China-focused venture capital firm Banyan Capital has raised over RMB5 billion (US$725 million) across two new funds, bringing the three-year-old firm's total assets-under-management to around RMB11 billion (US$1.6 billion).
The two new funds, including Banyan's third U.S. dollar fund with US$350 million in assets and one RMB-denominated growth fund, will continue firm's strategy of investing in early and growth-stage projects in the artificial intelligence, Internet, enterprise services, consumer upgrade and entertainment sectors. The firm also raised a US$50 million side fund with capital from its own management team and entrepreneur friends.
Founded by three former IDG Capital executives, Zhang Zhen, Gao Xiang and Yue Bin, Banyan Capital said in an announcement today that the U.S. dollar fund completed fundraising in just over one month from limited partners, including university endowments, family offices and pension funds in the U.S. and globally.
It's RMB fund secured commitments from Chinese Internet companies, state-owned enterprises, and financial institutions in China. Founders of several Chinese Internet giants, including Tencent, Baidu, Xiaomi, JD.com and Meituan-Dianping have also committed to Banyan's funds.
Banyan Capital has invested in various start-ups, such as maternal and infant product e-commerce platform Beibei.com, third-party social media-based e-commerce firm Pinduoduo, crowd-sourcing express service platform Renren Express, online education platform Genshuixue, bicycle maker 700Bike, and logistics robot maker Geek+.
Eight of its portfolio companies have reached valuations of over US$1 billion, otherwise known as unicorns in the tech world, Banyan said without naming these companies. Over 50 portfolio companies have gone on to raise new funding rounds and seven exits have been completed via one initial public offering and six strategic sales, it said.
Guangdong Transtek Medical Electronics, a medical equipment maker backed by Banyan, completed an IPO on the ChiNext, a NASDAQ-style board of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, in November 2016. Zhongrongjin, a consumer financial services online platform, was acquired by listed electronics maker Guangdong Homa Appliances. Another mobile and online payment firm Qiandaibao was acquired by Meituan-Dianping.