Leveraged buyouts, growth capital, angel investments, and seed funding—these private transactions take place, largely out of the public’s eye, not only in Connecticut or Silicon Valley, but also in Beijing, Shenzhen, and Shanghai.
In 2016, China’s private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) firms raised over $70 billion, more than 20% of total such funding globally. At the same time, these firms also deployed capital to the tune of $223 billion, accounting for more than 70% of global PE/VC investments.
As late comers, these Chinese firms have rapidly grown into formidable financiers. Most Chinese PE firms are particularly interested in products and services that can be commercialized and scaled up quickly in China. They tend to invest in areas that align with China’s shift to a more consumer-driven economy. Meanwhile, Chinese VCs have been active players globally, particularly in Silicon Valley. They have focused on areas such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, and electric vehicles.
Ant Financial, owned by Alibaba Group, specializes in investing in Internet finance and fin-tech. The company provides financing and services—including payment, wealth management, credit reporting, private banking, and cloud computing—to small and micro enterprises and individual consumers. It invests in technologies including big data, facial recognition, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and risk management systems.
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