SILK Ventures launches with $500m to support startups scaling into China

Chinese government-backed VC SILK Ventures is launching with $500m to fund tech companies across the US and Europe expanding into the Chinese market.

The London-based fund is 50% owned by the state-controlled Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) Shenzhen, which acts as an LP and strategic partner.

SILK Ventures says it will invest in “deep tech and science, industry 4.0 technologies, including FinTech, IoT and robotics, as well as MedTech companies”.

The fund’s first investments will be announced in July alongside the confidential strategic corporations that make up the other 50% of the fund.

The firm was established with personal approval by the Chinese President, Xi Jinping and will operate offices across London, Menlo Park, Shenzhen and Beijing and is

SILK Ventures initially operated as an accelerator, taking small batches of startups on tours of China to connect with industry leaders and large companies to foster commercial partnerships and investments.

The firm says it aims to work closely with official investment departments within the Chinese local governments and enable its companies to access resources and incentive packages for expanding into China.

Founding partner Angelica Anton was previously an investment advisor to the People’s Republic of China and a senior associate at QVentures, concierge service Quintessentially’s venture arm.

She commented: “We are proud to announce our first fund which will enable us to invest into some of the world’s most promising scaling businesses and technologies. We are the only venture fund in the world doing what we are doing.

“We are globally aligned with expert partners in the US, Europe and Asia to work with China at the highest levels to ensure that our portfolio companies are not only well-funded, but have the best chance of success in the Asian market.

“SILK Ventures was built to change the way Chinese capital marries Western technologies, and we pride ourselves on the cultural and operational know-how within our expanding team.”

Anton is joined by partners including former head of Asia at Prudential and advisor on Alibaba’s IPO Brewer Stone, Silicon Valley VC Ian Foley and China Bridge Capital founder Edward Zeng, among others.

Stone said: “Having spent many years as a bridge between the US and China for emerging technology leaders in both countries, I understand the challenges and know the tremendous value we can bring to portfolio companies in partnership with SASAC.

“SILK Ventures aims to be the best partner for international companies that have truly differentiated, have impactful technologies and want real results when they enter China. The network and ongoing support we can deliver are extraordinary.”

The fund comes as a part of China’s larger One Road One Belt (OROB) initiative that will see China invest up to $512bn in more than 60 countries over the next five years, according to Credit Suisse.

Copyright © 2017 FINTECH GLOBAL

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