Inspiration Capital closes $73m, RMB-denominated debut fund

Renewable energy/Illustration/ Internet Archive

Inspiration Capital, a spin-out of the China-based global venture capital firm Qiming Venture Partners, has closed its maiden RMB-denominated fund at 500 million yuan ($73 million), according to local media reports.

The firm roped in a clutch of prominent investors — including electrical equipment and services provider Hexing Electrical, integrated environmental solution developer CSD Environment, Hailiang Group, SIG Asset Management’s Growth FOF, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and China Development Bank’s SDIC Unity Capital — besides a slew of government-backed industry funds and individual investors.

Going forward, Inspiration Capital will bet on emerging fields such as smart manufacturing, environmental technology, green energy, and automobile technology innovation.

Inspiration Capital, also known as Qigao Capital, was co-founded by Yong Zhang and Ming Yun, Qiming’s former partner and managing partner respectively, who were in charge of cleantech practice. According to Zhang’s LinkedIn profile, the whole cleantech team spun off from Qiming in May 2019. 

“With our in-depth knowledge and resource in sectors like cleantech, energy, and smart transportation, we are focusing on advanced manufacturing driven by tech and product differentiation,” said Yong Zhang, managing partner, Inspiration Capital, in its LinkedIn profile. 

The firm has so far invested in a group of high-tech startups including X-ray systems developer iRay Technology, fibre laser products operator GW Laser Tech, laser technology player Dogain Laser Technology, laser process assessment systems supplier Diligine Technology, and environmental protection firm Qingyan Environment.  

On September 18, iRay Technology was listed on Shanghai’s Nasdaq-style STAR Market after raising 2.18 billion yuan ($318 million).

Before venturing into private business, Zhang served Qiming for 10 years. Over the past decade, he helped to build a leading cleantech investment practice in China. In 2019, Zhang and Ming Yun left Qiming as a result of its leadership reshuffles.

During the same period, JP Gan had also left the role of managing partner in Qiming and founded consumption-focused INCE Capital in Hong Kong.  

Qiming Ventures, one of the most well-known venture capital firms in China, has backed companies such as Xiaomi, Meituan Dianping, and Bilibili. Currently, it has over $5.3 billion in assets under management.

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.