Mer­ck KGaA wants to get in ear­ly on Chi­nese in­no­va­tion — so it's set­ting up a seed fund there

Mer­ck KGaA is carv­ing out a small — but em­blem­at­ic — por­tion of its ven­ture arm to nur­ture new Chi­nese star­tups while it cuts the rib­bon on an in­no­va­tion hub in Shang­hai.

The €13 mil­lion (RMB100 mil­lion) seed fund falls with­in the scope of M Ven­tures’ €300 mil­lion man­date, ac­cord­ing to the Ger­man drug­mak­er, and would be joint­ly man­aged by that team and the in­no­va­tion hub. Star­tups that fall in­to the health­care, life sci­ence, per­for­mance ma­te­ri­als and “new busi­ness­es” buck­ets can ex­pect to re­ceive in­vest­ments be­tween €500,000 and €1 mil­lion de­signed to bring them over to a val­ue in­flec­tion point with­in two years.

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