Oct 15, 2020 07:11 PM

Kai Fu Lee‘s Sinovation Ventures Seeks $1 Billion for New Fund

Kai-Fu Lee
Kai-Fu Lee

(Deal Street Asia) — Sinovation Ventures, the Chinese venture capital firm founded by former Google Inc executive Kai-Fu Lee, seeks to raise $1 billion for a new venture capital (VC) fund, its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission showed.

The new fund, Sinovation Disrupt Fund LP, will add to the firm’s $2 billion assets under management between seven U.S. dollar and yuan funds in total. In 2019, Sinovation Ventures raised $361 million for its third yuan fund while its fourth dollar fund closed at $500 million in 2018.

Founded in 2009, the firm has a presence in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen with over 350 portfolio companies across the technology spectrum in China and the U.S., including app store Wandoujia and Meitu, a developer of selfie apps.

Its focus areas in China include artificial intelligence and big data, content and entertainment, consumption upgrade, B2B trade and enterprise services, and education.

In the U.S., the firm’s focus areas include internet of things and robotics, deep software, and education technologies.

“In the US, we invest in startups at the seed, Series A, and Series B stages. We evaluate the project teams and their technologies primarily on their merit for the U.S. market, but also evaluate their potential for successfully entering the China market in due time,” the company said on its website.

Last month, Sinovation Ventures coanchored the $32-million Series A funding in microbial testing services provider Hugo Biotech. In May, the firm led the $14-million Series B funding in Chinese medical device B2B e-commerce platform Vedeng.

Sinovation’s fundraising comes at a time when China-focused VC funds are struggling to raise money due to the Trump administration’s increased scrutiny of college endowments and pension funds backing Chinese firms.

Other venture capital firms that are raising China-focused funds include U.S.-based GGV Capital, which is raising a combined $2 billion for three new funds that will focus on China, the U.S., and Southeast Asia.

Last June, Matrix Partners China raised $750 million for its flagship venture investment vehicle. The VC firm has backed major Chinese tech firms at their early stages.

This story was first published in Deal Street Asia.

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