Google’s Former China Chief Raises $674 Million in New Funds

Sinovation Ventures, the venture capital firm founded by former Google Inc. executive Kai-Fu Lee, has raised more than $674 million for two new funds that will seek out investments in China and the U.S.

The firm formerly known as Innovation Works recently closed its second yuan-denominated fund and its third U.S.-dollar fund, taking the total amount under management to more than $1.2 billion. The seven-year-old investment outfit now plans to add to a portfolio of almost 300 startups that include app store Wandoujia and Meitu, a developer of selfie apps that’s close to listing in Hong Kong.

Kai-Fu Lee

Photographer: Victor J.Blue/Bloomberg

“The new dual–currency funds will strengthen our investment capacity,” Lee said in a statement. “Sinovation Ventures has investment teams both in China and in the United States, that could grasp pivotal investment opportunities in the two countries.”

Lee’s firm operates in a manner similar to Y Combinator Inc., the American startup incubator. Its successful fundraising comes as venture capital investment cools after 2015’s record pace. Chinese-based venture capital firms raised just $400 million in the second quarter, the lowest figure in almost three years, according to London consultancy Preqin Ltd.

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