UK-based SILK Ventures announced today that it has raised a $500 million fund to invest in tech companies in Europe and the US. The fund will exist to pour investment into firms from Series A upwards in all tech verticals, but mostly with an emphasis on the firms that specialize in deep tech (AI, Robotics, Internet of Things), FinTech, deep science and HealthTech.
Although calling London its headquarters, SILK Ventures has offices in Menlo Park, Beijing and even Shenzhen. In its nascent stage, the company called itself a “digital accelerator,” consisting of an online platform connecting startups to corporates, in and doing so, creating ties with Asia. As part of this function, it also assisted in organizing and pitching events and startup tours to China. The “accelerator,” which boasts of banking startup Revolut being one of the companies it supported, doesn’t take any equity.
Its brand new $500 million fund is being given 50 per cent backing by the Chinese state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) Shenzhen, who is filling in the role of both an LP and Strategic Partner. The remaining 50 per cent of the fund is being drawn from a group of “confidential strategic corporations,” slated to announced in July.
Angelica Anton, founding partner at SILK Ventures, spoke about what sets her firm apart from the others, namely, its deep connections to Asia, and to China in particular. The firm’s portfolio companies will get a chance to collaborate closely with official investment departments within China’s local governments to assist their expansion into the Chinese market. Anton, who has been an investment advisor to the People’s Republic of China in the past, said:
We are globally aligned with expert partners in the US, Europe and Asia to work with China at the highest levels to ensure that our portfolio companies are not only well-funded, but have the best chance of success in the Asian market. SILK Ventures was built to change the way Chinese capital marries Western technologies, and we pride ourselves on the cultural and operational know-how within our expanding team.
The VC fund claims that two or three officials from the Shenzhen Department of Trade and Investment will be present in the UK office on a daily basis.