Cherubic Ventures announces $120M early-stage fund for U.S., China and rest of Asia

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Cherubic Ventures, an early-stage VC firm with a focus on the U.S. and Asia, has announced a new fund targeted at $120 million.

Fundraising is still ongoing, and founder-managing partner Matt Cheng told TechCrunch that the firm currently has $80 million in confirmed commitments from LPs.

Cheng started Cherubic back in 2010 after spending time with Chinese social portal Tian Ge Interactive and C Squared Venture Capital. Today, its portfolio includes close to 90 companies worldwide, such as Hyperloop, Luxe and Wish in the U.S., Cloud Union and Liulishuo in China, and Pinkoi and Chadal in the wider Asian continent. (Our media partner in China, Technode, is another investment.)

The firm has offices in Beijing, Taipei and San Francisco but, alongside the announcement of the fund, Cheng said it had opened a new headquarters in Shanghai. That will house around half of the firm’s team, which Cheng expects will increase to 12 this year.

Cherubic’s previous fund was around $42 million, and its newest one will be split in two. Cheng said around $50 million be allocated to China, with the remaining $70 million going to the U.S. and other countries. He expects that the money will go towards deals with 60-70 companies, with a large chunk held for follow-on investments.

“We focus on the more experienced entrepreneurs,” Cheng told TechCrunch in an interview. “So when we back them and they grow the company we want to stay with them.”

Cherubic initially focused on China, which accounts for around 60 percent of its portfolio, but after 2013 Cheng said he saw the potential to include the U.S. and “bridge the world’s largest two markets together.”

Beyond the geographical focus, Cheng said the firm is generally “really bullish” on deep tech and VR — two areas where it has made investments already. When it comes to China, he said he sees “a huge opportunity for cross-border commerce” and much potential in the space of “industrial Internet upgrades” — bringing technology like robotics and machine learning to manufacturing and other industrial practices.

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