VantagePoint Launches $100M Fund Targeting Chinese Cleantech, Financial Services Companies

VantagePoint Venture Partners has launched a new $100 million fund that will focus on financial services and cleantech investments in Tianjin, China, and the surrounding regions. The fund (take a deep breath) is called Tianjin VantagePoint Hi-tech China FIVCE Fund. It will be managed by VantagePoint, Tianjin Hi-Tech Holding Group and Tianjin Binhai Development Investment Holding Co., according to a press release.

The press release says the fund has held an “initial” close and that “a substantial portion of the authorized capital [is] already committed,” but it doesn’t specify the amount.

VantagePoint Chief Executive Alan Salzman (pictured) told my Reuters colleague Poornima Gupta: “China is one of the key places where the global cleantech future is being defined. The country is a world leader in terms of investment in clean energy.”

VantagePoint did not name the limited partners in the fund. Its past funds have included a host of public LPs, including CalPERS, CalSTRS, the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System and the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System.

VantagePoint hasn’t been very active in China to date, according to Thomson Reuters’ venture capital database, which is admittedly light on deals in China.

Our database shows that it invested an undisclosed amount in an unnamed chip company based in Shanghai in July 2007.  Other than that deal, VantagePoint has made two investments in Taiwanese cleantech companies since last summer.

In August 2009, it invested $30.55 million in E-One Moli Energy Corp., a Taipei, Taiwan-based maker of  lithium-ion batteries for computers, cordless power tools, communication equipments, electronics, and electric or hybrid vehicles, according to Thomson Reuters (publisher of peHUB).

And last November, VantagePoint invested $112 million in Huga Optotech Inc., a Taichung, Taiwan-based maker of LED chips. That deal has already paid off: Epistar Corp. agreed in May to buy Huga for $270.74 million, according to Thomson Reuters. That deal is still pending.

For more info, here’s the BusinessWire press release about the new fund.