China's venture capital (VC) investment reached a record high in 2018 as a string of big deals led by tech giants drove up market volume, a report showed.
VC investment totalled $70.5 billion last year, surging 52.9 percent year on year, according to the latest quarterly analysis of VC trends by global audit and consultancy firm KPMG.
Overall number of deals in 2018 remained stable at 813, up slightly from 799 in 2017 and China dominated the Asia VC market. The record-high investment was largely due to increasing deal value such as the $14 billion raised by fintech juggernaut Ant Financial.
In China, corporate VC is growing rapidly, and more companies have VC arms and they are actively looking for disruptive technologies that can enhance their core business, according to Philip Ng, partner and head of technology, at KPMG China.
"AI for manufacturing defects detection, IoT sensors to monitor environmental factors, robots for customer interaction -- corporate investors are interested in anything that will enhance the user experience or help them innovate on products and services," he said.
The report expects that industries such as healthcare, life sciences and education, as well as AI and other highly innovative technologies with broad applicability, will continue to attract significant funding in Asia in 2019.