Sequoia increases stake in Chinese PE firm

The China arm of the silicon valley venture firm has upped its investment in Gopher Asset Management, the private equity arm of Chinese wealth management company Noah Holdings.

Sequoia Capital China, the Beijing-based investment arm of the silicon valley venture capital firm, has boosted its holding in Shanghai-based Gopher Asset Management, the private equity arm of New York-listed Chinese wealth manager Noah Holdings.

Sequoia China will invest 348 million yuan ($51.7 million; €47 million) in the company after it initially took an undisclosed stake in the business in March last year.

Gopher invests across telecommunications, media and technology (TMT), healthcare, and internet finance companies. It recently made investments in Shanghai-based co-working space operator Fountown and ticket booking developer Beijing Weiying Technology. Gopher’s assets under management reached 50.4 billion yuan in the second quarter of 2016 across private equity fund of funds, customised fund of funds, credit products, and secondaries funds, it said on its website. It is in the process of deploying 2013-vintage 300 million yuan Gopher S Fund I, according to PEI data.

Sequoia’s investment will be used to “extend Gopher’s product capabilities domestically and globally to better serve the company’s clients”, Sequoia Capital China founding and managing partner Neil Shen said in a statement.

Zhe Yin, Noah co-founder and Gopher chief executive, also added that Sequoia’s expertise in private equity investments will help Gopher expand its presence in Hong Kong and the US.

Sequoia is said to be targeting about $550 million for its Sequoia China Venture Fund VI and about $900 million for Sequoia China Growth Fund IV, according to sources cited by Bloomberg.

Noah Holdings has 101.2 billion yuan under management as of June 2016 and provides wealth management services to high net worth individuals and businesses in China. The company also manages private equity, real estate, and hedge funds. It launched an internet finance platform called Noah Yijie in 2014, which caters to white-collar professional and enterprise clients in China, which has also received an investment from Sequoia Capital China.

Gopher declined to comment and Sequoia could not be reached for further information by press time.