China’s Morningside Venture Capital raises $1b USD-denominated fund

A woman counts her U.S. dollar bills at a money changer in Jakarta. Photo: REUTERS/Beawiharta

China’s early-stage investor Morningside Venture Capital has raised about $1 billion for its latest US dollar-denominated fund to invest in technology startups, reported China Money Network.

The fund attracted investments from endowment funds, family offices, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, fund-of-funds and foundations, the report said.

The development comes close on the heels of the firm raising a combined $593 million for two separate vehicles – Evolution Fund I and Evolution Special Opportunity Fund I. Both funds received investment commitments from 37 limited partners, said a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) late last month.

Similar to the company’s previous USD funds, the new vehicle will also focus on early-stage startups in the social networking, enterprise services, artificial intelligence, biotech, healthcare, education, e-commerce, mobility and housing-related industries.

Founded in 1992, Morningside closed its maiden RMB-denominated fund at its $140-million hard cap in March last year, backed by a host of big investors including China Merchants Ventures, national industrial guidance fund Zhongjin Qiyuan, Tencent and Xiaomi. In 2015, the firm closed its fourth China TMT (technology, media and telecom) fund at $660 million.

According to Crunchbase data, Morningside Venture has assets worth $1.7 billion under management, including four USD funds and one RMB fund.

Morningside, which focuses on four main sectors of clean technology, education technology, life science and TMT (technology, media and telecom), counts Sohu, Ctrip, YY Inc, Musical.ly, SenseTime, Airbnb, and Xiaomi among its portfolio companies.

Last month, it reportedly led a $50-million Series C round in Beijing-based distributed database company PingCap. The same month, it also led a $578-million funding round for Souche.com, operator of a used car trading website.

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China’s Morningside Venture Capital raises $593m for two new funds

Alibaba-backed used car platform Souche raises $578m led by Primavera, Morningside Venture