BAI-picBAI CEO-Annabelle Long

Bertelsmann Asia Investments (BAI), the investment arm of Bertelsmann AG in Asia, has announced the launch of BetaFund, an angel investment fund providing financing and professional support to early-stage startups.

In next few years, BetaFund expects to invest tens of millions dollars in mobile, social networking and gaming industries, according to the company. BAI disclosed that BetaFund is in talks with a variety of startups from fields including mobile content distribution platform and online financial education.

In addition to financial support, BetaFund will also help portfolio companies to leverage resources from other Bertelsmann AG units and BAI partner companies.

Founded in 2008, BAI is a strategic venture investor focused on early-to-growth stage investments, particularly in new media, online education, new technology, service, and BPO sectors.

In the past six years, it has invested in over 30 companies and four funds. Three of its portfolio companies have gone public in the U.S. stock market: car service Bitauto (NYSE: BITA), new media Phoenix New Media (NYSE: FENG) and distance education site CDEL (NYSE: DL).

In terms of investment style, BAI tends to continue investments in former portfolio companies. It is the Series A and Series B investor of recruitment site Lagou and has participated the three financing rounds of menstruation tracking app Dayima.

Other companies in which BAI has invested include interest-based social network Douban, social shopping platform Mogujie, cloud service Ucloud, online performance marketing provider iClick, fashion service YOHO!, and mobile game payment service M09.