Beijing-based search engine major Baidu Inc. has set up a 20 billion Yuan ($3 billion) fund to invest in the internet sector, the firm said on Wednesday.
According to Reuters, the fund ‘Baidu Capital’ will focus on mid- and late-stage firms, with individual funding amounts ranging from $50 million to $100 million.
The company announced the setting up of Baidu Capital through its official WeChat mobile messaging account.
Last month, Baidu launched Baidu Venture, a $200 million fund to invest in the fields of artificial intelligence, virtual reality and augmented reality.
Baidu’s rivals in China, Tencent Holdings Ltd and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd have made big investments in Indian startups.
In August, India’s Whatsapp rival Hike raised $175 million led by Tencent, the maker of messaging app WeChat. In the same month VCCircle reported that Tencent is close to investing more than $150 million in India’s payment wallet firm FreeCharge.
FreeCharge’s India rival Paytm and ecommerce firm Snapdeal are investee companies of Jack Ma-led Alibaba.
Baidu, which put $600 million in cab-hailing Uber this year, was rumoured to be planning investments in India too. Reuters previously reported that Baidu was in talks with Indian e-commerce firms Zomato, BookMyShow and BigBasket.
Baidu Capital’s money will come from big insurance funds, securities companies and state-backed investment institutions, the firm said.