From Bezos to Walton, Big Investors Back Fund for ‘Flyover’ Start-Ups
The New York Times, December 4, 2017

When Steve Case, the billionaire co-founder of AOL, first met J. D. Vance, author of “Hillbilly Elegy,” the best-selling book about the industrial decline of the Midwest, Mr. Case told him, “I really love the book but there is a part of it I don’t love.” Mr. Vance listened patiently. “It helped frame the problem but it didn’t really offer up a solution,” Mr. Case told him. “Well, it is interesting you say that,” Mr. Vance replied, “because that’s really what my next chapter is going to be.”

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New Portfolio Company: mPharma
Quartz Media, November 23, 2017

MPharma manages prescription drug inventory for pharmacies and their suppliers in four African countries. It provides inventory financing to clients and is using its growing purchasing power to help lower the cost of prescription drugs for patients.

The scale of its ambition to disrupt such a significant sector has attracted a bevy of major international investors for its recent Series A funding round, amounting to $6.6 million announced today.

The most recent round was led by Shravin Bharti Mittal, who runs a fund for India’s Bharti Mittal family, best known in Africa for its mobile operator Airtel. Silicon Valley venture capital firm Social Capital and local VCs Golden Palm Investments and 4DX Ventures, also joined the round. In addition, the company got backing from several new family office investors from Senegal, Kenya, and Turkey.

Early Facebook investor Jim Breyer is also investing and joining the board as an observer. It’s Breyer’s first investment in the Africa tech ecosystem.

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‘Astounding’ AI opportunities in China: Jim Breyer, November 8, 2017

Jim Breyer, founder of Breyer Capital, and Dana Settle, co-founder and partner at Greycroft, discuss the growth of artificial intelligence in China.

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China and US AI rivalry like space race of the 1950s, Jim Breyer says, November 8, 2017

China and the U.S.’ competition for dominance in artificial intelligence (AI) “does seem a little like the space race of the ’50s,” a leading technology venture capitalist said Wednesday. Jim Breyer, founder of Breyer Capital, spoke to CNBC at Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal. “You have two remarkable, large, innovative countries, hiring, promoting – in many cases the best AI talent. And that leads to many opportunities for entrepreneurs,” he said. “It is astounding what we’re seeing in terms of AI technology being applied to large verticals in China.” “If there is an opportunity for many European entrepreneurs, U.S.-based entrepreneurs, to start to tap in … (to China) that’s a way to double or triple the business plan metrics within 12-18 months,” he added. But ultimately, Breyer said: “I don’t think they’ll be number one, because I think there’s still a level of genius and creativity in Silicon Valley that persists and will always persist.”

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Famed VC Jim Breyer on finding the next Mark Zuckerberg (and much more)
TechCrunch, November 8, 2017

Yesterday, at the Web Summit conference in Lisbon, we caught up with Jim Breyer, renowned in Silicon Valley thanks to a decades-long track record of smart bets, most notably in Facebook. Breyer was the managing partner at Accel Partners, which invested $12.7 million in Facebook in 2005 when the company was priced around $100 million; that bet proved to be among the most lucrative in the history of the venture business, returning many billions of dollars to Accel’s investors after the company went public in 2012. In 2013, Breyer segued out of the firm, opening up his own family office, called Breyer Capital, where he has continued to make bold bets. Breyer has also partnered over the years with the Chinese firm IDG Capital Partners, which formerly collaborated with Accel Partners and where Breyer Capital has since become an anchor investor in a series of funds that now manage more than $4 billion.

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Opening up of China means win-win cooperation for world: President Xi
Xinhua, October 31, 2017

President Xi Jinping said Monday that China is a contributor to economic globalization and its opening up is a win-win outcome for China and the world. Xi’s comment came while meeting with an advisory board of Tsinghua University school of economics and management, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Xi said the 19th Communist Party of China (CPC) National Congress is of great significance, and has enhanced China’s confidence on the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. China is pushing forward comprehensive reform with unprecedented determination and efforts and will continue to boost reform and development through opening up, Xi said.

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