Beijing city govt-backed firm said to seek over $1.5b for first tech fund

Beijing, China. Photo: Raj Eiamworakul/ Unsplash

An investment firm backed by the Beijing city government is in talks with prospective investors to raise over 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) in its first fund aimed mainly at cutting-edge tech investments, said two people with direct knowledge.

Beijing Innovation Industry Investment Co‘s fundraising move underscores the Chinese capital city’s push to catch up with other cities in the country, most notably Shenzhen, in pursuing innovative technology and industrial upgrading projects.

It comes as China aims to speed up development of its technology sector, including segments such as semiconductors and artificial intelligence, amid a fierce trade stand-off with the United States that has demonstrated the country’s reliance on imported technology.

China’s State Council in 2016 approved a 200 billion yuan venture capital fund financed by state controlled entities, to invest in new technologies.

Beijing Innovation could not be immediately reached for comment.

It was set up by Beijing’s municipal State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), which oversees the city’s state-owned enterprises, and has been tasked with making investments in new-economy sectors on behalf of the local government.

Beijing Innovation has attracted the local SASAC and several local government-backed companies such as Shenzhen Capital Group, the venture investment vehicle of the Shenzhen government, as investors, according to domestic media reports and public corporate registry filings.

It will look for direct-equity investment opportunities in sectors ranging from information technology and integrated circuits to electric vehicles and new materials, according to domestic media reports.

As a major tech hub in China, Beijing, where ByteDance Technology, one of the world’s most valuable startups, online food delivery-to-ticketing services firm Meituan Dianping and e-commerce firm JD.com are headquartered, has for years lacked a consolidated investment arm under the local government for tech deals.

In contrast, Shenzhen which has bred companies such as online gaming-to-social media giant Tencent Holdings, telecoms equipment maker Huawei Technologies and drone maker DJI, has Shenzhen Capital Group investing in the tech sector for 20 years.

Shenzhen Capital Group has over 333 billion yuan of assets under management, its website shows, and holds a 15 percent stake in Beijing Innovation, according to public disclosures.

Also read:

Mizuho to launch China tech fund, commits initial $20m: Report

Reuters

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.