In China, Kai-fu Lee’s Innovation Works has gotten $15 million from the International Finance Corporation while Prometheus Capital, which is owned by the richest man in China, has invested $7.7 million into a mouse maker company.
Innovation Works secure $15 million from World Bank’s International Finance Corporation
China-based venture capital firm and accelerator Innovation Works has secured $15 million from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which is the investment unit belonging to the World Bank, according to a report.
Innovation Works, which was founded in 2009 by Kai-Fu Lee, who previously headed Google China and founded Microsoft Research Asia, has offices in Beijing and Shanghai, investing across the software space. The funds from IFC will be parked under Innovation Works’ Sinovation Fund III LP, which targets Internet firms in China.
This is in line with what DEALSTREETASIA reported in January 2016, citing a disclosure. Back then, the IFC also proposed an investment of $25 million into SBCVC Fund V,L.P., which focuses on mid-market technology firms in China. This investment marks the first time the IFC invests in such an initiative in the East Asian country.
“We are quite impressed by what is happening in the entrepreneurship space sector in China, where the country is taking a leading role now,” said Atul Mehta, the director of IMC TMT, Venture Capital and PE Funds.
Mehta also noted that in China, more youths are starting to be more receptive of starting their own companies as an alternative to more traditional career paths.
Lee also said that IFC’s capital will assist Innovation Works in building and encouraging an “investment plus incubation” model that will allow the firm to train and share resources with founders across the country and beyond.
Prometheus Capital leads $7.7 million Series A round in Renhuang Sky
China-based private merchant bank Prometheus Capital is said to have led a CNY 50 million (about $7.7 million) Series A round into Renhuang Sky, which is a local computer mouse manufacturer, according to a report.
The chairman of Prometheus Capital is Wang Sicong, a professional video game player in China, whose father Wang Jianlin is the wealthiest person in China as of 2016. In an interview with the BBC, the younger Wang said that video games are popular in China because it allows people to escape into a virtual world and enjoy anonymity.
“Of course, everyone has their own ideas so what they do is they put on a mask and they go through life with a mask. Why is online gaming so popular in China? Because once you go online you can take off that mask and say what you really think,” opined Wang Sicong.
Prometheus Capital has also invested in other gaming related companies, including joining local mobile game company iDreamSky Technology Ltd’s privatisation deal in January 2016, and participating in a $16 million Series B fundraising round involving ImbaTV, a Chinese video game livestreaming portal in October 2015.