Investment Round is our weekly update on which firms have secured new funding, which areas are seeing the most financing, and who is putting up the cash that enables these firms to pushing the capabilities of mobile marketing further.
Mobike cycles up with $600m round
Smart bike-sharing company Mobike has secured $600m (£474m), in a financing round led by existing investor Tencent, along with others contributors including Sequoia, TPG, and Hillhouse Capital.
The 5m bicycles that Mobike operates are all equipped with a GPS-enabled smart lock, connecting it to what the company says is the world’s largest Internet of Things network.
Since the service first launched in Shanghai last April, it has expanded to 100 cities, with Manchester and Salford the next on Mobike’s list.
“With the continuing support of our investors, we have three clear targets for the coming months,” said Mobike CEO and co-founder Davis Wang. “Firstly, we will accelerate the pace of global expansion, and our new target is to be in 200 cities by the end of this year. Secondly, we will increase investment in R&D of our IoT network and new technologies; working closely with our global-leading technology partners. And thirdly, we will invest in building a superior technology infrastructure to support our innovations in the field of AI and intelligent hardware, which will further bolster our competitive advantage and enable us to offer the best possible experience to Mobike users globally.”
$1.5m for consumer intelligence platform Huq
Market intelligence data platform Huq Industries has closed a $1.5m seed round. The round was led by 24Haymarket, with a contribution from Force Over Mass Capital.
Founded in 2014, Huq promises a real-time view of offline consumer behaviour, using data collected through mobile apps.
“These investment partners in combination with our existing shareholders provide us with both the funds and the network to accelerate Huq Industries’ growth,” Huq CEO Conrad Poulson told Tech City News.
500 Startups partners with Japanese goverment for $35m fund
500 Startups has closed a $35m fund for Japanese startups, with investment from Nikon, Mizuho Bank, Mitsubishi Estate – and the Japanese government itself.
The government’s Cool Japan Fund is putting $10m into the fund, and will be working with the funded companies to explore further investment.
The fund is for early-stage investments, with a planned $100,000-500,000 for each round it contributes to.
Microsoft and Intel contribute to $102m Element funding
Element AI has landed a $102m round of funding, with participating investors include Microsoft and Intel.
Element is a Montreal-based startup, founded last October, which offers an AIaaS (Artificial Intelligence as a Service) platform to non-tech industries, from financial services to manufacturing.
The funding will be used to open offices in Toronto and in Asia by January, and create 250 jobs.
Medicash makes minority investment in Now Healthcare
Now Healthcare Group has received a minority investment of £4m, from health cash plan provider Medicash.
The funding will be used to develop Now’s ‘AI and machine learning offering through its mobile app products and its online pharmacy’.
Founded in 2015, the company has worked with the NHS for over two years, and is shortly set to launch a medicine adherence and fulfilment app for the NHS.