Taiwania Capital, the first venture capital investment firm funded by the Taiwanese government, has demonstrated its investing prowess through the successful public listings of five portfolio companies in the U.S. and Taiwan: EirGenix, Inc. (with a market capitalization of US$1.11 billion), Frequency (US$260 million), C4 (US$3.3 billion), Viracta (US$320 million), and AEye (US$1.5 billion). With two investment arms focusing on Tech and BioTech respectively, Taiwania Capital has a combined AUM of US$490 million across four total funds. As a key element of its strategy, Taiwania Capital has successfully helped seven U.S. high-tech startups establish operations in Taiwan, including Arris Composites, a California-based startup to establishing a mass production facility in northern Taiwan.
David Weng, Taiwania Capital CEO and General Partner of the Tech Fund, emphasized that the firm’s accomplishments in its first three years highlight the team’s professional insight and delivering the goal of connecting Taiwan and the world’s innovations through investing. Weng attributes much of Taiwania’s success to supporting portfolio companies with the resources available domestically in Taiwan, one of the world’s most important ICT production and supply chain hubs. Through direct technology implementation or collaboration with Taiwanese suppliers, Taiwania Capital has successfully helped American portfolio companies such as Ambiq Micro, Arris Composites, AEye, DSP Concepts, Landing AI, Oculii Corp., and Pavillion Data Systems penetrate the Taiwanese ecosystem.
Established in August 2017, Taiwania Capital manages four funds to date: Fund I focuses on IoT (US$150M), Fund II focuses on Biotech (US$200M), Fund III focuses on digital medical and medical devices (US$59M), and Fund V focuses on early-stage startups (US$56M), with a total AUM of US$490 million. The firm has recently initiated a fundraising drive seeking to partner with the world’s leading investors to expand the scope of its investments.
Tech Fund General Partners David Weng and Cheng Wu are both seasoned angel investors who have successfully started their own businesses in the U.S. Wu’s entrepreneurial endeavors are of note: leading four of his own companies to successful exits creating a total market value of over US$6.5 billion. Wu was named “Key Industry Player” by the Massachusetts Telecom Council in 2002 and “Top 25 Unsung Heroes of the Internet” by InteractiveWeek Magazine in 2000 due to his professional achievements in the communications and Internet fields. BioTech General Partner Jerome Shen, Ph.D., has more than 30 years of experience in entrepreneurship, investment, and leadership in the biotech sector in the U.S. and Taiwan and is one of the key advocates for creating Taiwan’s biotech ecosystem.
During its three years of managing investments, Taiwania Capital not only has successfully shepherded five companies list to IPOs but has also helped portfolios reach higher valuations during subsequent fundraising. This includes Ambiq Micro (raising US$133M in Series F), Oculii Corp. (raising US$55M in Series B), and Arris Composites (raising US$71M in Series C) in Fund I, as well as Fractyl (raising US$100M in Series F) and Elixiron (raising US$27M in Series A+1) in Fund II.
Taiwania Capital has been a lead investor in several overseas investments, and its rigorous due diligence procedure is recognized by internationally renowned venture capital. At the end of 2018, Taiwania Capital led the Series B fundraising of AEye, partnering with international V.C. firms Hella Ventures, SUBARU-SBI Innovation Fund, LG, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB). AEye listed on the NASDAQ in August under the ticker LIDR. Taiwania Capital has also partnered with Samsung Ventures, NTT DOCOMO Ventures Inc., BMW iVentures, Sony Innovation Fund, Porsche Ventures, and the ARM IoT Fund when investing in other portfolio companies. As for its BioTech portfolio, Taiwania Capital has partnered with aMoon (Israel’s largest biotech fund) to invest in Viracta and partnered with Maverick Capital, M28 Capital, and Population Health Partners to invest Fractyl in series F fundraising which completed a US$100 million in June of this year.
Over the past four years, Taiwania Capital has made remarkable achievements in investment performance. The firm’s current four funds cover startups from seed-stage to the various growth stages. Looking forward, Taiwania Capital plans to accelerate and expand its cooperation with international investors to nurture the broader startups and innovation ecosystem.