For a long time, the field of corporate services has been a focal point in the primary and secondary markets. As a business information platform and think tank that assists overseas markets and institutions in seizing opportunities in China, EqualOcean aims to provide readers with a quick understanding of the market situation and the latest trends through periodic investment and financing information and analysis.
Overview of Investment in the Corporate Services Sector in July 2023
In July 2023, the corporate services sector in China witnessed a notable investment landscape. A total of 59 investment events took place, excluding mergers and acquisitions. Among these, 5 IPOs were recorded, matching the figures from the previous month. Analyzing the distribution of investment rounds, it is evident that there was a significant number of early-stage financing events in the corporate services sector this month. Notably, compared to the previous month, there was an approximately 80% increase in Series C financing events in the later stages of financing.
In this article, we at EqualOcean have identified 10 companies worth watching in July 2023. When compiling the list, we considered factors such as size of financing rounds, growth prospects, brand influences and reputation, overseas business layout, 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.
We believe that this mix of players, large and small, well-known and obscure, established and incipient, and the investors that throw their weight behind them, presents our readers with a Who's who: It shines a light on the future directions of China's industry and evolution. What's more, we hope the EqualOcean series will offer insights for interested investors, entrepreneurs and China-focused observers.
recently completed a new round of funding, raising hundreds of millions of CNY in Series C financing. The investment was led by Huajing Investment（Chinese：华京投资）, an investment platform under Hualu（Chinese：中国华录集团）, and Intelligent Capital（Chinese：智连资本）, an industrial capital firm. It also received support from professional institutions such as Zhihui Ark（Chinese：智慧方舟）.
Additionally, existing shareholder K&C Capital（Chinese：康橙投资） continued to invest in this round, following their previous investment.It is understood that this financing will provide strong financial support for the development of X-GIANTS under Jia Chi International.Established in 2007 and headquartered in Shanghai, X-GIANTS is a professional technology-driven one-stop human resources solution provider.With nearly 60 branch offices in mainland China and overseas regions such as Australia and Germany, X-GIANTS has over 1,000 professional consultants and 10,000 outsourced employees.
ShareCRM announced the successful completion of a new strategic financing round, securing USD 30 million on July 21st. The funding was provided by Guizhou Province Innovation Empowerment Big Data Fund（Chinese：贵州省创新赋能大数据基金）.This round of financing follows the conpanies's previous strategic investments from DHVC（Chinese：鼎晖百孚）and Chinasoft International（Chinese：中软国际）in 2021 and 2022, respectively.It is understood that this financing will further strengthen ShareCRM's competitiveness in the market and drive its innovation and development in the field of big data.ShareCRM is headquartered in Beijing.
With a focus on connected CRM, ShareCRM has established a business model that primarily serves large enterprises with SaaS+aPaaS solutions and provides standardized solutions for small and medium-sized companies. Over the past three years, ShareCRM has maintained a consistent growth rate of over 40%, serving over 6,000 large and medium-sized enterprises. Prominent clients include Fudi Technology（Chinese：弗迪科技）, Xujigroup（Chinese：许继集团）, Aibisen（Chinese：艾比森）, Lianying, and Hisense Group.
Currently, they have established direct provincial branches in 13 cities and marketing service centers in over 50 cities nationwide. With a total workforce of over 1,000 employees and a product development team of over 300, ShareCRM is a high-quality SaaS company with comprehensive research, development, and implementation capabilities.In the past year, ShareCRM has deployed data centers in Europe and plans to further enhance data center layouts in Southeast Asia and Europe. ShareCRM has already achieved some business results in Southeast Asia, providing services to both international and local enterprises.
Cloud Hub announced that it has secured a strategic investment of CNY hundreds of millions from Chongqing Technology（Chinese：重科控股） Holdings on July 21st.It has been reported that the Chongqing government places great emphasis on the digital economy, with a particular focus on developing the software and information services industry through the "Starry Sky" action plan.
