Month: December 2016

Huawei acquires Israel cyber security startup HexaTier for US$42 million

Chinese multinational networking and telecommunications equipment manufacturer Huawei has reportedly completed the acquisition of Israeli database security and compliance solution startup HexaTier for US$42 million.

Based in Bnei Brak near Tel Aviv, the company provides a unified database security which is able to provide greater security and compliance to databases in the cloud.

The company claims that this is accomplished through utilizing a patented reverse proxy technology for securing databases across multiple platforms which include Database as a Service (DBaaS), private, public or hybrid cloud environments and on-premises.

Founded as GreenSQL in 2009 by Amir Sadeh, David Maman, and Hadar Eshel, despite the company’s ability to secure on-premises databases, its main focus lies in database-as-a-service with a particular emphasis on blocking SQL injection attacks, the most common form of database attack.

Prior to this, HexaTier, a company of 40 employees, has raised US$14.5 million from Israeli venture capital funds JVP, Magma, and Rhodium.

These negotiations, follow a visit by Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei to Israel several weeks ago. With this, Huawei will use HexaTier to set up a research and development center in Israel for databases in the cloud.

This would also be Huawei’s second acquisition of an Israeli company in three weeks. Earlier in December, Huawei has also acquired Toga Networks, an IT research firm for US$150 million.

Huawei reportedly employs around 170,000 employees with more than half being employed under the research and development sector in 21 different centers including China, the United States, England, Canada, Pakistan, France, Belgium, and Germany.

The Chinese phone maker also recorded US$60 billion in sales in 2015, which is about 37 percent higher compared to the same period in 2014. Operating profit last year was US$7 billion.

On the other hand, HexaTier is available on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform. Its technology is also compatible with Microsoft Azure SQL Database.

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media

Tiger Brokers raises US$29 million Series B funding round backed by CITIC Goldstone, Huagai Capital

Beijing-based online brokerage firm Tiger Brokers Co. on Wednesday has successfully raised US$29 million for its Series B funding round, which was participated by CITIC GoldStone Fund Management Co., Ltd. and Huagai Capital.

Existing investors including Zhen Fund and China Renaissance K2 Ventures have also participated in the round, which is worth 200 million yuan (about US$29 million).

This funding round follows the financing back in September 2015 where Tiger Brokers secured an RMB 100 million (about US$16 million) round backed by Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc.

Founded in June 2014, Tiger Broker, through its web securities and transaction platform, provides brokerage services for Chinese investors that wish to invest in securities abroad, particularly stocks listed on the U.S. and Hong Kong exchanges.

In addition to access to China A-shares, as well as U.S. and Hong Kong stocks, Tiger Brokers also support transactions involving securities margin trading in addition to 13,000 U.S. stocks, share options, and ETF products.

“We invested in Tiger Brokers in its angel round because we believe in its objective of serving the trading needs of the global Chinese investors,” said the managing partner at China Renaissance K2 Ventures, Li Li.

Following the deal, Mainland China’s CITIC Securities Co., Ltd., the brokerage arm of the biggest state-owned financial conglomerate and parent of CITIC GoldStone, will also serve as a mentor to Tiger Brokers, providing strategic advice on the company’s growth moving forward.

The company aims to use the latest proceeds on technology infrastructure upgrade, big data development, user experience improvement as well as new business initiatives.

“Growth in securities trading apps is an inevitable trend, in tandem with the accelerating popularity of smartphones and driven by the demand by Asia-based investors for a more globally diversified allocation of their assets,” Tiger Brokers CEO, Wu Tianhua said.

“Our goal is to make Tiger Trade the app of choice for any Chinese speaking investor with an international investment portfolio,” Wu further adds.

The international securities startups also announced last week about its plans to advance its online brokerage services into Singapore, which provides investors with an opportunity to access to low-commission cross-border investment choices.

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media

Baby Pictures mobile app Qinbabao closes Series B funding led by China’s Fosun Group

Qinbabao, a mobile app that allows users to post, share and store baby pictures or videos, has recently raised its series B funding round led by China’s global investment firm, Fosun Group.

Existing investor ShunWei Capital, a China-focused venture capital fund who has invested in iQiyi and online learning platform, 17zuoye has also participated in the round, which is reportedly said to be in tens of millions of U.S. dollars.

“Family expenditure surrounding children will be the biggest driver of China’s future consumption market,” said Li Rui, a partner at Shunwei Capital. “Qinbaobao can create multiple family consumption entry points based on its child-centric business model, affording it great potential.”

Founded in 1992, Shanghai-based Fosun Group has been involved in a number of industries segments which include health, lifestyle, property development, and mining. This latest investment follows the Chinese investment firm’s US$450 million funding in Babytree, a Chinese parenting portal in November 2016.

