China's APUS Group sets up $45M fund for Indian startups

Chinese mobile internet firm APUS Group said on Friday it has floated a fund in India with an initial corpus of Rs 300 crore (about $45 million) to invest in startups.

The APUS Fund will focus on startups working on mobile internet innovation projects, it said in a statement.

APUS is an Android application development company and makes apps such as Apus Launcher, Apus Boost and Apus Search. It was founded in 2014 by Tao Li, a former vice president at Chinese internet security firm Qihoo 360.

Earlier this year, the company had raised $100 million in a Series B round of funding led by Chengwei Capital, SIG and Qiming Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors Redpoint Ventures and Northern Light Venture. Previously, it had raised $16 million in 2014.

Tao said that the fund would invest in early-stage ventures.

The fund will also help Indian startups planning to enter the Chinese market through its APUS Global Mobile Internet Incubator in Beijing. APUS will help these companies register, provide office space and accommodation, and offer legal support.

In August, APUS Group invested an undisclosed amount in Gurgaon-based Growthword Digital Pvt Ltd, which operates digital media platform iamWire.