Global investor Lightspeed Venture Partners has closed its fourth China fund at $560 million, marking the biggest vehicle it has raised for investments in the country to date.
The Silicon Valley-based firm’s China unit, Lightspeed China Partners (LCP), had earlier raised two $260-million funds after a $168-million debut fund in 2013.
The latest vehicle is in the form of a fund family, including Lightspeed China Partners IV at $360 million, which will make investments in early-stage startups, and the $200-million Lightspeed China Partners Select I earmarked for growth investments.
Lightspeed China has seen a strong performance by its portfolio in the last 18 months, with five companies — InnoLight, Meituan Dianping, Pinduoduo, PPDai and Rong360 — completing IPOs.
Its other portfolio companies have emerged as leading players in their respective industries, such as Black Fish, Fan Deng Reading Club, Fangdd, Full Truck Alliance, Hesai, Ifchange, QingCloud, Sunmi, Sweetome, Tencent Trusted Doctors, Tujia, Xiao Peng Auto and XY Link.
Lightspeed boasts a global presence across Silicon Valley, Europe, Israel, India, Southeast Asia and China. It has been focused on Series A and B investments across consumer Internet, internet+, and enterprise and deep tech sectors in China.
More than half of its investments have been in consumer internet and internet+, where technology is applied to create disruptive new business models in traditional industries, LCP said in a statement.
The firm claims it has helped a spate of local companies turn into unicorns in areas including new retail, culture, entertainment, travel, finance, real estate, healthcare, education, recruiting, and transportation.
A notable example is Full Truck Alliance, in which LCP was the sole Series A investor five years ago and continued to invest in next funding rounds. The company has now become the world’s largest trucking logistics marketplace with a $9-billion valuation.
LCP was also an early investor in the enterprise and deep tech sectors in China.
James Mi, LCP’s founding partner, said: “China’s enterprise service and deep tech innovation is in the early innings of development. Given China’s vast market, deep talent pool, and increasing demand for home-grown deep technologies across various industries, we are seeing accelerated growth and significant investment opportunities.”
“We believe there are plenty of new opportunities in China consumer Internet given the depth of China’s mobile payment and social networks. Innovation and entrepreneurship in the next decade will bring more China-based startups to the world stage. This will be China’s first decade of truly global innovation. Chinese entrepreneurs are now developing business plans with global expansion in mind from day one,” added Herry Han, founding partner of LCP.