Kai-Fu Lee’s Innovation Works creates culture and sports sub-fund

Innovation Works, a venture capital fund founded by Kai-Fu Lee, the former head of Google China and founder of Microsoft Research Asia, announced that it has established a sub-fund named Ruchuan Fund on Monday.

“Our investment in Ma’s startup project has proven to be a success, thanks to Wang’s keen sense and his contacts,” Lee said in a Tuesday report by Chinese business news platform Huxiu.com.

According to the announcement, Ruchuan Fund is an early stage venture capital fund mainly focusing on culture and sports, with RMB 200 million (USD 30.8 million) in assets under management. Wang Zhaohui, the former director and vice general manager of Innovation Works, will take charge of the fund. Limited partners include Neil Shen, the Co-founder, Founding and Managing Partner of Sequoia Capital China, and Bob Xu, one of China’s foremost angel investors and the founder of Zhen Fund.

The fund’s new boss, Wang Zhaohui, has contacts that are essential to this new fund. He was a veteran reporter before joining Innovation Works. He created a forum which attracted over 100 industry leaders in 2005. Wang was able to invest in the media startup MeWe because he had personal contact with Ma Dong, the founder of the startup.

Innovation Works was founded in September 2009, with the purpose of galvanizing a new era of successful Chinese entrepreneurs. The fund participates actively in seed stage investment through Series A financing rounds, and follows up selectively at the Series B stage, helping entrepreneurial companies start up smoothly and grow rapidly in their early period.

As of March 2016, Innovation Works has invested in over 200 projects in areas such as big data, digital entertainment, smart hardware, sharing economy, online education, business services, cloud computing and e-commerce, creating a strong incubation ecosystem in China. The fund received USD 15 million in investment from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), an arm of the World Bank, on Monday.

Ibo Fung contributed to the story

(Top photo is screenshot from Innovation Works.)

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