Chinese investment firm to launch £500 million London-based fund to invest in European tech startups

Published on : Thursday, January 21, 2016

49033-310x174Cocoon Networks, which has the backing of China Equity Group, one of the first investors in to Baidu, China’s answer to Google, and Hanxin Capital, which specialises in cloud computing and bio tech investments, will look to invest in tech companies whose products and services show promise and potential for growth in the Chinese market.

 

The fund will look to invest in tech companies across a wide range of sectors including fintech, biotech, medical devices and the UK’s creative tech industries, like fashion-tech. Companies looking to expand into China will also be offered assistance in navigating Chinese legislation and practical help about doing business there.

 

As part of a wider investment, Cocoon Networks, in partnership with University College London, is also setting up the capital’s biggest incubator space, in order to provide the best environment for growing tech startups.

 

John Zai, Founder and CEO, Cocoon Networks said: “The fund will provide capital to help the development of some excellent technology and innovative projects in London and the UK.

 

“The fund and incubator programme will bring awareness for more Chinese investors to get into London’s booming technology sector. It will also help many companies grow and expand into China.”

 

Gordon Innes, CEO London & Partners, The Mayor of London’s promotional company, said: “This is a significant vote of confidence in the global nature of London’s tech sector and will deliver significant investment into some of the capital’s brightest and best startups.

 

“London is experiencing unprecedented growth in its technology sector, and there is a wealth of opportunity for entrepreneurs and investors to get a foothold in the UK and the rest of Europe.”

 

The incubator, a 70,000 sq ft building is situated in the heart of London’s Tech City close to Moorgate, Liverpool St, and Old Street stations. Cocoon says it will not only be an incubating space for technology companies but it will also work with some of London’s world class universities to attract talent, offer accelerator programmes and co-working spaces.

 

The incubator will work with startups to take products from the concept phase and test them in a real environment – Cocoon’s own digital testing labs – before going live on the public market. Cocoon says this testing and support infrastructure enables startups to compete on a level playing field with larger companies.

 

The announcement by Cocoon Networks came as London & Partners said that it was on course to secure record investment from Chinese companies in London this financial year.

 

Over the last nine months 28 Chinese companies, worth £23million ($33m) to the city’s economy, have already pledged to set up in London, with that figure expected to rise to nearer 40 by the end of March 2016. The previous best year for Chinese investment in London was in 2011/12 when 30 Chinese companies came to the city.

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