AngelList Gets $400M In Chinese Funds To Invest In Startups

Naval Ravikant now has another tool to help the his founders and funders network disrupt seed investing — a $400 million fund.

The co-founder of San Francisco-based AngelList announced on Monday that CSC Venture Capital, the U.S. arm of China Science & Merchants Investment Management Group, has given him $400 million to invest in startups.

It is believed to be the largest pool of funds devoted to early-stage investing and the largest-ever single investment by a Chinese private-equity firm in a U.S. fund.

The $400 million investment is nearly double the total that AngelList had previously raised.

The Chinese private equity firm behind the deal went public in March on the Chinese stock market, raising about $2 billion. Its founder Xiangshuang Shan told the Wall Street Journal that he plans to make his firm the largest private-equity firm in the world and the investment in AngelList is just the beginning.

AngelList said in its announcement that the new fund, called CSC Upshot, will invest primarily in syndicates. These are investment vehicles created on AngelList by experienced seed funders like Gil Penchina, who recently appeared on a Business Journal panel on angel investing.

“It will help syndicates make larger, faster investments in early-stage startups and their follow-on rounds,” AngelList said. “It will also help promising new syndicates make investments while they’re building a backing from individual investors.”

There is already about $205 million invested through these syndicates by 4,400 individuals and Maiden Lane, a $25 million fund formed early last year whose limited partners include Top Tier Capital and Makena.

More than 650 startups have raised money from syndicates, including Shyp, Sprig and Luxe.

But some startups have grown beyond seed stage, which is where the other new tool announced on Monday comes in. AngelList SPVs (an acronym for special purpose vehicles) are designed to help early-stage investors raise money for late-stage startups. The capital for the fund comes from a startups existing limited partners and relationships. But they can also request capital from funds like CSC Upshot.

Ravikant said that the AngelList SPVs are completely private, all online and use AngelList’s back office. He said they have already been used by Accomplice, Slow Ventures and several angels to invest $35 million into 19 companies.

AngelList also on Monday announced a new job hunting app for Apple mobile devices. In addition to connecting founders with investors, AngelList also helps them fill vacant jobs. It has about 49,000 active candidates and 8,100 companies recruiting on its platform.

The new app mimics Tinder, with recruiters and potential job applicants swiping left or right to indicate whether they are interested in each other. AngelList said it already hooks up about 52,000 matches of this sort each month.

Source: Silicon Valley Business Journal, Cromwell Schubarth

Photo: Naval Ravikant grew AngelList into the world’s foremost meeting place for founders and funders. Now he has $400 million in Chinese funding to invest. (Vicki Thompson)

Cromwell Schubarth is TechFlash Editor at the Silicon Valley Business Journal.