Early-stage funds dominate in Q1, with $100m+ deals and strong backing for IoT
Early-stage funds accounted for 77 per cent of the total deal volume and 26.4 per cent of the total deal value during the first quarter, with strong continuing interest in both IoT and AI, and several major deals topping £100 million.
In total, 1,333 seed funding deals and 758 Series A deals were announced in the period, according to GlobalData. In April, at the start of the second quarter, California based industrial IoT platform provider Altizon and Stockholm-based industrial IoT streaming AI company Crosser Technologies have just closed out Series A rounds, of $7 million and €3 million respectively.
The biggest deals in the first three months of the year were for Chinse supply chain firm Zhunshida Electronic (Jusda), a Foxconn spin-off company, which raised $355.9 million from the likes of China Life Insurance, IDG Capital, and Shanghai CCI Investment. The money will go on development of its intelligent supply chain technologies.
Meanwhile, China-based Mogu Zhixing (Zhidao Network), an IoT enabled auto services startup, raised $120 million. China’s social media and gaming giant Tencent led the round. Chinese firm AutoAI, a provider of ‘internet-of-vehicle’ solutions, raised $104 million, with investment from the corporate venture capital arm of Bosch Group.
Of the April early-stage funds, Altizon’s was led by Singapore-based investor TVS Motor Company, and Crosser Technologies’s was led by German venture firm 42CAP and Swedish venture firm Industrifonden.
Altizon plans to use the funds to strengthen its international presence and continue its investments in IP development. Altizon’s Datonis Industrial IoT platform addresses industrial IoT needs from intelligent edge computing to business applications for smart manufacturing.
Rajesh Narasimhan, chief at TVS Motor, said: “We found Altizon’s technology portfolio of definitive value in driving digital transformation with industrial IoT.”
Crosser Technologies is a “cool vendor”, among edge computing specialists, according to Gartner. Its platform helps enterprises integrate the machine world with the rest of their business, it said. It wants to expand its platform for edge analytics and machine learning iinto new markets.
“The first step will be to expand into Germany, the leading industrial country in Europe,” said Martin Thunman, the company’s chief and founder.
Martin Gemvik, senior investment manager at Industrifonden, commented: “Crosser stands out because it understands the big picture, and has built a platform that complements and improves the customers’ existing technology. We are really excited about this partnership and what it will bring.”
GlobalData said the US was the top startup hub attracting more than 50 per cent of early stage funding volume and 60 per cent of early stage funding value in the first quarter. China, India, the UK and Switzerland were other top countries.