Tiantu Capital, a Chinese investment firm focused on the consumer sector, on Monday announced that it has reached the first close of its maiden USD-denominated venture capital fund as the company targets a final close of up to $150 million.
Swiss food and drink processing giant Nestlé was the “cornerstone investor” of the US dollar fund. The new fund also attracted capital commitments from family trusts, listed companies, and serial entrepreneurs, said Tiantu Capital in a WeChat post.
The new vehicle is said to be Nestlé’s first investment in a China-based venture capital fund, as well as its first in the Asia-Oceania-Africa (AOA) region.
The vehicle will focus on enterprises with “potential to grow into leading consumer brands that can usher China’s young generation and rising middle-class group into a future way of living,” said the company.
Tiantu Capital said that the investment from Nestlé will promote businesses in China’s emerging food and beverage sector, while helping Nestlé lift brand cooperation, marketing and sales channels, as well as R&B capabilities in the field.
The debut US dollar VC fund will source deals at the angel, Series A and B round in three major areas including food & beverage, cosmetics & skincare, and consumer-level medical care. It plans to invest about $3 million to $20 million per transaction.
Founded in 2002 with offices in Shenzhen, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, Tiantu Capital created its VC team in 2016.
The four-year-old VC division managed three VC funds and one angel fund before the first closing of the dollar fund. It is an early investor in over 60 startups, such as cheese tea bakery café brand Nayuki, Chinese traditionally brewed tea shop chain Sexy Tea, pet food provider Crazy Doggy, perfume brand Scent Library, and Aihuishou, a secondhand consumer electronics recycling and trading group backed by JD.com.
“The commitment from Nestlé will further synergise the resources between venture capital and industry investment, providing Tiantu Capital with the industry expertise of more international visions,” said Pan Pan, managing partner of Tiantu Capital, in the post.
“The two parties will carry out in-depth cooperation in fields like brand operations, resource coordination, and technological innovation to incubate more leading consumer brands in China and worldwide,” said Pan.