European and U.S.-based mostly tech ‘scale-ups’ with Asia ambitions, rejoice. Outing at this time is a brand new $500 million VC fund from Silk Ventures, and backed partially by the Chinese language authorities.
It plans to take a position throughout all levels from Collection-A upwards, and says that, though it’s going to stay open to tech startups from any sector, a key focus will probably be “deep tech and science, business four.zero applied sciences, comparable to Web of Issues and robotics, fintech and medtech corporations”. I’m advised that the primary investments from the fund shall be introduced in July.
“We’re the one enterprise fund on the planet doing what we’re doing,” claims Angelica Anton, Founding Associate of Silk Ventures. “We’re globally aligned with professional companions within the U.S, Europe and Asia to work with China on the highest ranges to make sure that our portfolio corporations will not be solely properly-funded, however have the perfect probability of success within the Asian market”.
Headquartered in London however with workplaces in Menlo Park, Beijing and Shenzhen, too, Silk Ventures took its tentative first steps as what it describes as a “digital accelerator,” consisting of an internet platform connecting startups to corporates, thus facilitating hyperlinks to Asia. As a part of this, it helped to organise pitching occasions and startup excursions to China. The “accelerator,” which counts banking startup Revolut as one of many corporations it supported, doesn’t take any fairness.
In the meantime, the brand new $500 million fund is backed 50 per cent by the Chinese language state-owned Belongings Supervision and Administration Fee (SASAC) Shenzhen, who’s appearing as each an LP and Strategic Associate. The rest of the fund comes from a gaggle of “confidential strategic firms,” once more to be introduced in July, once they gained’t be so confidential!
Notably, Silk Ventures’ HQ, based mostly at London’s Level42, can also be the European Headquarters for Shenzhen’s Division of Commerce and Funding, who may have two to 3 officers posted there. Its group will present entry to incentive schemes, regulatory help and endorsement, and the division says it can additionally work with corporations from China trying to test the market and study extra concerning the U.Okay. ecosystem, earlier than “investing extra money and assets into increasing at scale”.
“Silk Ventures was constructed to vary the best way Chinese language capital marries Western applied sciences, and we delight ourselves on the cultural and operational know-how inside our increasing workforce,” says Anton.
Brewer Stone, new Enterprise Associate for Silk Ventures (and in addition beforehand advisor on Alibaba’s IPO and former Head of Asia at Prudential), provides: “Having spent a few years as a bridge between the U.S. and China for rising know-how leaders in each nations, I perceive the challenges and know the large worth we will convey to portfolio corporations in partnership with SASAC. Silk Ventures goals to be the most effective associate for worldwide corporations which have really differentiated, have impactful applied sciences and need actual outcomes once they enter China. The community and ongoing help we will ship are extraordinary.”
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