APUS Group sets up Rs 300-crore fund for mobile internet innovation projects


China-headquartered global mobile internet company APUS Group today announced setting up of APUS Fund in India, with an initial corpus of Rs 300 crore. The fund will focus on mobile internet innovation projects in the Indian market and will be led by APUS Group along with Northern Light Venture Capital, Redpoint Ventures, Chengwei Ventures LLC, SIG Global and Qiming Venture Partners.


"Potential of India as an emerging market is great and we would like to extend our assistance to the early stage start-ups," said Tao Li, the founder and chief executive of APUS Group. The foundation of APUS Fund will accelerate the development of APUS Group and strengthen our relationship with the country," he said, adding that the company hopes to build a positive ecosystem for mobile Internet industry in India through investments in start-ups.

APUS plans to back start-ups with financial support, user resource, traffic support, marketing promotion and brand building along with financial aid. It will also assist in enhancing market value, seizing development opportunities, and develop localised products and services. In terms of user numbers, by the end of 2014, there were 300 million Internet users and 242 million of them were active ones, according to industry estimates.

Among them, 160 million users surfed Internet through smartphones, making the Internet penetration 23.4 per cent. In the next 2 to 3 years, there will be another 100 million new Internet users and by 2017, the overall number will exceed 500 million, with an Internet penetration of nearly 40 per cent, according to research from APUS.

At the same time in China, Internet users will be 638 million and Internet penetration will be 48.4 per cent. APUS has reportedly invested in IamWire which focuses on venture capital investment and established strategic partnership with many incubators in India. These incubators would also be able to access the corpus of APUS Fund to finance potential Indian projects.

APUS has netted more than 30 million users in India and set up local team for business promotion, strategic cooperation and research. In addition, APUS Fund can also provide support for Indian start-up companies who wish to enter Chinese market through its APUS Global Mobile Internet Incubator in Beijing.

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