) and Frees Fund (Chinese: 峰和资本) were also involved in this investment. The fund will be mainly used for advanced equipment procurement, capacity building, market expansion and technology R&D.
On October 20, Guangzhou Automobile Corporation announced that its NEV marque Aion (Chinese: 广汽埃安) has completed A-round financing of CNY 18.29 billion (USD 2.52 billion), which was jointly invested by PICC Capital Equity Investment (Chinese: 人保资本), China Southern Power Grid Equity Investment Capital (Chinese: 南网能创), Chinese Structual Reform Fund (Chinese: 国调基金), Shenzhen Capital Group (Chinese: 深创投), CITIC Goldstone Fund Management Company (Chinese: 中信金石), Guangzhou Industrial Investment Fund Management Company (Chinese: 广州产投集团). The company stated that this investment provides Aion with an advantage of possessing key strategical upstream and downstream industrial resources, helps stabilize supply side capabilities and supports Aion's new product development as well as core technology R&D including smart drive and smart cockpit development, which will significantly strengthen Aion's future competitive advantage.
On October 24, autonomous driving chip provider EVAS Intelligence (Chinese: 奕行智能) (hereinafter referred to as EVAS) announced the completion of its pre-A round of financing amounted to CNY 300 million (USD 52 million), which was led by GAC Capital (Chinese: 广汽资本) and Oriental Fortune Capital (Chinese: 东方富海), followed by Yuexiu Fund (Chinese: 越秀产业基金) and Guochuang Zhongding (Chinese: 国创中鼎) and some old equity-holders, including CTC Capital (Chinese: 和利资本), Sunic Capital (Chinese: 临芯投资), Volcanics Venture (Chinese: 火山石资本) and Hivision Technology (Chinese:海威科技). The money is expected to be used for market expansion. Up to now, the company has raised approximately CNY 500 million, with CNY 200 million from its Angel financing round.
On October 26, Geely New Energy Commercial Vehicle Group's brand Farizon Auto (Chinese: 远程汽车) announced its completion of a pre-A round financing of over USD 300 million, which was led by Hidden Hill Capital (Chinese: 隐山资本) and followed by Transfar Group (Chinese: 传化集团), CITIC Securities (Chinese: 中信证券), Hunan Xiangtan Industry Fund (Chinese: 湖南湘潭产业基金), GLy Capital (Chinese: 吉安资本) and Mirae Asset, as well as many other well-known strategic investors. In making this announcement, Farizon Auto disclosed its carbon neutrality target, which included reaching operational carbon neutrality by 2025 and life-cycle carbon neutrality by 2030. The fund will be mainly used in R&D investment and marketplace construction, with the aim of maintaining and strengthening Farizon Auto's status as a leading company in the new energy commercial vehicle market.
On October 27, energy digitization solution supplier ZD Power (Chinese: 浙达能源) announced the completion of its A-round financing exceeding CNY 100 million (USD 14 million), which was led by Hillhouse Investment (Chinese: 高瓴创投), followed by Source Code Capital (Chinese: 源码资本) and Creo Capital (Chinese: 六脉资本). Taihe Capital(Chinese: 泰合资本) served as the exclusive financial advisor.
In November, Atech Automotive (Wuhu) Co.,Ltd (Chinese: 埃泰克汽车电子) (hereinafter referred to as Atech) announced that it has secured a new C-round of financing exceeding CNY 500 million (USD 68.8 million), three months after the company completed its B-round of financing. This investment was jointly led by Yangtze River Xiaomi Industry Fund (Chinese: 小米产投), CICC Capital's (Chinese:中金资本) fund, PICC Capital Investment Management (Chinese:人保资本), Anhui Guojiang Future Automotive Industrial Investment Fund (Chinese: 安徽国江基金), and China Fortune-innovation Capital (Chinese: 中芯熙诚). Co-investors include Wingtech Industrial Investment (Chinese: 闻泰产投), Jintong Capital (Chinese: 金通资本), Yunxiu Capital (Chinese: 云岫资本), GigaDevice (Chinese: 兆易创新), NationalChip (Chinese: 国芯科技) and other institutions. Existing shareholders October Capital (Chinese: 十月资本) and Cowin Capital (Chinese: 同创伟业) continued their investments.
On November 18, Voyah (Chinese: 岚图汽车) announced it has completed its A-round financing of around CNY 5 billion (USD 701.58 million) with a post-investment market valuation of almost CNY 30 billion (USD 4.21 billion), making this financing event by far the largest series A financing round in China's new energy industry. This investment was co-led by SOE Mixed-Ownership Reform Fund (Chinese: 国企混改基金) and BOC Asset Management (Chinese: 中银资产), and followed by state-owned investment agencies such as ICBC Financial Asset Management (Chinese: 工银投资) and ABC Financial Asset Investment (Chinese: 农银投资). The funds raised will be used for supporting R&D, marketing investments, establishment of digitization systems and production capability building.
