A Chinese investment firm has launched a new £500 million ($715 million) investment fund specifically for European startups.
London-based Cocoon Networks is a spin-off from China Equity Group, one of the first investors in Baidu, China’s Google-equivalent, and Hanxin Capital, a firm with a track record in biotech and cloud computing investments. The ultimate aim of the new fund is to invest in startups “whose products and services show promise and potential for growth in the Chinese market,” across medical, fintech, biotech, fashion tech, and more. In addition to funding, Cocoon Networks is also launching an incubator space in the U.K. capital.
China has been increasingly looking to the West for opportunities in the tech realm. In February of last year, China’s Tencent moved into Europe with an investment in mobile and online game publisher Miniclip, and a month later, China’s Cheetah Mobile acquired France-based mobile ad company MobPartner for $58 million. Israel is also on the radar of many Chinese organizations and institutions.
Many companies struggle to gain a foothold in the Chinese market due to regulatory and legislative hurdles, with the likes of Google and Netflix currently facing resistance. Aid in circumventing such obstacles will be part of what Cocoon Networks can offer startups it invests in.