Chongqing Technology Holdings highly recognizes the growth potential of Cloud Hub as a leading SaaS collaboration provider and will provide strong support to facilitate its further expansion.Cloud Hub, a subsidiary of Kingdee Software, is a free mobile office platform headquartered in Chongqing. It is a next-generation intelligent collaborative cloud platform that caters to enterprise needs. It offers mobile office SaaS applications and services such as workspaces, task management, intelligent approvals, live meetings, and business connections. Its mission is to assist traditional enterprises in upgrading their OA systems and provide ERP solutions.
Shenzhen Qianhai Yueshi Information Technology Co., Ltd., a digital agricultural cold chain platform, completed a B round of financing of CNY 620 million（USD 95.7 million）on July 23rd. The financing was led by COFCO Capital (Hong Kong)（Chinese：中粮资本（香港）战略领投） as the strategic investor, with participation from Shenzhen High-Tech Investment Group（Chinese：深圳高新投集团）, QF Capital（Chinese：启赋资本）, Kingdom Empower Financial Market with Technology（Chinese：金证股份）, VENTURESLAB（Chinese：创业工场）, Zijingang Investment（Chinese：紫金港投资）, and Wanxing Venture Capital（Chinese：湾兴创投）. MAXIMUM CAPITAL（Chinese：极值资本）served as the financial advisor.
According to Chen Bin, the CEO of Quanhai Yueshi, "The global cold chain business market is growing rapidly year by year. From 2023 to 2025, we will focus on deploying physical industries such as livestock farming in Brazil and establishing a commercial model for direct supply through ports. We aim to achieve a revenue scale of 50 billion RMB within three years and plan to go public by the end of this year."Shenzhen Yueshi Internet Technology Co., Ltd., established in 2019 and located in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, is primarily engaged in software and information technology services. As a major vertical service provider in the Chinese cold chain industry, the company is dedicated to building an AI-powered cold chain supply chain management platform. By leveraging technology, it aims to enhance the comprehensive service capabilities and efficiency of China's cold chain supply chain industry.
Sunrate, a global digital payment and treasury management solutions provider based in Singapore, announced the completion of its Series D-2 funding round on July 27th. The round was led by Sequoia Capital Southeast Asia (now known as Peak XV Partners), with participation from existing shareholders Prosperity7 Ventures, Softbank Ventures Asia, and others.
The funds raised in this round will be used to drive technological innovation, deepen product and service offerings, attract industry talent, and explore additional strategic opportunities, accelerating its global expansion plans.
Sunrate is dedicated to helping businesses achieve digitalization in global payments and offers adaptive treasury management solutions that provide comprehensive resource support, allowing enterprises to focus on core business development and facilitate global trade effortlessly.
Sunrate currently has branches in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, Jakarta, and London, with overseas payment capabilities covering 100+ currencies and facilitating business operations in 150+ countries. In addition to successful partnerships with globally renowned banks such as Citigroup（Chinese：花旗）, Standard Chartered（Chinese：渣打）, and Barclays（Chinese：巴克莱）, Sunrate has also obtained the status of a principal member from Mastercard and Visa, continuously providing one-stop digital services to global enterprises.
FREED GROUP, joyfully announced on July 24, 2023, that it has successfully completed its Pre-C round of financing ("Pre-C"). The financing comes from a new participating private equity fund and existing shareholders, including Linear Capital(Chinese：线性资本）and Musketeer Capital.
It is understood that the funds raised will help FREED expand its global business. In addition to continuing to provide enterprise application solutions for top consumer brands and platforms, it will also expand its business to large international sports events with great potential.
FREED Group is a provider of digital and intelligent display solutions, established in 2015 and headquartered in Hong Kong. It has over ten offices worldwide and employs over 150 staff members. The group's clients and partners come from all over the world, including major brands such as Samsung（Chinese：三星）, China Mobile（Chinese：中国移动）, China Life（Chinese：中国人寿）, BMW, and LG. FREED GROUP was recognized as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum in 2022 and has received awards such as the 2021 Deloitte Technology Rising Star Award and the 2021 UNWTO Tourism Innovation Competition. In 2023, FREED GROUP was ranked among the top ten "Fastest Growing Companies in the Asia-Pacific Region" by the Financial Times.
It have 10 offices worldwide and a diverse team consisting of over 12 countries/regions, including Japan, Dubai, Los Angeles, and more.
