Harvest Capital, a Chinese private equity firm that specializes in consumption and modern service industries, has reached the first close of a new RMB-denominated fund at RMB3 billion (US$446.52 million), said the company in a statement released on its website on Monday.
"Harvest Capital will have more money to back domestic companies in the Chinese consumer market, which is the largest market worldwide," said Harvest Capital in the statement. The company said it would "closely collaborate" with other investors, portfolio companies and their management teams in consumption and modern service fields to pursue "a sustainable growth" in investment returns.
The new fund comes as China is expected to overtake the U.S. to become the world’s largest consumer of goods in 2019 despite a slowdown in the economy and retail sales, as per a report from New York-based research company eMarketer. Analysts predict China will end the year with total retail sales of US$5.074 trillion, representing an expected growth rate of 7.5%. The number will exceed that expected for the U.S. by more than US$100 billion.
Harvest Capital was founded in 2007 in Beijing to specialize in private equity investment, asset management, and inclusive financial services. The company, with over RMB10 billion (US$1.48 billion) in assets under management, has invested in Chinese companies like group buying website Meituan-Dianping, smartphones and selfie apps developer Meitu, ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing, home improvement chain Easyhome, food seasoning products producer Jiajia Food Group.
The company participated in a series C round in Chinese online tea retailer Xiao Guan Tea in early April. Financial details of the round remained undisclosed.