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.
Morningside Group is an investment group founded in 1986 by the Chan family of Hong Kong. The group invests in both private equity and venture capital opportunities in North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific markets. It has invested across the machinery manufacturing, technology, media, and telecom, life sciences, education, and cleantech sectors.
In November 2016, Morningside Group provided $3 million in Series A funding to CollegeVine. Based in Cambridge, MA, CollegeVine is a college applications processing and consulting company. In October 2016, Morningside Group, along with Indicator Ventures, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Valar Ventures, Azure Capital Partners, and Locke Mountain Ventures, provided $8 million in Series A funding to IrisVR. Based in New York, IrisVR applies virtual reality technology to the buildings industry.
In December 2014, Morningside Group, along with AJU IB Investment Co., Ltd., and Epidarex Ventures, provided $33 million in Series C funding to Apellis Pharmaceuticals, a Kentucky-based firm focused on the complement system to control particular diseases.