An interview by Cherry Zheng from last September (with a nice photograph to boot!):
*** INTERVIEW BEGINS ***
European venture capital firms universally hold a prudent attitude towards the entry into Chinese market. As a result, only a few of them entered China. On the other hand, quite a large number of them, which include Amadeus Capital Partners Limited (“Amadeus”), are always observing the Chinese market actively and forming relationships with local VCs and major corporations
Amadeus invests venture capital in new technologies from offices in London and Cambridge, UK. Since its inception in 1997, Amadeus has backed more than 60 companies in the UK and continental Europe, covering computer hardware and software, mobile and fixed communications technologies and medical technologies. Amadeus manages a total of GBP288 million of assets, raised through five funds including two seed-stage funds.
In his role as Business Development Partner for Asia at Amadeus, Shantanu Bhagwat (“Shantanu”) has 18 years of broad international experience in the broad technology sector, in Europe as well as in Asia, where he once worked in Japan and India. Shantanu has already visited China several times and continues to find opportunities to get familiar with this country and understand the developments even better.
From the press release “A portion of NEA 12 will be used to continue NEA’s expansion into the rapidly growing markets of China and
Apparently more than 10% of the investors are from outside the US amd it makes sense for NEA to look overseas for opportunities and leverage this network of new LPs. The firm already has an office in China and India may be next.
In its latest monthly bulletin, go4venture (a tech-focused corporate finance advisory firm in London) notes that,
“it is…worth pointing out are two “native” US investors (i.e. with no European office)…(made) an appearance in
Europe, both as lead investors:
Tollwood Venture Capital (www.tallwoodvc.com), a $180 million first-time fund (2002) specialising in semiconductors, which led the investment round in Cavendish Kinetics. This is their first investment in
VantagePoint Venture Partners (www.vpvp.com), a leading venture and private equity firm with over $2 billion under management, and specialising in what they describe as “financially, structurally, and/or technologically complex deals”.
These two deals are examples of the trend frequently seen by Go4Venture when working with its clients: the increasing internationalisation of the venture capital industry. This trend is driven by sector expertise, with VCs delivering higher value-addition than in the past. Like many other industries, venture capitalism is becoming increasingly sophisticated, particularly in Europe where progress towards more professional VC firms is noticeable.”
VantagePoints’ investment was in SolarCentury (UK), which completed a €8 million Series A round of funding. The company designs, installs and maintains tailor-made solar photovoltaic solutions for homes and other buildings….
And as the bulletin noted, “This is an unusual example of a Series A (at least first VC institutional round) led by a VC from a different geography”
Annual report from Ernst & Young, this year’s theme is “Transition”.
Rich source of data and opinions and a must read for anyone interested in global trends in venture investing.
Interesting survey sponsored by NVCA last year which revealed that while the trend of US VCs expanding globally was unmistakable, the United States itself remained the most attractive investment target for venture capital (VC) firms worldwide.
Amongst the VCs who indicated that they would invest abroad, China and India were the clear choice in terms of investment destination.
In a remarkably prescient article – published in Aug ’04 - Prof. Martin Haemmig makes “The Case for International VC Firms“