Commenting on the investment, Guo Guangchang, the chairman of Fosun Group said, “Since 2015, Fosun’s investments have been focused on business-to-family projects. Services tailored to children is undoubtedly the most important part of this space.”

Since 2007, its holding company Fosun International has been listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX), and the investment firm focuses on capital provisions not only in China but on the global level as well. The company, to date, has investments in over 50 projects worldwide.

Besides, Fosun International Ltd has made a number of acquisitions in the past few years investing in the likes of Club Mediterranee SA, a French resort chain and Studio 8, a Hollywood movie producer. Additionally, it has been the first Chinese firm to invest in a state-owned high-speed railway project.

Launched in 2013, Qinbaobao claims to have 20 million users, who share and store baby pictures and videos. The mobile app also provides a networking platform, forming a mobile community of young families.

Besides, the Chinese mobile app also features parenting guides such as expert tips on baby care, nutritional recipes, storage for baby records as well as fairytales and nursery rhymes for toddlers.

With the latest proceeds from the new round, QinBaoBao will use it to improve its mobile application, marketing, and user expansion as well as for new approaches to monetisation.

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media

Dasin Retail Trust seeks Singapore IPO to raise US$84.5 million

A business trust holding three shopping malls in China’s Guangdong province is looking to raise at least 586.4 million yuan (about US$84.5 million) through an initial public offering on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) mainboard.

On Wednesday night, Dasin Retail filed a preliminary prospectus with the Monetary Authority of Singapore, not disclosing its pricing or the number of units that would be in the retail and placement tranches.

The trust is however said to have an indicative market cap of S$439.7 million (about US$303.2 million).

“Units will be offered to institutional investors under a placement tranche as well as a public offering here, subject to over-allotment options,” said the trust manager Dasin Retail Trust Management in the preliminary prospectus.

It is also added that Dasin Retail Trust will benefit in terms of acquisition growth in the Pearl River Delta region where the sponsor – Zhongshan Dasin Real Estate has an active real estate presence.

Besides, Zhongshan Dasin Real Estate has also been granted the rights of first refusal (ROFR) to the trust manager for 14 completed and uncompleted properties.

Dasin Retail Trust operates as a real estate company with its key investment mandate focusing on investing, claiming ownership or developing land, uncompleted developments and income-producing real estate in Greater China, which are mainly commercial-based.

The trust’s initial portfolio comprises of three retail malls – Xiaolan Metro Mall, Ocean Metro Mall, and the Dasin E-colour shopping mall – all of which are located in Zhongshan City. The three malls combined have a total gross floor area of about 314,884.9 square meters and were valued at 4.6 billion yuan at June 30, 2016.

Additionally, two cornerstone investors – China Orient Asset Management (International) Holding and Haitong International Investment Fund SPC has also invested 120.8 million yuan (about S$25 million) in the trust.

The role of the sole financial adviser, global coordinator and issue manager for the proposed listing was appointed to DBS Bank, which will also act as the joint bookrunner and underwriter alongside Bank of China and Haitong International Securities.

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media

Taiping Assets Management leads US$309 million round in Shouqi Car Rental

Taiping Asset Management Co., Ltd., an investment arm of Hong Kong-headquartered China Taiping Insurance Group, has become the lead investor in an RMB 2.15 billion (about US$309 million) funding round in Shouqi Car Rental.

Other investors include Tianan Property Insurance Co., Ltd., CCB International and several unnamed investors have also contributed in the latest proceeds which will be used to expand the automobile firm’s fleet, as well as improve on marketing and technology

The funding round followed a US$120 million in November 2015 which was led by Jiashi Fund Management and an earlier round of US$150 million from Beijing Tourism Group and parent Shouqi Group in early 2015.

Founded in 1992, Beijing-based Shouqi Car Rental is a subsidiary of Beijing-based automobile transportation and logistics company Shouqi Group, which is best known for operating limousine fleets for Chinese political leaders and visiting dignitaries.

The company is said to be the third largest car rental fleet in China, with 18,000 cars and a network of 230 service stations in 56 Chinese cities. The automobile subsidiary also operates via and mobile apps, providing short-term and long-term car leasing, mobile app-based chauffeured ride and carpool services.

On a related matter, Volkswagen Group China announced it has signed an agreement of potential partnership with Shouqi Group to provide sustainable mobility solutions to help expand the car-sharing business in China.

Formerly known as China Insurance Group Assets Management, Taiping Assets Management is based in Hong Kong and invests in public equity, fixed income, as well as alternative investment markets.

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media

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