China New Era Technology Fund powers up with $15bn
China Merchants Group (CMG) has teamed up with London-based investment firm Centricus to launch a new $15 billion technology investment fund, according to the Financial Times (FT).
The aim is to rival the $100 billion Vision Fund created by Japan’s SoftBank. Centricus gets around as it also helped structure SoftBank’s fund.
Called the “China New Era Technology Fund”, it is not limited to fintech but will look at deals globally.
The FT says the state-owned conglomerate, along with other unnamed Chinese groups, has pledged to invest up to $6 billion of the fund, in what would be a huge pool of capital primarily designed to target investments in Chinese technology companies.
Centricus and Beijing-based fund manager SPF Group will look after the rest of the fund – for governments, universities and other tech firms.
Centricus is led by former Deutsche Bank executive Nizar Al-Bassam and former Goldman Sachs partner Dalinc Ariburnu. The FT says they have close links to Gulf sovereign wealth funds and helped SoftBank secure $60 billion in commitments from the state funds of Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.
Ariburnu says: “The technology revolution is taking place much faster than expected and this is creating a big race for investments in this space. We are at a stage where the size of available funds and the ability to access big markets will be the game changer.”
Let it flow
The amount of funding into the tech and fintech worlds is apparently never ending.
Two recent examples include Highland Europe closing its third fund in six years, raising €463 million in 12 weeks; and the UK’s Nationwide Building Society launching a new £50 million fintech fund to support its future technology strategy and the society’s members.