Struggling Chinese tech start-ups given US$800m lifeline from new China Renaissance fund

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 July, 2015, 11:53am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 September, 2015, 1:03pm

As many smaller Chinese tech firms are reeling from the country's stock market crash, China Renaissance, a leading independent investment bank, has announced a new 5 billion yuan (US$805 million) fund to invest in dozens of innovative start-ups.

Investments will range from 50 million to 500 million yuan (US$8-80 million), the bank said in a statement.

China Renaissance has a strong track record of investing in the country's tech giants, including in internet security firm Qihoo 360, Facebook-clone RenRen and Yelp-clone Dianping. The bank has long targeted emerging industries like e-commerce, internet finance, new media and smart hardware.

Investment in innovative technology firms has received more attention in China with the promotion of Premier Li Keqiang's "internet plus" strategy, which hopes that start-ups and new products will help drive employment and growth in the near future.

On Monday, a major Chinese venture firm, GSR Capital, launched a US$5 billion fund devoted to buying up western technology, internet and biotech firms looking to enter the Chinese market.

While smaller firms have struggled, established tech firms have largely shrugged off the stock market turmoil, with taxi-and-car-booking giant Didi Kuaidi recently raising US$2 billion in a single funding round.

Lenovo parent Legend Holdings also recently announced it intends to invest tens of millions of dollars in online agriculture technologies.

China Renaissance's new fund, named Huasheng Capital, will "seize the opportunity as [China's] domestic internet industry is growing fast and provide capital to support the development of top internet companies," said Bao Fan, the bank's founder and chief executive.