Artificial intelligence is largely seen as the future of tech emerging as a key market for talent, innovation, and companies, especially in the U.S.
While many overseas AI startups head to the U.S. to set up operations, China is a tougher market to crack, even though it is a hot topic in the world's most populous country.
China-based accelerator firm COMB+ is attempting to change that. The business incubation platform has launched a new $77 million fund aimed at helping promising international AI firms enter China.
The fund, which was announced at Slush in Helsinki this week, will be jointly run by COMB and The Beijing Institute of Collaborative Innovation (BICI). According to TechCrunch more than half of the $77 million target has been raised.
COMB+ CEO Leo Zhu told TechCrunch the fund is backed by government funds, government institutions, private enterprises and big corporate companies, mostly from China.
The fund will be focused on AI startups with a proven business model in their local market who are seeking to make inroads into the Chinese market. The fund plans to help these startups further develop and upgrade their tech to apply it to the Chinese market.
Zhu and COMB+ are particularly big admirers of Finland’s advanced technology and aims to take these advanced technologies to China’s huge market.
In fact, COMB+’s Sino Track accelerator program, which helps early-stage firms grow in China, is based in Helsinki as well as Beijing. Nineteen startups from the Nordic region have already gone through the program.
The fund also hopes to take advantage of the China-Finland government collaboration policies, which include technology cooperation.