China’s Sinovation Ventures seeks $1b for new VC fund

Sinovation Ventures founder Kai Fu Lee. Photo: Bloomberg.

Sinovation Ventures, the Chinese venture capital firm founded by former Google Inc executive Kai-Fu Lee, seeks to raise $1 billion for a new VC fund, its filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission showed.

The new fund, Sinovation Disrupt Fund LP, will add to the firm’s $2 billion assets under management between seven USD and RMB funds in total. In 2019, Sinovation Ventures raised $361 million for its third RMB fund while its fourth USD fund closed at $500 million in 2018.

Founded in 2009, the firm has a presence in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen with over 350 portfolio companies across the technology spectrum in China and the US, including app store Wandoujia and Meitu, a developer of selfie apps.

Its focus areas in China include artificial intelligence (AI) and big data, content and entertainment, consumption upgrade, B2B trade and enterprise services, and education.

In the US, the firm’s focus areas include IoT and robotics, deep software, and education technologies.

“In the US, we invest in startups at the seed, Series A, and Series B stages. We evaluate the project teams and their technologies primarily on their merit for the U.S. market, but also evaluate their potential for successfully entering the China market in due time,” the company said on its website.

Last month, Sinovation Ventures co-anchored the $32-million Series A funding in microbial testing services provider Hugo Biotech. In May, the firm led the $14-million Series B funding in Chinese medical device B2B e-commerce platform Vedeng.

Sinovation’s fundraising comes at a time when China-focused VC funds are struggling to raise money due to the Trump administration’s increased scrutiny of college endowments and pension funds backing Chinese firms.

Other venture capital firms that are raising China-focused funds include US-based VC firm GGV Capital, which is raising a combined $2 billion for three new funds that will focus on China, the US, and Southeast Asia.

Last June, Matrix Partners China raised $750 million for its flagship venture investment vehicle. The VC firm has backed major Chinese tech firms at their early stages.

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.