Early Alibaba Backer GGV Raises $620M For Fifth Fund

GGV, the backers of U.S. and Chinese tech companies like Alibaba, Pandora, Qunar, Zendesk and Tudou, has raised $620 million for its fifth venture capital fund. GGV Capital V is just $5 million shy of the firm’s last fund, raised in 2012, and brings the firms total capital under management to more than $2.2 billion.

For background, GGV was founded in 2000 with a focus on investing across the U.S. and China. GGV’s portfolio companies includes Alibaba (which just filed for its hotly anticipated IPO), athenahealth, AAC Technologies, BlueKai, Buddy Media, Chukong Technologies, Domo, Endeca, Flipboard, GrabTaxi, HotelTonight, Houzz, Meilishuo, Nimble Storage, Pandora Media, Percolate, Qunar, SoundCloud, Square, SuccessFactors, Tujia, UCWeb, Wish, Youku-Tudou, YY, Zendesk, and 21Vianet.

GGV says it has 3 companies currently in IPO registration (Alibaba, Zendesk and Chukong), has backed companies with 16 IPOs (YY, 21Vianet, Qunar, and others) since 2010.

GGV plans to keep its investments in the expansion stage, with rounds in the range of $5 million to $25 million, splitting investments equally between China and the U.S. The investment focus remains on companies in the Internet/Digital Media, Cloud/SaaS and Mobile sectors in the U.S. and China. The firm’s managing partners are Jixun Foo, Jenny Lee, Hany Nada, Jeff Richards, Glenn Solomon, and Hans Tung, all of whom were managing partners in GGV Capital IV.

As Richards explains, the firm has been betting on companies in China (the firm backed Alibaba in 2002) long before many others were investing in the area, and has developed close relationships with companies like Tencent, Baidu and others.

“GGV defined the concept of a U.S./China venture capital firm,” said Tim Recker, managing director of University of California Regents, an existing GGV LP participating again in Fund V.

“We bet on the convergence of these 2 markets, and started planting the seeds a little earlier than most,” said Richards in an interview. He explained further that the firm also sees a lot of value in bringing Chinese corporate investors into U.S. companies. For example, GGV helped bring in Alibaba as an investor in Quixey’s latest round. And David Zhu, former COO of Chinese search giant Baidu, recently joined GGV as a venture partner to help with investments and partnerships.

As for where Richards sees the next opportunity in China, he believes that enterprise is one of the new key growth areas in the region. We can expect the firm to be making some interesting investments in this sector in the near future.