Chinese angel, VC funds team up to kick start big data, AI accelerator

A robot arm of German industrial robot maker Kuka is pictured at the company's stand during the Hannover Fair in Hanover, Germany, April 25, 2016. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

Ten Chinese angel and venture capital firms including the ZhenFund, Innovation Angel Funds and CAS Star have jointly launched an accelerator focused on artificial intelligence (AI) and big data.

Other participating firms include Ever Venture Capital, Geek Founders, Tsinghua Digital Innovation Center and Power Cloud Venture Capital.

According to reports in Chinese media, the objective of this accelerator is to incubate potential market leaders in the AI and big data verticals. The long-term aim is to develop digital majors comparable in size to the current majors in China’s Internet services and technology ecosystems (i.e. Alibaba Group, Tencent and Baidu).

Earlier this month, DEALSTREETASIA reported that Chinese private equity firm CSC Group, state-backed with over $12 billion under management, was funding an AI incubator in the UK, following a partnership with British startup incubator Founders Factory. This is expected to see them hiring 60 people as well as invest and grow five early-stage AI startups, in addition to launching two companies in 2017.

In Q3 2015, the Robotics Business Review reported that global IT major Dell had announced plans to invest $125 billion in China over the next five years, concentrating on building greater market access and expanding research and development efforts, with a focus area being AI.

No capitalisation figures or details of the size of the alliance’s investment fund have been released, though it will support its portfolio startups by organising project roadshows, innovation competitions, innovation forums, experts speeches and entrepreneur camps.

This development comes at a time when Chinese enterprises are increasing their investment into AI, with Chinese companies positioned to be a global leader in the field, according to at least one expert.

“As early stage investors, we want to help push innovation in the artificial intelligence and big data space, as well as their applications in China,” one of the founding firms said in a statement.

With a concentration on AI, big data, virtual reality (VR), drones, robots, Internet-of-Things (IoT) and aerospace projects, this new accelerator will provide startup ventures with both human and capital resources. This comes at a time when China is undertaking  a large robotics & automation push, according to MIT Technology Review.

Also Read:

Chinese PE firm CSC inks multimillion deal with UK’s Founders Factory to invest in AI startups

India: Artificial intelligence startup Octo.ai raises $200k from Outbox, others

Apple buys artificial intelligence startup Turi for about $200m

 

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.