Cathay Innovation launches €1 billion global fund to supercharge the sustainable transformation of society

Today, Cathay Innovation has just launched its third venture capital fund at €1 billion. Cathay Innovation Fund III has just become one of Europe’s largest funds and is dedicated to those startups pushing forward the sustainable transformation of industry and society. 

Sustainability and digital transformation are two defining catalysts behind innovation at the moment. Startups across Europe have been a driving force in embedding sustainability in business practices, encouraging sustainability transparency and fuelling the digital transformation that now defines the era. Aiming to support the next decade of tech development, Cathay Innovation has just launched one of Europe’s largest VC funds – Cathay Innovation Fund III – at an incredible €1 billion. 

The multi-stage fund is backed by institutional investors and multinational corporations including Sanofi, Total Energies, Valeo, BNP Paribas Cardif, Groupe SEB, Groupe ADP (Paris Aéroport), SEB and more.

Looking back at the past ten years in business and innovation and it’s clear that things are changing and moving fast. Even the past 3 years highlight this. So, it’s clear that the next 10 years will be no different – if not even more exaggerated. Over the next decade, all industries will need to grapple with change as modern digital infrastructure redefines markets by better linking products, customer needs and the wider value chain. The new fund looks to empower companies to lead the larger markets of the future by backing next-gen technologies, business models and platforms at the centre of digital and sustainable transformation.

Mingpo Cai, Founder and Chairman of Cathay Capital and Cathay Innovation said: We’re committed to helping create the economy of tomorrow while having a positive impact on society. Fund III marks an important milestone in our journey, building a multi-industry platform that connects large corporations and startups to collaborate, exchange knowledge and support the sustainable transformation of all stakeholders. We’re honored to have the trust of new and existing investors, partners and industry leaders who leverage the Cathay platform to take the lead in their respective fields and work together to drive meaningful change.”

A fund for sustainable transformations 

Reflecting the change society and industry are undergoing, this fund aims to bring greater purpose to investments, focusing on both transformation potential and financial returns. Specially focused on series A, B and late-stage startups in the verticals of enterprise software, AI, fintech, digital health, tech-enabled consumer, new mobility, retail and digital energy, the fund is focused on supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals simultaneously. 

Check sizes will range from €5 million to €80 million, and the firm will invest as a lead or co-investor with reserves for follow-on rounds in key geographies including Europe, Asia and North America.

The fund will leverage various elements of Cathay’s unique and tried-and-tested investment approach. This includes:

A global investment platform which comprises investors with deep local expertise spanning the world’s innovation hubs to identify emerging trends while granting startups access to new markets.

An extensive corporate ecosystem which is supported by globally leading multi-sector companies, acting as strategic partners that collaborate with portfolio companies to scale innovation in real-world industries and their own digital transformation.

A sustainable investment framework that embeds sustainability into every step of the investment cycle to measure, track and maximize the impact of startups while helping entrepreneurs build more responsible resilient businesses.

Denis Barrier, Co-founder of Cathay Innovation, added: We believe the time is now to accelerate digital transformation over the next ten years as innovation represents the biggest opportunity to take on some of the world’s largest challenges. With Fund III, we now have tailored investment theses for healthcare, finance, consumer, energy, mobility and logistics – investing in next-gen technologies that will be pervasive in global industries to deliver better, more efficient products and solutions addressing the needs of end customers. And this new generation of companies, larger and more sustainable than ever before, have the potential to have a greater impact on industries, society and the day-to-day lives of people everywhere.”

Backing digital disruption

The global venture firm has been investing in startups driving the digital revolution across the world. Since 2015, Cathay Innovation has made over 120 investments across Europe, North America, Asia, Latin America and Africa that have gone on to raise around €16 billion and created 15k jobs. The firm has around €2 billion in assets under management. 

It has backed an impressive 19 unicorns, including the likes of  Chime, Glovo, Ledger, Owkin, Momenta, Sidecar Health and ZenBusiness with exits including the public offerings of Pinduoduo (Nasdaq: PDD) and Wallbox (NYSE: WBX) and the acquisitions of Glovo by Delivery Hero, Drivy by Getaround, Alkemics by Salsify and Trifacta by Alteryx.