Zhipu AI, has completed its B+ round of investment with Meituan as the exclusive investor, with an investment amount of RMB hundreds of millions,on July 21st.
It is understood that after this financing, Zhipu AI's valuation will exceed RMB 4 billion（USD 621 million）, and Tianjin Sankuai Technology Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Meituan（Chinese：美团）, will hold a 10.42% stake in Zhipu AI.
Headquartered in Beijing, Zhipu AI is an AI knowledge intelligence technology developer. It is a result of the transformation of the technological achievements of the Knowledge Engineering Laboratory of the Department of Computer Science at Tsinghua University. Over the past 25 years, the Knowledge Engineering Laboratory of Tsinghua University has achieved a series of internationally leading research results in the fields of knowledge engineering, knowledge graph, graph neural networks, and cognitive intelligence. They have formed the Wudao team and developed WuDao 2.0, the first and largest 1.75 trillion parameter large-scale pre-training model in China and the world.
Zhipu AI has a strategic cooperation with 360, jointly developing "360GLM". With other internet giants and top companies in segmented industries, they aim to create large-scale models and AIGC for vertical segmented scenarios.
LCComputing announced on July 3rd that it has secured a 50 million RMB angel round (Series A) financing, led by Vision+ Capital（Chinese：元璟资本）, Sequoia China Seed Fund（Chinese：红杉中国种子基金）, and Zhouxuan Equity（Chinese：舟轩股权）Investment.
It is understood that with the rapid development of big data and artificial intelligence, Baylian Zhuguan has improved the overall resource utilization efficiency by applying innovative LCC cloud "hybrid deployment technology", achieving a 10-20% increase and reducing resource investment costs by at least 30%. This enables top clients in the industry to save tens of millions of RMB in cloud costs annually, significantly reduce carbon emissions, and promote the green and sustainable development of the cloud computing industry.
Headquartered in Zhejiang,China, LCComputing helps clients significantly reduce IT resource costs through technological means. Its business covers multiple key technological areas, including but not limited to resource scheduling (such as K8s, YARN), big data platforms, operating system kernels, and multi-cloud management.
9.Yidian Knowledge （Chinese：一点知识）
Yidian Knowledge (Beijing) Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "Yidian Knowledge"（Chinese：一点知识）) has successfully completed a pre-Series A financing of RMB tens of millions. The round was led by ZHENCHENG CAPITAL（Chinese：真成投资）, with former CFO of yonyou Group（Chinese：用友集团）, Xu Zhoujin, participating as a follow-on investor and joining the company as a co-founder.
It is understood that the proceeds from this round of financing will be mainly used for brand building, market expansion, and the development of products based on AI large-scale language models.
Headquartered in Beijing, Yidian Knowledge is a next-generation enterprise learning platform that redefines traditional enterprise learning platforms with a new product experience and technological concept. It aims to create a digital learning platform that integrates training management, enterprise learning, business empowerment, and talent development, helping companies build a learning organization.
The company also has a branch in Boston, USA. It provides mature solutions for various industries, with its clients including State Grid Corporation of China（Chinese：国家电网）, COFCO Group（Chinese：中粮集团）, Meituan, Zhihu, Jiuxianjiu（Chinese：九毛九），UR, and hundreds of other companies.
MIRTUAL CLUSTERS, an ARM edge infrastructure service provider, announced that it has received a billion-CNY investment in Series C funding on July 15th. The investment in this round comes fromChina Merchants Investment Development Co., Ltd.("China Merchants Investment"（Chinese：招商投资）).
After this round of financing, Virtual Clusters will continue to increase its investment in product and key technology research and development, accelerate market expansion and ecosystem construction in key industry sectors, and serve the national "Innovation and Creation" strategy, contributing to the development of China's edge computing industry.
Founded in 2014, Virtual Clusters is headquartered in Shenzhen. It has developed multiple server product lines, including Android cloud, cloud storage, and artificial intelligence, based on ARM architecture chip design. These products have achieved 100% localization and can be combined with the development of industry technologies such as big data and 5G communication. They are in line with the requirements of independent and controllable information technology infrastructure and energy-saving and emission reduction in China.