China’s Kuang-Chi Group launches $250m fund targeting Israeli startups

Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem,Israel

Kuang-Chi Group, a Shenzhen-based technology conglomerate has launched its Global Community of Innovation (GCI) Fund II during the opening of its Israel-based International Innovation Headquarters.

GCI Fund II will invest $250 million in global technology ventures in the areas of smart city/smart home, IoT, artificial intelligence, VR/AR and robotic.

Portfolio firms funded from GCI Fund II will be supported by a new China-based incubator established by Kuang-Chi to help bring its portfolio companies to the Chinese market. Dorian Barak, a veteran Israeli venture investor and now the Global Strategy Officer of Kuang-Chi, noted that GCI Fund’s investment is creating growth opportunities for Israeli startups.

Founded in 2010 with a five-person team, Kuang-Chi has created a Global Community of Innovation of more than 2,600 employees in 18 countries and regions which is dedicated to disruptive innovation and principal investment in cutting-edge technology sectors including communications, meta-materials, and space technology.

Kuang-Chi’s subsidiary company KuangChi Science Limited, which is listed in Hong Kong, is concentrated on the development of future technology. The Group also operates through Shenzhen -traded Zhejiang Longsheng and ASX-listed Martin Aircraft Company, as well as research institutes and private companies.

Dr. RuopengLiu, Chairman of Kuang-Chi, said, “We were able to quickly deploy the $50-million GCI Fund I in exceptional companies that operate in sectors we know well and we’d like to build on this momentum with Fund II. Working with our partner in Israel , we’ve identified a wealth of opportunities to expand our portfolio and give our joint investment team an expanded strategic and financial mandate.”

GCI Fund I was established in 2016, and now has stakes in several Israeli companies, including: computer vision pioneer eyeSight; voice analytics developer Beyond Verbal; and, video intelligence and analytics provider AgentVi. The Fund also invested in Norwegian biometric authorization innovator Zwipe, Canadian aviation company SkyX.

Earlier, Kuang-Chi established a foothold in the aviation sector with investments in Canada-based SolarShip, and Australia’s Martin Jetpack. In the telecommunications field, the company has a significant investment in Southeast Asia telecommunications provider Hyalroute.

Yangyang Zhang , Kuang-Chi co-founder and CEO of KuangChi Science, the Hong Kong listed affiliate of the Kuang-Chi Group, commented: “We have moved from success to success in Israel , and I’m delighted by the pace of our good progress showed in our recent investments in eyeSight, AgentVi and Beyond Verbal.”

Within six months of its investment, Kuang-Chi and eyeSight jointly built a local team in China to provide markets with the most advanced embedded computer vision solutions currently available. In December 2016, Beyond Verbal entered into a collaboration with the Second Affiliated Hospital Zhejiang University School of Medicine in Hangzhou .

According to Liu, “GCI portfolio companies will share access to cutting-edge technology that includes over 2,000 patents and R&D from around the world. Each of these investments comes with an opportunity to expand their business in China and establish relationships with global market leaders across multiple industries.”

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