Three updates on our earlier story about Silicon Valley venture firms moving to China with news funds.
1) More details here on New Enterprise Associates’ $100 million fund in China, called Northern Light, as PE Week follows.
2) We’re puzzled by this report (you’ll have to scroll down) that top-tier venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins, is also planning a VC fund in China, written up by Tom Foremski after he attended a dinner with Kleiner’s Ray Lane (we couldn’t make the dinner). Lane apparently told him that a fund is coming, even though Lane and two other partners told us late last year that Kleiner was content staying focused on the valley — and, more importantly, even though we checked with Kleiner’s John Denniston again this week after the announcement by Kleiner’s rival, Sequoia Capital, of a China fund. We asked him whether Kleiner may have a change of heart on China. He responded, saying that there was no change to report. Denniston’s word counts, because he handles the firm’s overall communications. We’ve messaged him again, to get to the bottom of what seems to be a misunderstanding.
(Update: John Denniston got back to us. He said he consulted with Lane about the Foremski report, and explains the misunderstanding as follows: The China topic came up briefly during the Lane dinner, when someone asked Lane what KP would do in China. Lane responded that every company and venture capital firm on the planet is trying to figure out what to do in China. He then offered up a personal opinion, saying something akin to: “We’re likely to be doing something in China in the future, but I have no idea what form it will take.” So, no KP fund for now!)
3) See this WSJ story (sub required) about how VCs are starting to plough their money into local Chinese entrepreneurs, and not U.S-educated Chinese returnees.
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