Bpifrance, the public investment bank of France, is the international leader for government venture capital firms backing technology companies, City AM wrote yesterday citing a report from research firm CB Insights.
Bpifrance currently has 300 startups in its portfolio and has $27bn under management. It has backed the most technology companies over the past seven years.
Antoine Boulay, the chief external relations officer from Bpifrance, said the organisation credits long-term policy decisions taken by the government in the 1990s to attract venture capital and the country’s existing strengths in biotech and medicine for its continued success.
Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, a French public financial institution, meanwhile took fifth place in the ranking. It owns a 40% stake in Bpifrance, but does not tend to back the same businesses.
Temasek, the investment arm of Singapore’s Ministry of Finance, came in second place, while GIC, the investment unit of Singapore Investment Corporation, rounded off the top three.
Kazanah Nasional, Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, ended up in fourth place, with other top investors including the Kuwait Investment Authority, Qatar Investment Authority and Public Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth funds of Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, respectively.
Overall, the amount of deals conducted in 2016 doubled from the previous year and increased by $8.5bn. Ant Financial, the financial services affiliate of e-commerce group Alibaba, scored the largest transaction with a $4.5bn series B round that featured sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp (CIC) in April.