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Dear Friends,

With 2020 officially at a close, we'd like to take a moment to express our deepest gratitude for the continued trust, support and collaboration throughout the entire Cathay ecosystem. While the last year brought unforeseen and unprecedented challenges like we've never seen, the demonstration of strength, resilience and innovation was nothing short of incredible.

As a firm, we’ve made big strides towards our goal of unifying the investment landscape across continents - with investors, entrepreneurs and leading Fortune 500 companies - to invest in and support startups positively impacting the world. A mission that has only grown in significance and importance to us in the last year.  
From closing Cathay Innovation Fund II at €650M ($800M), further strengthening our ecosystem with new corporate partners, bringing on our first Chief Impact Officer to the tremendous momentum we've seen in our portfolio companies in all corners of the world - we certainly have much to be thankful for. 

Below you'll find some highlights and milestones from the last year, the latest news and unique Cathay insights including a deep dive into the world of embedded finance and our 2021 predictions for the venture capital & startup industry.

From everyone here at Cathay, wishing you all a very happy and healthy new year!

Cathay Innovation

2020: A Year in Review
Cathay's 2020 Milestones

Cathay Innovation Predictions for the VC & Startup Landscape in 2021

At Cathay, as an investment firm that is truly global in nature, we tapped our teams on the ground across North America, Europe and Asia to dig into the biggest trends they saw in 2020 and what we can expect for the year ahead. 

Denis Barrier outlines his thoughts for 2021 along with major milestones from the last year for Cathay and our portfolio, in his latest post: 2020 Reflections to 2021 Predictions

Check out predictions from the Cathay teams around the world on the blog: Global Investor Roundtable - Cathay Innovation's 2021 Predictions on What's Next for VC & Startups Across North America, Europe and Asia

Cathay Innovation Fund II Final Close at €650M ($800M)

We're pleased to share that we've reached a final close of Cathay Innovation Fund II at €650M ($800M) to continue investing in emerging companies at the center of digital revolution - across North America, Europe and Asia - and backing startups impacting the world!

Read more in Les Echos: Cathay Innovation closes its new € 650 million fund

Cathay Innovation Ranks #40 on the VCJ 50: Venture Capital's Heavy Hitters

Cathay Innovation came in at #40 in Venture Capital Journal's Top 50 VC list, ranking the 50 largest venture fundraisers over the past 5 years. Cathay joins the list just 5 years after its founding in 2015, is 1 of only 6 European firms recognized and is ranked among some of the biggest household names in the venture capital industry around the world. See the full list here: The VCJ 50
Spotlight on Impact

Cathay Reinforces Commitment to ESG by Bringing on Matthieu van der Elst as Chief Impact Officer

Former Michelin Ventures Founder & CEO Matthieu van der Elst joins Cathay as part of an integrated entrepreneurial project aimed at assessing, measuring, consolidating and developing Cathay Capital’s ESG footprint and impact strategy as a firm and in cooperation with its portfolio companies, LPs and corporate partners. 

Read more here: Cathay Capital Welcomes GreenTech Leader Matthieu van der Elst as Chief Impact Officer
Portfolio Updates

ZenBusiness Raises $55M Series B to Make Entrepreneurship Accessible to All

Cathay Innovation led the $55M Series B round for Austin-based ZenBusiness to accelerate the micro business Renaissance in the US and beyond. ZenBusiness is a one-stop-shop for budding entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow successful microbusinesses. During this critical time of economic uncertainty, we see ZenBusiness as a critical platform that will unite the fragmented market for SMB solutions and power a global movement by making entrepreneurship more accessible for everyone.

Read more in TechCrunch: ZenBusiness snags $55M Series B for its incorporation and growth platform for microbusinesses

Go deeper on the Cathay blog: Behind the Term Sheet

Digital Veterinary Clinic FirstVet Launches in US with new $35M Financing Round

Stockholm-based FirstVet, the world's leading digital veterinary clinic raised $35M in a new round of financing led by Mubadala Capital with participation from Cathay Innovation, OMERS Ventures and Creandum. Marking Cathay Innovation's first investment in the Nordics, FirstVet provides pet-owners with on-demand video consultations from local, qualified veterinarians and will be using the new financing to bring its innovative services to the US and beyond.

Read more on Crunchbase News: FirstVet is all paws in for American expansion following $35M round

Go deeper on the Cathay blog: Behind the Term Sheet

Leading Insurtech Startup Coherent Secures $14M Series A

Coherent, a Hong-Kong based insurtech, helps insurance providers go digital. With their services more relevant than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic, the company announced it has raised $14M in a Series A funding round led by Cathay Innovation. The new financing will be put towards growing Coherent's client base in Asia, including insurers who want to add more digital services to their usual sales processes. 

Read more in TechCrunch: Hong Kong insurtech startup Coherent gets $14M Series A led by Cathay Innovation

Go deeper on the Cathay blog: Industry Spotlight - Insurance at the Inflection Point

AI Process Discovery Startup Skan Raises $14M Series A to Transform the Future of Work in the Enterprise

Skan, a San Jose-based AI-powered process discovery and intelligence platform, raised $14M in Series A funding led by Cathay Innovation. Skan, on a mission to revolutionize the future of work within the enterprise, takes a security-first approach to giving large businesses the foundational visibility and transparency needed to launch digital transformation initiatives.

Read more in VentureBeat: Skan raises $14M to automate repeitive business processes with computer vision

Go deeper on the Cathay blog: Behind the Term Sheet

Cathay Insights

TechCrunch: From Startups to Starbucks - the Embedded API Opportunity

Stripe recently made headlines with its entrance into the banking world with Stripe Treasury. The news follows Google's banking and payments announcement along with IPO bound companies such as Airbnb, Doordash, and Affirm all mentioning "financial services" in S-1 filings. What do all of these companies have in common? The subtle, almost unnoticeable, embedding of financial services. Cathay's Simon Wu digs into the world of emerging businesses providing embedded finance building blocks and the opportunities for startups and established brands alike. 

Read on the Cathay blog (reposted from TechCrunch): From startups to Startbucks - the embedded API opportunity

Cathay's Denis Barrier Talks Venture Capital & Corporate Innovation at WebSummit 2020

Cathay Innovation Co-founder and CEO Denis Barrier joined Sony Innovation Fund's Gen Tsuchikawa and Inc. Reporter Minda Zetlin at this years' WebSummit online to discuss the symbiotic relationship between venture capital and corporate innovation. 

Key takeaway: In light of COVID-19 and the rise of remote work, it's never been more critical for corporations to innovate while VC-backed startups can hugely benefit from having the access to industry experts and potential corporate parters. In order to scale innovation with impact -- what's needed is a platform approach that brings together all players on a global scale to work towards our common goal.


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