Chinese business accelerator COMB+ and the Beijing Institute of Collaborative Innovation (BICI) have announced that they are working together to create a new Artificial Intelligence Fund with a target size of €65 Million. The fund will focus on international technology startups entering the Chinese market.
The fund is part of the COMB+ Sino Track Accelerator Program, which was launched a year ago. To date, 19 Nordic startups have participated in the program, which is now expanding globally. The pitching competition at the event included 10 finalists – finally selecting children’s franchise Dibidogs , as the winner, opening a shortcut to the Sino Track program.
“We are very happy to announce our new fund with the Beijing Institute of Collaborative Innovation as part of the Sino Track program,” says Leo Zhu, CEO of COMB+. “We see Helsinki, Beijing’s sister city, as the best place in the world to launch our fund. Our ambitions are global and we are today opening the Sino Track program to all exceptional technology and cultural startup aspiring to enter the Chinese market,” he concluded.
Previous Sino Track alumni include Finnish acoustic technology company Flexound. The company’s CEO, Mervi Heinaro, comments, “China is the number one country for Flexound. Besides the great market potential, we also appreciate the speed at which things get done. In our minds, China is the best place to go global.”
The Sino Track program connected Flexound with over 20 relevant Chinese investors and institutions, including major media company Xinhuanet, and GOME, which operates over 2000 retail and online stores. The event also included an announcement from partnering fund Ascend Capital Partners, who have invested a total of €24 million in four Finnish companies.
When asked about individual firm investments, Zhu said that individual investments would not exceed €5 million per deal.
“We are looking for startups with a proven business model in local market who would like to go to the Chinese market,” he said through translators. “We can help them further develop and upgrade their tech so that they can apply it to the Chinese market.”