Jetpack backer Kuang-Chi launches US$250 million global fund for innovative firms

PUBLISHED : Monday, 31 October, 2016, 8:43pm
UPDATED : Monday, 31 October, 2016, 11:22pm

Shenzhen-based technology company Kuang-Chi Group announced on Monday the launch of a US$250 million fund to invest in start-ups and early-stage tech companies globally.

The programme, the company’s second Global Community of Innovation (GCI) fund, is open to partners at home and abroad who will work alongside Kuang-Chi, Ruopeng Liu, the chairman of Kuang-Chi said in Shenzhen, with an emphasis on innovative and disruptive companies with big potential.

The fund will invest between US$1 million to US$15 million in emerging technology companies valued at US$5 million to US$200 million, focusing on robotics, aviation, virtual reality/augmented reality, telecommunications, internet of things and digital health.

Founded in 2010, Kuang-Chi started as an electronic materials and communication equipment provider. Its subsidiary KuangChi Science listed in Hong Kong in 2014.

It has invested in several companies in recent years, including Canadian solar-powered aircraft company Solar Ship and New Zealand jetpack maker Martin Aircraft.

“The GCI portfolio companies will share access to Kuang-Chi’s technology, sales and distribution capabilities, and the wide network of partners with whom we work in China and beyond. Our investments come with an opportunity to expand business in the Chinese market and to establish relationships with leaders across multiple industries,” Liu said.

The latest fund follows an initial investment of US$50 million this year in five technology companies in Israel, Canada and Norway, in the fields of video intelligence, gesture control, emotion analytics and biometric authentication.

“Chinese companies are becoming important investors globally, with market leaders such as Alibaba, Baidu, Kuang-Chi, and Tencent joining Intel, Google, Apple and others as strategic investors and acquirers,” said Dorian Barak, Kuang-Chi’s global investment director. At the same time, more and more start-ups across the world, in countries such as Israel, are focusing on bringing their products and capabilities into the Chinese market, Barak said.

China’s outbound technology-related mergers and acquisitions reached an annual high of US$17.6 billion covering 69 transactions in the first four months of this year, topping the US$14.9 billion recorded for the whole of last year, according to research company Dealogic.

This year, there have been 110 complete or pending investments by Chinese firms in Europe, “an extremely strong year”, according to the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China in an annual report released in September.