London and Europe are getting a new £500m tech startup VC fund as Chinese-backed Cocoon Networks launches

 
Lynsey Barber
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Tech City has attracted a new VC fund

London's tech startups are set for a new injection of cash worth as much as half a billion pounds as a new Chinese-backed venture capital fund launches.

Private equity firms China Equity Group and Hanxin Capital will launch Cocoon Networks with £500m to invest in UK and European tech companies which show potential for success in China.

The wide-ranging fund will span fintech, biotech, medical devices and creative tech industries such as fashion in the capital and beyond, with a mix of early-stage and later stage startups.

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"The fund will provide capital to help the development of some excellent technology and innovative projects in London and the UK," said founder and chief executive of Cocoon Networks, John Zai.

"The fund and incubator programme will bring awareness for more Chinese investors to get into London’s booming technology sector. It will also help many companies grow and expand into China."

The fund's launch comes as Chinese investment in the capital hits £23m, the highest since 2011/12.

"This is a significant vote of confidence in the global nature of London’s tech sector and will deliver significant investment into some of the capital's brightest and best startups," said Gordon Innes, chief executive of City Hall's investment arm London & Partners.

Read more: Where is London hiring tech talent from?

The VC fund will also partner with University College London (UCL) to open a 70,000 sq ft tech incubator between Shoreditch and the Square Mile over the summer.

Meanwhile, UCL has set up a £50m fund of its own to invest in new technology coming out of the university.

Imperial Innovations, the Aim-listed company from Imperial College and the European Investment Fund will each invest £24.75m to help spin out companies from its life sciences, physical sciences and technology research over the next five years, managed by Albion Ventures.

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