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Bertelsmann Asia Investments (BAI) has received two awards from China Venture Hit Group, a leading Chinese financial service provider: In recognition of its successful investments in the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) sectors, Bertelsmann’s investment fund was named as one of the “2015 China Top 10 VCs in the TMT Industry.”
In addition, Annabelle Long, BAI’s Managing Partner, was named as one of the “2015 China Top 10 Investors in the TMT Industry” in direct recognition of her investment decisions. Long is also Chief Executive of the Bertelsmann China Corporate Center and sits on Bertelsmann’s Group Management Committee.
Long says: “China plays a very special role in Bertelsmann’s growth strategy, so I am absolutely delighted about these two awards. They are a testament to the successful work of the entire BAI team in 2015. Thanks to our fund, Bertelsmann is soundly anchored in the Chinese start-up scene, and benefits from the growth of our various holdings. Beyond this, our regular exchange with founders and the insights gained in the process benefit all of Bertelsmann’s companies in China.”
The recent financing round of one of BAI’s best-known holdings, the Chinese mobile-shopping platform Mogujie, also goes to show that the two awards are well-deserved: Since June 2014, following a US$ 200 million round of financing, Mogujie, founded in 2011 has been a member of the exclusive “Unicorn” club, meaning that investors and analysts assess its worth at over one billion US dollars. Now the Hangzhou-based company has raised another US$ 200 million in a new round of financing, further increasing its value.
The Mogujie social network specializes in fashion for young women and is now the largest of its kind in China. Around ten million people currently use the network every day and spend over US$2 billion a year via Mogujie. At the last “Double Eleven” sales event on Nov 11, the country’s biggest online shopping day, Mogujie set a new record, generating turnover of 100 million Yuan (US$15.56 million) in 51 minutes and 37 seconds. In addition to enhancing existing services, the newly raised funds from investors will be used to expand financial services for its online shopping customers.
BAI was one of the first investors to recognize Mogujie’s potential. Together with Trust Bridge Partners, the Bertelsmann fund provided its founder Chen Qi and his team of 20 employees with a million dollars of “angel” financing at the time in February 2011. BAI also participated in the subsequent A, B and C series of financing rounds, acquiring a significant share of the company in the process. A shareholding whose value – in parallel to Mogujie’s development into a unicorn – has risen almost continuously since then.
BAI was founded by Bertelsmann in January 2008 and concentrates on new media, the Internet and mobile Internet, online education, new technology, outsourcing, and services. The fund currently has direct investments in 50 startups as well as five shareholdings in other funds. Launched in October 2014, the BAI offshoot BetaFund, which specializes in early-stage financing, is now involved in a total of nine startups, two of which have already been transferred to the large BAI fund for follow-on financing. In the past four years, BAI has been repeatedly listed among the top 50 investors in China thanks to its success.
Bertelsmann is a media, services and education company that operates in about 50 countries around the world. It includes the broadcaster RTL Group, the trade book publisher Penguin Random House, the magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr, the service providers Arvato and Be Printers, the music company BMG and the Bertelsmann Education Group. The company has more than 112,000 employees and generated revenues of €16.7 billion in financial year 2014. Bertelsmann stands for creativity and entrepreneurship. This combination promotes the creation of first-class media content and innovative service solutions that inspire customers around the world.