Intel doubles down on China

Intel Capital last week set up its second fund to invest in Chinese technology startups in the areas of cleantech, wireless broadband, technology, media and telecom. The $500 million fund, called Intel Capital China Technology II, has already invested in two companies: Holdfast Online Technology Co. Ltd., which hosts third-party operator LAN-based or console games, and Newauto Video Technology Inc., which makes video equipment and does systems integration for TV stations across China.

Intel’s first China fund, a $200 million fund launched in 2005, has been fully committed to more than 28 companies, according to Intel. The company says the first fund has had at least three “notable liquidity events” for portfolio companies Actions Semiconductor Co. Ltd. (Nasdaq: ACTS), Kingsoft Corp. (HK: 3888) and Neusoft Group Ltd., although it offered no details with regard to return on investment.

Actions Semiconductor raised about $96 million in September 2005 from Intel Capital, New Enterprise Associates, GIC Special Investments Pte. Ltd., N-Venture Investment Partnership 6, RimAsia Capital Partners and Northern Light Venture Fund. The company went public on Nasdaq for $8 a share in November 2005. As of last Wednesday, its shares were trading for less than $3.25.

Kingsoft raised $72 million from Intel Capital, GIC Special Investments and New Horizons Venture Capital in August 2006. It went public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange for $3.60 per share on Oct. 8, 2007, in an offering that was “99 times over-subscribed,” according to an Intel press release at the time. The stock closed at $2.50 on April 4, giving Kingsoft a market cap of $3.27 billion, according to MarketWatch.

Neusoft raised $40 million from Intel Capital in September 2006. PE Week sought details from Intel Capital about how it saw a liquidity event from its Neusoft investment, but Intel was unable to respond by press time last Thursday. —Lawrence Aragon