PE company sees future in British AI
One of China’s largest private equity firm China Science & Merchants Investment Management Group (CSC) will invest in a UK-based artificial intelligence incubator, as AI technologies are in greatdemand in China and increasingly being applied to more fields.
The Chinese State-backed fund has signed a multimillion-pound cooperation agreement with British startupincubatorFoundersFactory. The two sides will jointly hire 60 people, invest five early-stage AI startups and launch two new companies each year, according to the report inthe Financial Times.
CSC told China Daily this investment is their business expansion in overseas market, without disclosing further details on this matter.
“The UK has innovative AI technology and China has a very big market and business model innovation. We want to fuse the technologywe find in the UK with the Chinese market,” said Dania Zhou, senior managing director of CSC Group, who has been in charge of the deal, quoted by the Financial Times.
Brent Hoberman, Founders Factory co-founder and executive chairman, said: “This deal is significant because it extends the reach of Founders Factory into one of the most coveted, yet hard to access markets on the planet, whilst proving that the UK is recognised globally as a center of excellence for AI.
“AI will impact all sectors builtuponlarge data sets ranging from health and insurance, commerce and finance, even beauty and media and weare uniquely positioned to leverage that trend and attract the brightest talent.
“By welcoming such a prestigious technology investor into Founders Factory, we continue to strengthen our offering to startups partnering them with some of the world’s leading brands, in almost all global markets.”
Chinese enterprises step up their layouts in overseas AI sector through investment and M&A. In January, Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd announced it planned to acquire a 20 percent stake in the US AI company Woobo Inc for $800,000.
Zhao Ziming, an analyst at internet constancy Analysys in Beijing, said: “Foreign AI companies or entrepreneurial projects have an irreplaceable advantage in technologies, while the good andthebadare intermingled in domestic AI startups, and the technical barriers are high, so the opportunity cost of investing domestic startups is relatively high.” Cai Xiao contributed to this story