Lenovo Startup Fund Has Three IPO Candidates After IDreamsky

Aug 21, 2014 5:37 am ET

(Updates with share price in fifth paragraph.)

Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) -- The Lenovo Group Ltd. startup fund that backed iDreamsky Technology Ltd. through its U.S. initial public offering this month said it has three more candidates that are almost ready for share sales.

LeFund, a $100 million investment fund Lenovo set up in 2010, has so far invested in 30 companies, of which iDreamsky was the first, Dennis Song, the fund’s managing director, said in an Aug. 19 interview in Beijing.

The fund invests in areas including online and mobile games, security and cloud computing, with the goal of helping Lenovo, the world’s largest maker of personal computers, move beyond hardware into Internet services, Song said. The fund, which has seen the returns of 70 fold or more on some investments of $1 million to $2 million, will bring other holdings to market following the iDreamsky IPO that raised about $115.5 million this month, he said.

“We have other very successful investments and return cases that are not yet in the IPO phase but we believe will be later,” Song said. “We have three candidates in the pre-IPO, pending IPO phase.”

Lenovo rose 1.4 percent to HK$11.82 at the close in Hong Kong trading, the second-best performer today on the benchmark Hang Seng Index, which declined 0.7 percent.

While Song declined to identify the candidates, he described some of the fund’s other key holdings.

Facial Recognition

One startup the fund invested in is Face++, a maker of cloud-based facial recognition technology, Song said. It competes with Face.com, which was acquired by Facebook Inc. in 2012. Face++ has a valuation of about $100 million, Song said.

Lenovo has integrated Face++ technology into its videoconference application available in China called “Youyue,” which means Friend Appointment in Chinese. The technology enables facial and expression recognition and can help detect if a user is smiling, crying or laughing and recommend icons for the user automatically, Song said.

Another investment is in Zaker, which makes information sharing software that is now pre-loaded on Lenovo tablets, Song said. Zaker has a valuation of about $70 million after its latest round of fundraising, he said.

The fund has also invested in ShopEx, which makes a software sales platform for independent e-commerce sites. About 70 percent of independent e-commerce sites in China use the software, including Lenovo’s own online shops, Song said.