January 2, 2024 [South China Morning Post]- Aramco Ventures, a subsidiary of the world’s largest oil producer Saudi Aramco, will invest 100 million yuan (US$14 million) in Shenzhen Cispoly Bio-Tec, a Chinese developer of diagnostic technology, pledging support for the start-up’s go-global drive.
Aramco Ventures, through its growth fund Prosperity7 Ventures, also known as P7, completed the Series B financing with the company’s early investor, Sunland Fund also taking part in the new fundraising round. The name P7 is derived from “Prosperity Well”, the seventh oil well drilled in Saudi Arabia and the first to strike oil.
“Cispoly’s remarkable achievements in early-stage disease detection exemplify the kind of impactful ventures we aim to champion at Prosperity7 Ventures,” Aysar Tayeb, executive managing director of P7, said in a statement on Wednesday. “We look forward to witness Cispoly’s continued success as they expand their global footprint and enhance women’s health on a broader scale.”
Founded in 2020, Cispoly focuses on early diagnosis of gynaecological tumours and it is also engaging in developing endometrial cancer screening products.
In March, China’s National Medical Products Administration approved the production and marketing of its flagship product, Ciscer. It has also been endorsed in mainland China’s health authorities’ operating guide for cervical cancer treatment.
Liu Pei, founder of Cispoly said in the statement the funding will reinforce the company’s research and development efforts and help Cispoly expand its footprint both at home and abroad.
The start-up has also launched multiple study projects across mainland China. It is seeking to expand into Southeast Asia and Europe through partnerships with top medical institutions in both regions.
The financing follows China’s consolidated economic ties with the Middle East after President Xi Jinping’s visit to Saudi Arabia last December.
An HSBC report released in August, estimated an untapped trade potential of US$178 billion between China and the Middle East and North Africa region by 2027.
Saudi investors are increasing their investments in Chinese technology firms following the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 strategy, a development plan aimed at reducing the country’s reliance on oil and transforming its economy.
“Capital from the Middle East and technologies developed by Chinese firms are a good match, particularly in the electric vehicle (EV) and medical industries,” said a consultant at Shanghai financial advisory firm Integrity. “A large number of similar deals are in the pipeline as China cements its economic relationships with countries like Saudi Arabia.”
In October, Saudi Arabian smart city developer Neom invested US$100 million in Chinese autonomous driving technology start-up Pony.ai to help fund its research and development and to finance its operations reinforcement.
On December 18, Chinese EV builder Nio announced it had raised US$2.2 billion from CYVN Holdings, a fund backed by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.
According to Beijing’s Made in China 2025 industrial strategy, China hopes 70 per cent of mid-tier to high-end medical devices used on the mainland will be Chinese made by 2025 and this proportion will rise to 95 per cent by 2030. Currently, foreign companies including General Electric and Siemens dominate the high-end medical devices market in the country.
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