We hope this finds you all healthy and well. As we settle into fall, a season known for renewal and change, we're happy to share some exciting updates from the Cathay family.
At Cathay Innovation, we are humbled by the growth we've seen over the years with the invaluable support of an expanding ecosystem, all working together to back startups impacting the world. Just as we have evolved, we thought best our website follows suit.
Here, you'll see a glimpse of the brand new Cathay Innovation website along with some strong momentum from our portfolio companies, old and new. At a time of so much change, we'd also like to share some insights on a few of the major trends we're seeing transform industries across regions. Read more below on topics from the global rise of neobanks, robotic process automation (RPA) to business resilience in the face of COVID-19.
Thank you all for your continued support and stay tuned for more updates to come!
Cathay Innovation Website: The New VC Playbook Gets a New Look
Introducing the new and improved Cathay Innovation website for those who share our mission in driving change through technology and investing in startups impacting the world: www.cathayinnovation.com
Spotlight on Impact
Chime Climbs to Most Valuable US Consumer Fintech Bringing Financial Inclusion to America's Middle Class
Following a $485M Series F funding round, Cathay portfolio company Chime is now valued at $14.5B - surpassing Robinhood as the most valuable consumer fintech in the US and will be "IPO-ready" within the next 12 months. Since our original investment in 2017, leading its $18M Series B, Chime has quickly grown to be the leading US challenger bank (and now consumer fintech more broadly) thanks to its no-fee digital banking model designed to empower the American middle class to lead healthier financial lives.
Pinduoduo Commits to Agriculture to Improve Quality of Life for Customers
Our early backed portfolio company Pinduoduo, now one of the largest e-commerce players in China, continues to uphold its strong social responsibilities with a special focus on improving China's agriculture industry. Chairman and CEO Colin Huang says,“We are willing to make heavy investments, in-depth innovation, and solidly transform our traditional agriculture industry chain. We should conform to the changes in consumers’ habits, and truly improve the quality of life of our consumers. Whether we make money or not from this, this is in line with our core of ‘value creation for consumers’.”
Cathay Consult & Connect: KaiOS on the Challenges of Closing the Digital Divide
Cathay Connect & Consult Episode 2: Conversation with Dr. Arthur Yeung and Sébastien Codeville, Founder and CEO at KaiOS Technologies
Cathay Connect & Consult was created to offer CEOs in-depth strategic guidance, coaching and consulting support. In this 2nd episode, Dr. Arthur Yeung, Co-founder of Cathay Entrepreneurs and Head of Cathay Consult & Connect, speaks with Sébastien Codeville, Founder and CEO of Cathay portfolio company KaiOS. KaiOS develops a browser-based lite operating system customized for “smart feature phones,” is the 3rd mobile OS in the world after Android and iOS, and targets the ‘next billion users’ in emerging markets.
Tune in to learn more about some of the biggest business challenges in KaiOS' journey along with its mission to close the digital divide.
Sidecar Health Raises $20M to Transform US Health Insurance with Transparency & Consumer Choice
Cathay Innovation led the latest $20M round of funding for innovative health insurtech startup Sidecar Health which is on a mission to make health insurance more affordable and access to great healthcare more attainable in the US. Unlike traditional insurance, which sits between the patient and the doctor, Sidecar members pay for care directly when they get it using the Sidecar Health Visa card. They can see any doctor, with completely transparent pricing of coverage, saving members 40% compared to traditional insurance.
Climate Focused Insurtech Descartes Underwriting Raises $18.5M Series A
Paris-based startup Descartes Underwriting, the insurtech company specialized in climate risk modeling and data-driven risk transfer, has raised an $18.5M funding round led by Cathay Innovation and Serena. Descartes Underwriting is disrupting the insurance industry by scaling up parametric insurance. The company leverages new AI-driven technologies and data science to challenge traditional models and underwrite innovative, bespoke and affordable insurance solutions with plans to expand its products into the US and Asian markets.
China's FITURE Secures $65M to Redefine Home Fitness and Health
FITURE, one of China's rising home fitness brands aiming to help people build a healthy lifestyle through technology, secured $65M in Series A funding led by Tencent, with Sequoia Capital China, Cathay Innovation and others participating in the investment. FITURE is redefining home fitness by providing users with scientific and technological services including its connected mirror, AI personal training, courses, professional communities and other services such as dietary advice and health management.
Savana Closes $15M Series B to Accelerate Health Science with Big Data
Savana, a Madrid-based AI-driven healthtech startup, raised $15M for its Series B funding round as it eyes US expansion. The round was led by Cathay Innovation with participation from Seaya Ventures and long-time Cathay strategic partner and leading French insurer of healthcare professionals MACSF. Savana uses AI to provide medical knowledge based on “Real World Evidence” buried within the free text of clinical notes to enhance research and development of new drugs and build predictive models to enhance patients’ lives.
TechCrunch: Under the Hood of Neobanks - Which Will Rise or Fall?
The neobank, or digital bank, phenomenon continues to take the world by storm, with global winners, from Brazil’s Nubank, Berlin’s N26 to Cathay portfolio company Chime in the US. However, neobanks are not a monolithic model and not all are created equal. Cathay's Denis Barrier and Alex Lazarow dive into the world of digital banks from a global perspective, noting that while there are distinct success factors in each region -- those that will thrive in the longterm are those that are the most impactful.
VentureBeat: How to Deploy RPA Responsibly in the COVID-19 Era
The automation market, particularly the subsection of robotic process automation (RPA) designed to reduce the burden of repetitive and simple tasks, has been picking up considerable speed. However, while automation can be a game-changer during this critical time of accelerated digital transformation, it is not the answer for everything. Cathay's Simon Wu and Jason Chen spoke to a vast array of the Fortune 500 execs within our ecosystem to better inform both corporations interested in automation and the startups selling into them.
Cathay Innovation's Denis Barrier Joins Bpifrance at BIG 2020
"BIG" Panel: Forced transformation and climate issues - The new challenges for GPs
Cathay Innovation Co-founder and CEO Denis Barrier joined our friends at Bpifrance's event BIG (Bpi Inno Generation) to discuss the new challenges GP's face during a time of forced transformation and climate issues. Learn more about how Cathay managed the first phase of COVID-19 and what it implies for the future.
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