What happened: Sinovation Ventures, a Chinese venture capital fund co-founded by former Google China head Kaifu Lee, has opened on Tuesday a new headquarters for the Greater Bay Area, a network of major metropolises in southern China including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, and Macau. The new base will focus on industrial investment and research into artificial intelligence (AI) research and its applications. At the opening ceremony, the company announced it had received RMB 2.5 billion ($362 million) in new funding, raising the total capital managed by Sinovation Ventures to around RMB 15 billion. The current funding comes follows a $500 million AI fund received in 2018.
Why it’s important: Sinovation Ventures, formerly known as Innovation Works, is one of the leading venture capital funds in China and an early investor which helped drive China’s mass entrepreneurial boom. Its portfolio companies include tech giants like selfie app Meitu, cryptocurrency mining giant Bitmain, and AI firm Megvii. The Greater Bay Area is becoming a new tech and innovation hub in China as Beijing speeds up development plans for southern China. Sinovation Ventures is positioning itself strategically for new opportunities in the region.