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Merck KGaA sets up 100M-Chinese yuan seed fund to invest in China startups

Merck KGaA started a seed fund worth 100 million Chinese yuan to invest in startups in China.

The seed fund is part of the company's €300 million strategic venture arm M Ventures, which intends to invest in early-stage healthcare and life science-related companies in China with individual investments ranging from €500,000 to €1 million.

The seed fund will be jointly managed by M Ventures and Merck China innovation hub, the company said in a news release.

The Darmstadt, Germany-based drugmaker inaugurated an innovation hub in Shanghai and plans to open a second hub in the southeastern Chinese city of Guangzhou in November. The 1,000-square meter Shanghai hub was set up in February 2018, and six startups from China and other Asian countries have joined in the first phase of the Merck Accelerator program in the country.

Merck also has two manufacturing sites in Nantong, China, with a total investment of €250 million. The company has about 4,000 employees in the country.

As of Oct. 18, US$1 was equivalent to 7.08 Chinese yuan.