Qiming Venture Partners boosts 7th fund to $1.2B, battling back against COVID-19 headwinds


China’s life science investment firm Qiming Venture Partners has tied up $1.2 billion for its Fund VII, the largest of 2020 in the country, as it looks to funnel cash into early-stage companies.

That major cash haul “primarily focuses on China market investments,” the company said, with the $1.2 billion coming from the likes of managing partners Duane Kuang, Nisa Leung, William Hu and Gary Rieschel with the full support of investment and administrative teams based in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

Qiming continues to be an active investor in 2020, with over 60 investments this year and more than 80 of its portfolio companies nabbing funding rounds in 2020.

China’s Qiming has a broader investment focus than many VCs active in biotech, backing technology players such as Xiaomi as well as healthcare startups. Despite only focusing some of its money and attention on biotech, Qiming has picked up stakes in promising drug developers inside and outside of China, listing Schrödinger alongside CanSino and Zai Lab in its portfolio.

Qiming backed those biotechs with its earlier, smaller funds, the two most recent of which raised $935 million and $648 million. The effort to top the size of the sixth fund faced headwinds.

In disclosing the seventh fund earlier this year, Qiming highlighted “challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical uncertainties and historical over-allocation to the venture capital asset class by many LPs” as issues that made it harder to close the fund on time and on target.

There are reasons to think the money Qiming does commit to biotech will go to startups that make a mark on the industry: Take CanSino, one of Qiming’s current crop of biotechs, which is tucked in just behind the likes of Moderna in the race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.

“We are very grateful to our LPs for their trust and support over the last 15 years,” said Leung. “Qiming will continue to focus on investing in visionary entrepreneurs to bring long-term value to humanity and society.”