Type to search

Chinese startups raise $37 billion in first five months of 2021

Yu Le, co-founder of Dingdong Maicai, a fresh vegetable e-commerce platform, speaks at a forum at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in Sept 2020. Dingdong raised $700 million recently. Photo: Lv Liang / Imaginechina via AFP.

China raised the lion’s share of VC funding in the first five months of 2021, despite outbreaks of Covid-19 in some southern provinces

(AF) Despite Covid-19 outbreaks, Chinese startups raised a total of $37.4 billion in 1,303 venture capital (VC) funding deals from January to May this year – the highest amount among Asia-Pacific countries, according to data and analytics company GlobalData.

February was the only month to witness growth in VC funding value, while March was the only month that recorded growth in deal volume, a report from GlobalData said on Wednesday.

Despite the decline, China held the lion’s share of the regional VC funding landscape – accounting for close to 50% of the APAC region’s total deal volume and 70% of its total deal value – during the review period.

“Despite investors adopting a cautious approach and deal activity remaining subdued for most of the period, China managed to witness the announcement of some big-ticket deals, which helped it register a sizeable cumulative funding value,” Aurojyoti Bose, Lead Analyst at GlobalData, said.

Tencent-backed community shopping platform Xingsheng Selected (also known as “Xingsheng Youxuan”) marked the largest VC funding deal in China of $3 billion during the period. Xingsheng’s rival Beijing Shihui Technology, which is backed by Alibaba Group, raised $750 million.

Other notable VC deals include $700 million in funding for grocery shopping app Dingdong Maicai, $664 million in capital raised by electric vehicle maker LeapMotor and $600 million raised by Qingju, the bike-sharing unit of Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing.

Meanwhile, KPMG said in an earlier report that VC investment in China in the second quarter is expected to focus significantly on embedded technologies like AI in healthcare, and that green technologies will also gain traction given China’s commitment to become carbon neutral by 2060.

Food technology will likely attract increasing investment in China, and particularly Hong Kong, where there is increasing interest in alternatives to traditional meat, according to KPMG.


China records world’s top five VC deals in Q4

Iris Hong

Iris Hong is a senior reporter for the China desk, and has special interests in fintech, e-commerce, AI, and electric vehicles. She began her career in 2006 and worked for Interfax News Agency and for PayPal before joining Asia Financial in July 2020. You can reach out to Iris on Twitter at @Iris23360981


AF China Bond