Last year, Chinese investor Nan Fung Group — once a textiles maker, now a real estate and life sciences investment conglomerate — was the solo backer of a brand new $300 million VC fund in San Francisco called Pivotal bioVenture Partners. Now, the same investor is putting up $100 million for a similar operation in Shanghai: Pivotal bioVenture Partners China.
The venture was founded by Vincent Cheung, the grandson of industrial tycoon Chen Din Hwa, the late founder of Nan Fung Group. Cheung, a former biochemistry student at the UC Berkeley, is now the COO and managing director at Nan Fung and managing partner to the SF-based Pivotal.
The new outpost of Pivotal will incubate new life science companies in China by in-licensing products and tech that could serve the massive Chinese market, investing broadly in pharma, devices, and service sectors. And according to the new VC fund’s managing partner Jimmy Wei, Pivotal China will be flexing its connections in the US and Europe to get its hands on the right tech.
China is catching up in healthcare innovation,” Wei said in a statement. “By creating new companies with entrepreneurs and global partners, Pivotal China fund intends to bring global technologies to China quickly and efficiently. The vision of Pivotal China is to create a life sciences ecosystem to generate synergies among portfolio companies and foster the innovations in China. We are doing this by building one of the most experienced teams among our peers, and by combining a broad global exposure with strong expertise in the local Chinese market. Leveraging on Nan Fung Life Sciences’ presence in the US and Europe, we hope to actively source cutting-edge innovative technologies.”
Before Pivotal, Wei was managing partner at iBridge Capital and the partner at the KPCB China fund, where he helped form companies like Zai Lab and JHL Biotech. Joining Wei as managing partners at Pivotal is Meng Gao, and Shannon Cheung.
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