China, Startups, Venture

With new $10.6B fund, Hillhouse Capital sets the stage for splashy Asia-focused biotech deals

Having thrown its weight behind some of the biggest biotech financing rounds of the year, China’s private equity powerhouse Hillhouse Capital has reloaded with a $10.6 billion fund.

Lei Zhang

Other than healthcare, Hillhouse Fund IV will also pursue opportunities in consumer, technology and services sectors globally, though Asia remains the key focus. It’s one of the largest private equity fundraisings in 2018, according to Bloomberg.

Hillhouse founder and Yale graduate Lei Zhang made a name for himself with early bets on tech giants like Tencent and Baidu. The firm played a similarly legendary role in WuXi AppTec’s $3.3 billion take-private deal in 2015, and followed it up with deals involving Innovent Biologics, BeiGene and Shanghai Junshi — some of China’s buzziest shops these days.

Michael Yi

This year alone, Hillhouse was prominently featured in Grail’s monster $300 million round and I-Mab Biopharma’s $200 million Series C (which it calls the largest ever for a Chinese biotech). It also led a $230 million raise by Faheem Hasnain for Gossamer Bio, his next startup venture after Receptos.

Many of these would be the work of Michael Yi, Hillhouse’s diligent — if low profile — principal focused on healthcare deals. At a time transpacific VC deals are teeming with Chinese investors, established names like Yi are still in hot demand for the credibility and experience they lend.

“We are deeply grateful for the ongoing trust of our partners,” Zhang said in a statement. “We look forward to working with innovation-minded, world-class businesses and management teams seeking to deploy technology-driven solutions to create value for all stakeholders.”

Image: Beijing’s financial district Shutterstock

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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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