Baidu Announces $3 Billion Fund For Developed Startups

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The Chinese Internet company Baidu is perhaps best described as the Asian equivalent of Google. Originally founded as a search engine firm, Baidu has grown tremendously over the years and is currently investing in pretty much every branch of the tech industry. Of course, the fact that Google and all of its service are banned in China also helped Baidu to consolidate itself as the top Internet company in the country but that’s more of a happy coincidence. Regardless, the Beijing-based firm has been doing a lot of good giving back to the economy and is trying to drive growth in pretty much every aspect of the industry. Like any other gigantic company, Baidu is well-aware of the fact that sitting on top of a huge pile of cash reserves usually isn’t the smartest thing to do when you can use those liquid assets to potentially make even more money.

Today, that line of thinking manifested itself in the form of an announcement of Baidu Capital, a 20 billion yuan investment fund for developed startups in the IT industry. That number approximately amounts to $3 billion dollars and will be distributed among 30 to 60 Internet companies in China, Baidu revealed. This is the second investment fund that the Beijing-based tech giant announced in just over a month. This September, the company also introduced a $200 million fund for artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and virtual reality startups in China called Baidu Venture. It’s worth noting that a lot of industry experts are claiming that AI, AR, and VR are currently the easiest means of increasing revenue and driving growth in the Chinese tech industry as mobile, advertising, and Internet search markets are becoming saturated. While Baidu Venture is specifically designated for those three branches of the industry, the $3 billion fund that the company just announced will seemingly also invest in these technologies, provided they’re being developed by maturing startups which have practically hit the ceiling of what they can do without raising additional funding.

Funds distributed by Baidu Capital won’t be originating solely from the Chinese tech giant as the company has managed to win some major insurance and securities funds to its cause. All in all, this is yet another step in Baidu’s plan to diversify its portfolio and increase its revenue which is still pretty reliant on its advertising business.