SILICON DRAGON NEWS      @SiliconDragon               March 4, 2019         
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Tech Titans of China

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Rebecca Fannin, author of Tech Titans of China - BeFast.TV interview
Tech Titans of China - Author interview

Luckin Coffee is making a run for Starbucks lead in China, and could go public soon

Luckin coffee
Starbucks is facing an upstart challenger in China, Luckin Coffee, that could be going public soon in a chase to win the Chinese market with lower prices, mobile orders, convenient kiosks and ok-tasting brew. The IPO could raise as much as $3 billion, adding to a parade of Chinese startups going public. 
Luckin Coffee is one of those highly entrepreneurial and innovative Chinese companies that has come on strong. The startup launched in October 2017, and has quickly grown to 2,000 locations across 30 China cities, and plans to open 2,500 stores in 2019.  Whether that pace is too fast is yet to be seen. 
Last year, Luckin Coffee raised $400 million in two rounds of financing. The last one, in December, pulled in $200 million at a unicorn-plus valuation of $2 billion from Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, investment banking firm China International Capital Corp. and Joy Capital.
Like other hard-charging Chinese startups, the focus is on growth first, profits next. 
Luckin Coffee is using an on-demand model and data-driven operation that is more like Uber than it is Starbucks. The founder of Luckin used to work at Ucar, a chauffeured car service with a on-demand model similar to Uber. 
Read more at Forbes, Luckin.

VC Issues  
Increased tech and trade issues between the US and China over leadership of the global economy could impact deal making for Sino-US venture capital, and cause it to separate into two geographies.
As these currents flow and build, the Silicon Valley and China dynamic of cross-border investing could be reshaped. Venture investors from these two tech powers are acutely aware of the issues, and are cautious not to shake what has been their livelihood for many years.
China's Silicon Valley owes much of its initial magic to a reliance on the US for a cross-border flow of ideas and capital. A two-way highway has long run between Beijing's Zhonguancun Software Park to Menlo Park's Sand Hill Road. This two-way channel of venture capital has created synergy and sped up startup launches, innovation, and scale across the US and China, and globally. 
If these two venture worlds do grow further apart, then technology innovations will slow. Synergy counts, and it's worked for a long time for many Sino-US venture firms on the front lines. 
Read quotes from cross-border investors David Lam of General Atlantic and Ming Yeh of CSC Upshot on this topic. 
Read more at Forbes: Cross-border currents

Listen to the panel discussion on this topic at  

Pets are in favor in China, and so is e-commerce. 
So why not mix these two trends into a startup?
Lightspeed China and K2VC have invested $1.5 million in pet product seller Chongjia in China.  Just a few weeks ago,  Qiming Venture led a $20 million 3rd round financing of pet product startup PETKIT

Temasek has led a $85 million investment in gene therapy startup Gracell Technologies in Suzhou, China, along with Lilly Asia Ventures.  

ThunderCore has raised $50 million to make a faster, cheaper blockchain portfolio. The funding came from ZhenFund, Pantera and SV Angel

SoftBank Vision Fund, Sequoia India and Tiger Global have invested $60 million into Grofers, an Indian online grocery story. 

ZhenFund has raised a new fund, Fund V, with $190 million in capital. This brings the angel investor firm to more than $1 billion in capital under management. 

Limiting Your Digital Footprints in a Surveillance State

Paul Mozur, a New York Times technology reporter in Shanghai, leaves just an "innocent trace" of digital exhaust.
Read the interview here: Footprint