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China’s VC/PE investments expand in Q1 as more companies get listed

Updated: Jun 5,2017 9:48 AM

Private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) investment in China picked up momentum in the first four months of this year, boosted by the accelerated speed of initial public offerings (IPOs).

Data from Zero2IPO Group, a top VC/PE integrated service platform in China, shows that Q1 saw an increase in the amount of IPOs, with 137 listings in total, almost matching the peak reached in 2014.

When a company goes through a merger, acquisition or IPO it is referred to as an exit, as part of the venture capital process, with investors pledging financial backing in exchange for equity in the company.

PE and VC investment provide capital to target companies or help startups expand.

For more and more Chinese SMEs, getting listed on China’s New Third Board — a supplement of the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges — is becoming an easy financing channel, thanks to its low costs and simple listing procedures. Industry insiders say such IPOs generate more profits for investors than other methods.

Chinese venture capital firm Fortune Capital has had 13 projects listed already in 2017, compared to 10 in the whole of 2016.

According to Zheng Weihe, chairman of Shenzhen Co-Win Venture Capital Investments Limited, the increase in the number of listed companies has also had a huge impact on the financial markets.

The latest figures from PE Daily, a web portal that focuses on China’s VC and PE industry, showed that most funding cases in April happened in enterprise services and mobile internet sectors.

Although investors in Asia have shown caution, China remained the top destination for VC investment in Asia in the first four months, with Chinese bike-sharing platform Ofo raising $450 million in March, the largest bike-sharing investment on record, according to accounting firm KPMG.