China’s Oceanpine Capital closes RMB fund at $313m for deep tech bets

Images Of Chinese Yuan Banknotes. Photo: Reuters

Chinese investment firm Oceanpine Capital has closed a new RMB-denominated fund at 2 billion yuan ($313.4 million) as it seeks to up the ante on deep technology investments.

The fund was closed within three months of its launch, Oceanpine said in a WeChat post on Wednesday.

The new vehicle secured commitments from local government-guided funds, funds of funds (FOFs), and deep tech companies. It has already collected 30% of committed capital, or 600 million yuan ($93.7 million), from its limited partners (LPs) and started making investments.

The development marks another fundraising success for Beijing-based Oceanpine. In December 2020, the firm held the final close for its second fund at $400 million after raising external capital for the first time. The US dollar-denominated fund will make investments in deep tech, technology, media, and telecom (TMT), and biotech companies in China.

Oceanpine’s maiden US dollar fund was launched in 2016 with a $400-million capital pool and was fully funded by the general partner.

Oceanpine, an investor in JD.com’s fintech affiliate JD Digits and China’s Tencent Music Entertainment Group, has joined a small group of China-focused private equity (PE) fund managers that have raised large-sized funds despite a regional market downturn.

A report by consultancy Bain shows that fundraising activity in Asia declined for the third consecutive year in 2020. Asia-focused funds collectively raised $90 billion last year, 65% lower than a peak in 2017. However, top-notch PE companies’ fundraising plans remain on track as risk-averse LPs entrust more of their money to players with the best track records.

Last month, China’s Yingke PE announced the final close for its third USD fund amid its transition from a manager of only RMB-denominated funds to a dual-currency asset manager. It also closed an RMB fund at 10 billion yuan in November 2020, after it had raised a combined 6 billion yuan across two funds earlier last year.

Primavera Capital Group, an early investor in billionaire Jack Ma’s Ant Group, disclosed in an SEC filing this week it had raised $546.7 million for its fourth USD fund, for which the firm has reportedly set a hard cap of $5 billion.

Boyu Capital, co-led by the grandson of former Chinese president Jiang Zemin; and FountainVest Partners, led by former Goldman Sachs banker Frank Tang, are also reportedly raising new funds with a corpus of a few billions of US dollars.

‘A golden era’ for China’s deep tech, new economy

Oceanpine was founded in late 2016 by former Oracle executive David Chenn. Formally launched in 2018, it is a growth equity investment firm that manages dual-currency funds to primarily invest in deep technologies across the TMT and healthcare industries.

It specialises in segments ranging from artificial intelligence (AI), semiconductor, autonomous driving, 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), and corporate services to big data, cloud computing, cybersecurity, industrial internet, new energy, and novel drug R&D.

In its WeChat post on Friday, the firm said it will continue its strategy of focusing its firepower on China, searching for entrepreneurs who have the potential to grow businesses on a global scale. “We firmly believe that we are at the golden era for entrepreneurship opportunities around deep technology and China’s third-generation of new economy development.”

Over the last three years, Oceanpine claims to have deployed over $2 billion in more than 50 deep technology companies in China and the US.

Prominent portfolio companies include Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing; AI computing-power specialist Enflame Technology; biotech firm Ansun Biopharma; AI chip designer Horizon Robotics; AI startup Black Sesame; US-based graphical database platform TigerGraph; and Clover Biopharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage biotech firm developing COVID-19 and other novel vaccines.

It has also secured several exits, including nearly 10 IPOs.

The firm also manages USD-denominated funds in the PE secondary market, which involves the buying and selling of pre-existing investor commitments to PE or other alternative investment funds.

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.