Northern Light Venture Capital, a China focused venture capital firm led by Chinese entrepreneurs who founded major publicly held US technology companies, announced that it has commenced operations from its office in Beijing's Zhongguancun area.
Northern Light is led by general partners Feng Deng and Yan Ke, both former senior executives at Juniper Networks and founders of Netscreen, an IT security firm that they grew from a start-up into a dominant market leader.
Northern Light brings a world-class VC investment philosophy to China and an approach of working in partnership with local entrepreneurs to help them quickly scale China-based emerging businesses to address both Chinese and worldwide IT market needs.
Northern Light also announced that Greylock Partners and New Enterprise Associates (NEA) will provide ongoing advisory and operational support to the firm, and will be limited partners in Northern Light's initial fund, which is fully subscribed and expected to close in the coming weeks.
In addition, Greylock's Aneel Bhusri and NEA's Scott Sandell have joined Northern Light's advisory board.
Northern Light says it is unique among Chinese venture capital firms in the depth of operational expertise of its staff, and its team's track record in growing scalable businesses that address worldwide market needs.
Northern Light's team is comprised of China natives educated at top universities in both China and the US with strong ties to the entrepreneurial communities in Silicon Valley and China. In addition to Feng Deng and Yan Ke, the Northern Light team includes venture partner Datong Chen, who founded Spreadtrum Communications and Omnivision Technologies, and venture partner Victor Tsao, who was formerly founder and CEO of Linksys and a senior executive at Cisco Systems. Victor Tsao, Feng Deng and Yan Ke each won the prestigious Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award on separate occasions.
The team's hands-on operational expertise and emphasis on working collaboratively with entrepreneurs will allow their portfolio companies to more quickly tap into expansive market opportunities for their innovations. Northern Light also plans to hire a third general partner in the coming months with complementary skills.
"Exceptional opportunities exist in China for those with the vision to leverage key growth here to scale beyond the China market," said Feng Deng, general partner at Northern Light. "NEA and Greylock are top-tier VC firms whose China strategies and hands-on philosophies are the perfect complement to our own approach. We look forward to their support and strategic insights."
"Northern Light and Greylock share the philosophy of actively supporting our entrepreneurs, and the belief that market giants can be grown from start-ups with a great idea and the right backing," said Aneel Bhusri, managing partner at Greylock Partners. "Greylock has already invested in China directly, and in concert with Northern Light's team we have identified many other high-quality opportunities. We are eager to work more fully together to help grow tomorrow's market-leading companies. "
"China is an exciting market with a large pool of highly talented entrepreneurs, which is what attracted NEA to make its first investment in China more than three years ago. NEA has already invested almost $200M in Chinese start-ups, including two that have gone public in the US — SMIC (NYSE), and Actions Semiconductor (NASDAQ)," said Scott Sandell, general partner at NEA. "We have known the Northern Light general partners for quite some time and have been impressed with their true partnership and teamwork principles. We are eager to work with them to cultivate the next generation of leading companies based in China."