JD Logistics backer GenBridge Capital files to raise $600m Fund II

Source: Jordan Nix/Unsplash

GenBridge Capital, a Chinese private equity (PE) firm that invests in next-generation consumer brands, has set out to raise $600 million for its second investment vehicle, GenBridge Capital Fund II, the firm disclosed in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on January 7.

Beijing-based GenBridge, an investor behind Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com’s logistics unit, kick-started the fundraising work for the second vehicle roughly three years after the final closing of its maiden fund, GenBridge Capital Fund I, at the hard-cap of $500 million in December 2017, DealStreetAsia learnt.

The predecessor fund eventually reached a size of $512 million, according to the firm’s LinkedIn page. The fund, which GenBridge had first unveiled in an SEC filing in December 2016, secured capital commitments from limited partners (LPs) including Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC; regional PE fund of funds (FOF) manager Asia Alternatives; The World Bank’s International Finance Corp (IFC), and JD.com.

Founded in 2016, GenBridge is led by Robert Chang, a former executive at JD.com and China-focused Capital Today, and Victor Zhang, a founding member of Chinese investment bank CICC’s Alpha Fund before he joined JD.com’s management team. It focuses on opportunities in “China’s consumption upgrade, including a new generation of brands, retailing and services formats, and supporting infrastructures,” said the firm on its website.

GenBridge’s latest efforts to reload its ammunition for consumer-focused investments comes amid a prevailing wave of rising domestic consumer brands in China. The sector is on a rise driven by China’s mature e-commerce and live-streaming infrastructures, as well as the new generation’s growing recognition of homegrown brands.

Investors are flowing in to capitalise on the burgeoning market. According to proprietary data from DealStreetAsia, consumer brands in China collectively mopped up $1.5 billion in financing across 80 deals between January and November 2020.

Among GenBridge’s investments in 2020, the firm led a $60-million Series C round in Chinese hotpot and barbecue ingredients retailer Guoquan Shihui in July. Just five months earlier, the Shanghai-based startup had closed $50 million in a Series B round led by investment firm IDG Capital.

GenBridge also backed a Series B3 round for online art education platform Hualala in April, besides its earlier investments in electronic products recycling platform Aihuishou and Qdama, an operator of community fresh produce shops in China.

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.