China debut fund raises $280m

Capital Today, a Shanghai-based growth capital provider, has closed its first private equity fund $80 million above target.

Capital Today, a recently established private equity firm based in Shanghai, has received $280 million in commitments for its first China-focused growth capital and expansion finance vehicle. The fund was launched last year with a $200 million target

Capital Today was founded by Kathy Xu, a former investment professional at Baring Private Equity Partners Asia. Co-leaders of the fund are Wen Bamoa and Alex Yu.

According to a press release, the firm has nine investment professionals in Shanghai, and intends to back entrepreneurs in mainland China who can exploit the formation of a Chinese middle class and are deemed capable of delivering “globally competitive products”.

Investors in the fund include pension funds, endowments, funds of funds, family offices and foundations in the US, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

C.P. Eaton Partners acted as placement agent for the firm. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison provided legal advise. 

The news is confirmation that locally based, independently owned Asian private equity groups are proving increasingly popular with investors. Last year, MBK Capital, a Seoul-based buyout firm founded by native Korean Michael Kim, raised just over $1.5 billion for a North-Asian LBO product. 

Affinity Capital in Hong Kong, which is currently raising its second fund, is another example of a locally grown, independently owned Asian group with growing appeal to the international buy side.