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Shenzhen launches US$1.5b startup VC fund

New investment vehicle to bolster China's innovation-driven sectors

February 21, 2017 12:33 PM (UTC+8)

Shenzhen, the Southern Chinese city famous for its thriving technology and startup scene, has launched a 10 billion yuan (US$1.5 billion) venture capital fund to boost its emerging industries, local media reports.

The fund is yet another move to bolster the city’s innovation-driven sectors, such as fintech, biotechnology and new energy, which represent 40% of Shenzhen’s economy — the highest level of any city in China.

Shenzhen Economic Daily said the new project would seek to raise between 5 billion yuan and 10 billion yuan in venture capital funds over the coming 10-15 years.

The fund was launched by the Ministry of Finance and the National Development and Reform Commission, and will be supervised by Infotech Capital, a state-controlled private equity and venture investment company established in 2000.

Venture capital investments in China hit an all-time high last year, with over US$31 billion flooding in as firms jostled for opportunities to buy into the growing number of startups in the country, a new report by KPMG showed. That’s about 20% more money than the US$26 billion in 2015.

Shenzhen has the fourth-largest local economy in the country and invests more than 4% of its GDP annually in research and development, putting it on a par with South Korea and Sweden.

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