WEDC negotiates capital fund with Chinese investment firm
Who needs the Wisconsin Legislature to create a venture capital fund? According to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is negotiating with the Chinese investment firm PiYi Investment Management to create a fund of at least $100 million that would invest in Wisconsin companies.
While another attempt is being made to pass a venture capital bill in the Legislature, the Walker administration has been frustrated in its attempts to create a venture fund of similar size through the legislative process. The Governor was noncommittal about a joint fund with PiYi, but a company official told the Journal Sentinel that both the state and the firm would put money in a different fund over time.
Jay Riskind, managing director for global projects for PiYi, said the Beijing-based firm expects to invest at least $100 million in the fund. He called Wisconsin “a very opportunistic market” because there is not enough capital for growth-stage companies.
A group representing PiYi is visiting Madison and Milwaukee and has expressed interest in 18 companies, including Xela Innovations in Milwaukee, Delta Hawk Engines of Racine, and Traffic Cast, Intuitive Biosciences, and AquaMost in Madison.