Local leverage

How Lilly Asia Ventures came to invest in U.S. companies

What began as a fund designed to provide Eli Lilly and Co. access to innovation in China has evolved into an independent VC with a focus on innovative Chinese healthcare companies and U.S. biotechs looking to enter the China market.

Eli Lilly was the sole LP in two initial funds of undisclosed size that closed in 2008 and 2011. In 2015 Lilly Asia Ventures added external LPs to close the firm’s third fund at $300 million. With its fourth fund of $450 million, which closed in February, Lilly Asia Ventures now has about $1 billion under management.

Since its launch, Lilly Asia Ventures has for the most part maintained a consistent investment strategy, investing primarily in Chinese companies, with about 70% allocated to

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