BAI Capital Launches $700 Million Fund to Invest in Web3 and the Metaverse

BAI Capital has launched a $700 million Fund 1 to invest in Chinese startups looking to transition from Web2 to Web3.
Image source: CrunchBase

Quick take:

  • BAI Capital has closed a $700 million fundraising to invest in technology automation, including Web3 products and the metaverse.
  • Founded in 2008, the venture capital firm has invested in over 200 companies, with 40 of them achieving Unicorn status.
  • The fund’s goal is to help Chinese startups in retail, fintech and related verticals cross from Web2 to Web3.

BAI Capital has jumped on the Web3 train with a new fund focused on helping Chinese startups to crossover from Web2 to Web3. The venture capital firm has experienced success in its previous investments with 40 out of 200 startups backed reaching unicorn status. 

According to BAI Capital’s announcement, the fund will focus on startups operating in retail, fintech, content and media, as well as, Web3 and the metaverse. The fund will also target local opportunities in renewable energy, autonomous driving, and software-driven industrial upgrade solutions.

BAI Capital was founded in 2008 by German businessman Carl Bertelsmann and Managing Partner Annabelle Long, as Bertelsmann Asia Investments. This fundraising also marks the first time that BAI Capital has closed a fund in US dollars. The firm is opening new offices in Singapore and Berlin as part of its main verticals of supporting China-based global companies. 

“BAI Capital will continue to leverage Bertelsmann’s enormous global network in media, education, and service, especially its deep influence in Europe, and join hands with more limited partners to play to BAI’s unique advantage. Against an increasingly complicated political and economic environment, we will do our best to serve entrepreneurs with global ambitions and help them achieve success amid international competition and cooperation,” the firm wrote in a statement.

It joins a growing list of Chinese companies foraying into Web3 despite the country’s strict guidelines for investing in digital assets and crypto.

All the major technology giants in the country have launched products that target the red-hot Web3 space ranging from Baidu’s infrastructure solutions to Tencent’s metaverse bet.

The latter was recently forced to shut its locally-based NFT unit because of a lack of traction amid government restrictions. Tencent said it will look to build its NFT business outside of China.

This perhaps explains why BAI Capital is also taking a global approach to its strategy despite keeping its focus on Chinese companies.

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