[NEWS] Backer of Musical.ly, Grindr and Opera to invest $50M in self-driving startup Pony.ai – Loganspace

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[NEWS] Backer of Musical.ly, Grindr and Opera to invest $50M in self-driving startup Pony.ai – Loganspace


A games publisher in China is following the path of its better conception Tencent toabet a wide spectrum of startupsfor financial beneficial properties. Beijing Kunlun Wanwei, orKunlun,announced in asubmittingthis week that it plans to inject $50 million into autonomous using startupPony.aiin change for a 3 percent stake.

Pony.ai confirmed the investment with TechCrunch in an email response, including that the cash contributes to its pre-B spherical of financing. The startup closing pocketed$102 millionthat valued it at nearly $1 billion. It’s raised $214 million in total fundings to this level in step with records from CrunchBase.

Shanghai-listed Kunlun has its bets on undoubtedly one of China’s most aggressive neat using companies. Pony.ai, co-founded by James Peng, previously a frontrunner inBaidu’sself-using division, was oncemost effective 2nd to Baiduin total autonomous miles pushed in Beijing closing 300 and sixty five days (even supposing by an infinite margin).

While neither Kunlun nor Pony.ai supplied an inkling of conceivable strategic collaboration between them, subsequent-gen vehicles bear develop into a much sought-after web yell for web web hosting entertainment yell, and indubitably that comprises video games.

Few outdoor China’s web commerce know of Kunlun, which has over time been squeezed by commerce leaders Tencent andNetEase. The 11-300 and sixty five days-ragged company has, on the other hand, step by step earned its reputation as a savvy investor. Led by Zhou Yahui, a shrewd investor himself, Kunlun has backed companies that broadened distribution channels for its gaming titles. Diverse fundings appear more tangential. Right here’s a taste of Kunlun’s profitable portfolio:

Musical.ly:Kunlun laid out $20 million for Musical.ly and cashed out $41.08 million when Bytedancegot Musical.ly in 2017, in step with asubmitting. Musical.ly isnow fragment ofthe typical short video app TikTok.

Inke:Succor in 2016, Kunlun invested 68 million yuan ($10 million) in stay streaming company Inke. By 2017 it had bought all its stakes within the startup and was once poised to cash out a total of 824 million yuan ($123 million) after the transaction carried out, in step with asubmitting. Inke is the currently third-finest stay streaming app by monthly active devices in China, saysrecords from iResearch.

Opera: Kunlun was once fragment of a consortium that got the obtain browser in 2016 when it shelled out$600 millionin investment. Thru the consortium, Kunlun now owns a forty eight percent stake in Opera, whichfloated on Nasdaqin 2018.

Grindr:Kunlun paid$93 millionfor a 60 percent stake in Grindr, the typical relationship app for cheerful, bisexual, transgender and abnormal customers, abet in 2016 and carried out the buyout with$152 millionin fundings in 2018. Kunlun isreportedly having a watch to promoteGrindr after the Committee on Foreign Funding within the US decided its possession of the relationship app can even threaten national security.

Qudian: Kunlun owned a19.2 percent stakein Qudian when the micro-lender turned into undoubtedly one of many first Chinese fintech companies tochecklist on Nasdaq. Kunlun has since been selling its stakes through a slack exit and Zhou currentlysteeredanalysts that his agency was once expected to construct around 2 billion yuan ($300 million) in profit from the Qudian investment.

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