Lightspeed China looking to raise $850m across two vehicles, show SEC filings

Shanghai, China. Source: Robynne Hu/Unsplash

Lightspeed China Partners, an early-stage venture capital (VC) firm that manages over $2 billion, is planning to raise $850 million across two new funds, show two separate filings it made to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday.

The VC, an investor in Chinese e-commerce firm Pinduoduo and food delivery behemoth Meituan, is in the market to raise $450 million for LSC V, its flagship fund fully known as “Lightspeed China Partners V”, for early-stage technology startups.

It is also raising $400 million for LSC Select II, or “Lightspeed China Partners Select II”, which mainly invests in growth-stage businesses, according to the SEC filings reviewed by DealStreetAsia.

Lightspeed China declined DealStreetAsia’s requests for comments, citing regulatory restrictions during fundraising.

It is unclear if the indicated numbers are the vehicles’ final fundraising targets.

Lightspeed China, which was spun off from Silicon Valley-based Lightspeed Venture Partners in 2011, manages over $2 billion across seven US dollar funds and an RMB-denominated fund from its headquarters in Shanghai, as well as offices in Beijing and Hong Kong.

The firm’s last fundraise was in January 2019, when it amassed a combined $560 million for Lightspeed China Partners IV and Lightspeed China Partners Select I. The total size of the two funds was later boosted to over $600 million.

The two new filings were both signed by James Mi, founding partner of Lightspeed China, who started out as a venture capitalist in 2008 with Lightspeed after his tenure at Google China.

“Although trade frictions persist, all top institutional investors are looking at China as the biggest venture investment market outside the United States, much bigger than any other markets,” said Mi in an interview with DealStreetAsia in March. “It’s getting to the scale that can rival the US market in terms of producing unicorns and generating very high returns among top China VC funds.”

“The interest level is significantly intensified from top US institutional investors to invest in Lightspeed China’s funds, particularly in the past one year or so,” he said. He added that Lightspeed China had completed about 14 deals in the first quarter of 2021.

With a focus on the fields of consumer Internet, corporate services, deep technology, and beyond, Lightspeed China invested in some of China’s well-known tech companies, such as electric vehicle (EV) marker Xpeng Motor; Manbang Group, a truck-hailing firm also known as Full Truck Alliance; Shanghai-based lidar maker Hesai Technology; online real estate platform Fangduoduo, and AI-based automation solutions provider Laiye Technology.

In 2020, at the peak of the pandemic in China when fund managers largely remained on the sidelines, its global team moved ahead to raise $1.5 billion for Lightspeed Opportunity Fund to double down on winners in its international portfolio, including a rising proportion from China.

Besides China, Lightspeed also invests in North America, Europe, India, Southeast Asia, and Israel with over $10.5 billion in total committed capital.

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.