News eDaily15 Nov 2017

China:Ping An outlines innovation investment plan

15 Nov 2017

Major Chinese insurance group Ping An has stated in more detail its goals in investing in FinTech and HealthTech opportunities globally.

The Shenzhen-based company, which launched its US$1 billion Global Voyager Fund in May, said it would invest $10-30 million in first-stage companies with an enterprise value of $100-$600 million, and up to $100 million in more mature startups. Each category makes up roughly 30% of the fund that is managed from Hong Kong, reported The Nikkei.

"In general, for direct investments, our focus is on what I'd call the mid-stage startups," Mr Jonathan Larsen, Chief Innovation Officer of the group and Chairman and CEO of Ping An Global Voyager Fund, said at a conference earlier this month.

Mr Larsen was referring to companies that are typically three to seven years old and already have a product or platform, with a business model that is well-defined. That also means the companies should already have some clients and revenue.

"We'd like to be dealing with companies after they have done their two or three early pivots, after they have figured out whether their management can work together," he added. "We need people that have the bandwidth to engage with us."

Another 30% will be allocated for special situations. "These are most likely structured and bespoke deals for Ping An," he said. "They could be pre-IPO situations."

The fund, which aims to have 95% of its assets outside of China, will also reserve less than 10% of its portfolio for early-stage companies. "We are intending to do that through partner funds in geographies [in which] we don't have representation," said Mr Larsen, citing Europe, Israel, the US, and some parts of Asia.

The fund made its first investment in September by participating in the GBP34-million ($44.69 million) financing round of London-based 10x Future Technologies, a banking data management platform founded by the former CEO of Barclays, Antony Jenkins, in 2016.



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