China-focused Unicorn Capital Partners in the market to raise new PE fund

A clerk counts Chinese yuan and U.S. dollar banknotes at a branch of Bank of China in Taiyuan

Unicorn Capital Partners, a Hong Kong-based venture capital fund-of-funds manager, has filed to raise a new private equity (PE) fund that is likely to invest in areas of technology, media and entertainment, and healthcare.

The firm, launched by Emerald Hill Capital Partners alumnus Tommy Yip in 2015, has not specified the size of the new fund – Unicorn Partners Fund IV – and the target closing date.

Unicorn Capital, however, indicated in its filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that it does not expect the fundraise to take longer than 12 months.

The filing comes 14 months after the firm raised $353.5 million for Unicorn Partners Fund III, which attracted commitments from 64 investors. It also raised $250 million for Fund II in $2018 and $210 million for its debut fund in 2016.

It raised a small corpus of around $12 million from a handful of LPs in July 2015, enabling capital to be put up to work ahead of a wider fundraise.

The firm was founded by Kah-Fai Low and Tommy Yip in 2015. Yip left private equity fund-of-funds manager Emerald Hill to start Unicorn Capital, which backs emerging venture capital funds that invest in technology startups with the potential to become unicorns.

“We believe there are increasing opportunities in China for outsized returns powered by a large and growing new economy, an established technology ecosystem, and a maturing venture environment with a large and more experienced supply of entrepreneurs, stable capital markets for venture funding, and a variety of exit options,” said Yip during the close of Fund III in 2018.

The latest fund will join a slew of new funds that are being raised to invest in China. In September, China-focused investment powerhouse IDG Capital has filed to raise up to $500 million for IDG Capital Project Fund IV.

FountainVest Partners, a China-focused PE firm led by former Goldman Sachs Group banker Frank Tang, also filed in October to raise a new USD-dominated PE fund to invest in China’s media and entertainment industry.

In the first half of 2020, 1,069 VC and PE investment funds raised 431.8 billion yuan ($66.7 million) in China, down 29.5 per cent from a year ago and extending a slide since 2017. The number of investment deals totaled 2,865, a drop of 32.8 per cent, according to data from Zero2IPO Research.

There are nearly 15,000 VC and PE companies in China’s private investment market that managed 10.62 trillion yuan ($1.6 trillion) as of the end of August 2020.

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.