Don’t miss out these headlines for the week: Ex-Meituan executive lands USD 7 M for his insurance startup; DuduBus to take on Didi’s bus service with USD 15 M; and LeEco’s affiliate acquires Le Vision Pictures for USD 1.5 B.
Ex-Meituan executive lands USD 7 M for his insurance startup
Shen Peng, the co-founder of group-buying site Meituan’s food delivery arm Meituan Waimai, founded a startup this month aiming to help patients with serious diseases. On Monday, he announced that they have completed a RMB 50 million (USD 7.7 million) round of angel financing from Tencent, Meituan-Dianping, IDG, Banyan Capital and Zhen Fund.
Shuidihuzhu, which means “waterdrop aid” in English, is an insurance platform that plans to solve the problem of high medical fees faced by most patients, especially those with a critical illness. When a user is diagnosed with a serious disease like cancer, the platform will crowdfund the medical fees from all of its users. For example, if every user contributes three RMB, a patient will be able to get up to RMB 300,000 from the platform.
Shen said every user’s contribution is like a water drop, small and insignificant. But when pooled together, they are like an oasis in the desert for the patient.
Alibaba’s movie production arm injects USD 154 M in cinema chain
Alibaba Pictures, the film production arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, announced on Monday that it will purchase convertible bonds worth RMB one billion (USD 154 million) in an offline cinema chain DADI DIGITAL CINEMA Corporation (Dadi Cinema) to improve its coverage in the entertainment industry.
Apart from capital investment, Alibaba Pictures will also work with Dadi Cinema to promote movies and develop relevant e-commerce businesses including selling movie tickets online.
Zhang Qiang, the CEO of Alibaba Pictures, said cinema is an important consumption scenario in the entertainment industry and Alibaba Pictures, which aims to connect the entire entertainment industry, cannot turn a blind eye to it.
DuduBus to take on Didi’s bus service with USD 15 M
Shenzhen-based online bus platform DuduBus announced on Monday that it has received RMB 100 million (USD 15.4 million) in Series B financing.
This round of financing was led by Chinese IT company Shenzhen Rainbow Fine Chemical Industry Company (TCF), followed by Guoxin Equity Investment Fund.
The new investment will be used to develop new energy buses. DuduBus will cooperate with TCF to build a leading smart travel platform.
Ready to travel? How a short-haul travel site landed USD 85 M
Yaochufa, a Guangzhou-based short-haul travel platform, announced it received RMB 550 million (USD 85 million) in Series D financing in late April.
Founded in August 2011, Yaochufa targets the weekend travel market and provides short-haul online travel products for customers, like a weekend trip from Beijing to the Great Wall.
AllChinaTech spoke with Ding Genfang, founder and CEO of Yaochufa, a company name that means “ready to travel” in English, to get his insights on founding a company and the online travel market in China.
LeEco’s affiliate acquires Le Vision Pictures for USD 1.5 B
China’s Internet giant LeEco‘s affiliate Le.com announced the 100% acquisition of its affiliate Le Vision Pictures, one of China’s largest movie producers and distributors, for up to RMB 9.8 billion (USD 1.5 billion). The buyout will be paid with stocks and cash, accounting for 69.6% and 30.4% respectively.
Founded in 2011, Le Vision Pictures covers movie production, movie distribution, copyright operations and business development. Mystery movie The Bullet Vanishes is among several hits it has produced, and the company has signed some of the most well-known filmmakers in China including Zhang Yimou and Guo Jingming.
According to the China Film Industry Report 2014-2015 by Entgroup, a firm that provides data on China’s film and television industry, Le Vision Pictures was the sixth largest movie distributor in China and enjoyed 4.1% of the market in 2014. Its box office income saw a rapid growth from RMB 608 million in 2012 to RMB 2,283 million in 2015. In addition, the company has landed two rounds of financing by the end of 2014.