China’s Chengwei Capital hits the road to raise $1.5b venture fund

Shanghai, China. Source: Robynne Hu/Unsplash

Shanghai-headquartered investment firm Chengwei Capital has filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to raise $1.5 billion for a new venture capital fund.

The fund, Chengwei Evergreen Capital LP, is likely to invest in companies that operate in sectors targeted by the Chinese investment firm, such as communication software, enterprise software, financial services, IC design, niche component manufacturing, healthcare, and media sectors.

Geographically, Chengwei Capital prefers investments in China.

The filing, signed by Chengwei Capital founder and director general Eric Li, did not specify the timeline for the fundraising but disclosed that the activity will not last more than one year.

Founded in 1999, Chengwei has made at least 68 investments, 21 of which as lead investor, according to data compiled by Crunchbase. Its latest investment was in February when it participated in the $10 million Series C funding round in Lyvgen Biopharma, a Shanghai-based healthcare firm.

It also participated in the $181.6 million funding round in Chinese agritech firm XAG. The round was co-led by Baidu Capital and SoftBank Vision Fund 2 in November.

Its exits include Chinese internet firm Sohu, Huazhou Hotels Group, video-sharing website Youku, smart-sharing bikes manufacturer Hello TransTech, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Tot Biopharma, and B2C platform for imported grape wine Yesmywine.

Simultaneous with the filing of Chengwei Evergreen Capital LP, the Chinese venture firm also filed to raise $145 million for Chengwei GP Participation Fund LP. The SEC filing also did not disclose the timeline for the said vehicle.

Last year, most PE and VC fund managers in China found themselves running out of dry powder. A report from the Chinese equity investment database CVSource showed that 5,483 debut funds made their way into China in 2020, down for the third consecutive year. Collectively, these PE-VC funds raised $451.8 billion in capital commitments — the lowest in the past five years.

Most dry powder in 2020 was concentrated in the hands of a few top-notch general partners, such as CVC Capital Partners, which had closed CVC Capital Partners Asia Pacific V at $4.5 billion, largely exceeding its initial target of $4 billion; and Qiming Venture Partners and Gaorong Capital, each raising $1.2 billion for a new vehicle.

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.