Record fundraising for Cathay Innovation’s first fund

May 4, 2020


Today Cathay Capital announced the closing of Cathay Innovation’s first investment vehicle for a total of $320 million. This sum constitutes a record for a first-time venture capital fund raised in Europe. The success of this fundraising can largely be explained by the unique approach proposed by Cathay Innovation and how this approach resonated among investors.


Cathay Innovation was effectively founded on the conviction that supporting digital entrepreneurs through a platform available on 3 continents – North America, Europe, and China – constitutes a particularly valuable strategy. By connecting these three major ecosystems and by relying on the platform constructed over the last 10 years by Cathay Capital Private Equity, Cathay Innovation provides mission driven entrepreneurs both a global vision of the evolution of technologies and multi-continent operational support.


This unique model attracted well beyond the initially targeted size with investors of varying profiles. Besides the initial and decisive support of Bpifrance and CDB Capital, Cathay Innovation was also able to count on the support of numerous leading companies including BNP Paribas Cardif, Groupe ADP, Groupe Artemis, Groupe SEB, Joyoung, Michelin, Total, and Valeo.


Working with these partners is an integral part of Cathay Innovation’s approach as our strategic investors form a leading strategic committee that gathers on a regular basis to anticipate the impact of the digital revolution with a consistent global vision covering a multitude of industries. Combined with Cathay’s international platform, this network of partners brings enormous added value to the companies we support such as facilitator of links, catalyst of opportunities, and provider of sector expertise” explains Denis Barrier, Managing Partner and co-founder of Cathay Innovation with Mingpo Cai.


Cathay Innovation’s team – which today comprises of 11 professionals spread between France, China, and the US – has already closed more than 10 investments in the span of just 20 months. Cathay Innovation has also had the opportunity to contribute to the product launch and then the rise of its first unicorn, Pinduoduo (PDD), now already the largest social commerce platform on the planet and the fastest growing e-commerce merchant ever.


Cathay Innovation is committed to investing in 20 to 25 innovative companies in this fund, with initial commitments between $3 million and $15 million, and a strategy allowing portfolio companies to connect at the outset to a global ecosystem (Europe / China / USA) to accelerate their international growth.


Mingpo Cai, President of Cathay Capital Private Equity, concludes: “Connecting French, Chinese, and American start-ups with the whole world may look obvious. But this approach did not exist until now in the world of venture capital and meets a real need of digital entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs must accelerate the diffusion of their innovations and quickly scale up globally. We are very grateful to our historical investors for having adhered to this vision and very pleased to welcome with this fund new partners in our ecosystem.




About Cathay Innovation

Cathay Innovation is a global venture capital fund, created in affiliation with Cathay Capital Private Equity.  It was founded around the shared conviction that supporting digital entrepreneurs by providing them with a platform bridging 3 continents – North America, Europe and China – constitutes a particularly powerful value-creation strategy.  As a multi-stage fund, Cathay Innovation partners with visionary entrepreneurs, committed to driving change through technology. Cathay Innovation has offices in San Francisco, Paris, Beijing, and Shanghai.

Follow Cathay Innovation on Twitter (@Cathayinnov) and on our website (


About Cathay Capital

Cathay Capital Private Equity, founded in 2006 by Mingpo Cai and Edouard Moinet, is a leading international private equity firm in the field of cross-border investment, committed to supporting the international expansion of companies from China, Europe and the United States. As a fund made by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, Cathay Capital’s team leverages on Cathay’s unique business model and platform to help create value for companies by removing borders. Cathay’s Group presence across three continents materialises through offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Paris, Munich, New York and San Francisco. At the end of 2016 the team was composed of 60 employees – among which 41 investments professionals – managing 7 funds and USD 1.5 billion in assets.

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Media contact

Yoann Besse, Citigate Dewe Rogerson

+33 (0)1 53 32 78 89 / +33 (0)6 63 03 84 91 or [email protected]