On November 14, ECARX Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as ECARX) (Chinese: 亿咖通) has reached an agreement with SPDB International Holdings Limited and CNCB (Hong Kong) Investment Limited to secure a USD 65 million senior convertible note financing investment. The convertible notes are expected to be mature in 2025. The funds raised will be used for R&D, product development, strategic acquisitions and investments, and global expansion, ultimately enhancing the company's competitiveness.
On November 28, Nanjing SemiDrive Technology Ltd. (Chinese: 芯驰科技) (hereinafter referred to as SemiDrive) completed a series B+ financing round of CNY 1 billion (USD 138 million) approximately, led by SAIC Goldstone Innovative Manufacturing Industry Fund (Chinese: 上汽金石创新产业基金) and followed by CITIC Securities (Chinese: 中信证券), Anhui Transportation Goldstone Private Fund Management (Chinese: 安徽交控金石投资), Shenzhen Guozhong Venture Capital Management (Chinese: 国中资本), Huatai Insurance (Chinese: 华泰保险) and Shenzhen Qianhai W&W Fund Management (Chinese: 前海赛睿) and more. The funds raised will be used for continuous core tech upgrading, iterative updates for chip products and enabling mass production for the company.
On November 28, advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) solutions provider Freetech (Chinese: 福瑞泰克) announced the completion of B round of financing worth nearly USD 100 million, which was led by Chaos Investment (Chinese: 混沌投资). Other investors include Hengxu Capital (Chinese: 恒旭资本), BAIC Group Industrial Investment (Chinese: 北汽产投), TCL Industry Holding Corporation (Chinese: TCL实业), Shaanxi AUTOMOBILE Group (Chinese: 陕西汽车控股集团), Sun Life Everbright Life Insurance (Chinese: 光大永明人寿保险), Tongxiang Chemical Corporation (Chinese: 桐乡金桐) and Aopeng Investment (Chinese: 翱鹏资本). Taihe Capital (Chinese: 泰合资本) served as the exclusive financial advisor.The fund will be used for product R&D and supply chain optimization, promoting the commercialization of autonomous driving.
On November 30, FTXT Energy Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as FTXT) (Chinese: 未势能源) announced the completion of its B round financing amounting to CNY 555 million (USD 77.7 million), which was led by the fund of China National Building Material Group (Chinese: 中国建材集团), and followed by its existing equity-holder SDIC (Chinese: 国投招商) and Liben Energy (Chinese: 立本能源). The fund will be used for product R&D, technology iteration, talent development, capacity building and market expansion, consolidating FTXT’s market position in the field of hydrogen energy and fuel cells. It is reported that FTXT has started the process of a B+ round of financing after the completion of series B financing and is also advancing the preparation work for IPO.
In November, Hangzhou Hongjing Drive Technology Co., Ltd. (Chinese: 宏景智驾) (hereinafter referred to as Hong Jing Drive) completed series B financing of hundreds of millions of CNY, led by CITIC GoldStone Fund Management (Chinese: 中信金石) and followed by Bojiang Capital (Chinese: 博将资本) and CCB Investment (Chinese: 建信投资). The funds raised will be used for the R&D of new products and production capacity expansion for the company.
On December 2, PhiGent Robotics (Chinese: 鉴智机器人) announced the completion of its A+ round of financing amounting to tens of millions of USD, which was led by Xianghe Capital (Chinese: 襄禾资本), followed by its existing equity-holder INCE Capital (Chinese: 渶策资本). The fund will be used for product R&D, talent development and market expansion. Meanwhile, the company announced that Shan Yi, doctor of Tsinghua university and former vice president of AMD, would become the CEO as a co-founder.
On December 5th, Huizhou Yipeng Energy Technology Co., Ltd (Chinese: 亿鹏能源) (hereinafter referred to as Yipeng Energy) announced that the company accomplished a new round of financing of CNY 180 million (USD 26 million), co-led by Yingke Capital (Chinese: 盈科资本) and Zibo Economic Development Zone Industrial Fund (Chinese: 淄博经开区产业基金). The funds raised will be primarily used for the company's manufacturing base construction in Zibo Economic Development Zone and further expansion of Yipeng Energy's sales scope.
In December, Genesys Microelectronics (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. (Chinese: 复睿微电子) (hereinafter referred to as Genesys Microelectronics) announced its completion of angel round financing of hundreds of millions of CNY, led by CICC Capital (Chinese: 中金资本) and Shanghai Baoding Investment Management (Chinese: 宝鼎投资) and followed by Ondine Capital (Chinese: 活水资本), Anhui Zhongchen Investment Group (Chinese: 安徽中辰投资集团) and more. The funds raised will be used for the company's talent acquisition in various R&D centers, procurement and market expansion, to promote the commercial landing of numerous EV cockpit and ADAS chip projects.