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China - From Imitator
To Innovator: A Media Perspective
Meet Our Newest
When asked what it takes to be a partner at Sequoia Capital China, investor Glen Sun responded,
Of course, we all know it takes more than that.
And for many reasons,
Sequoia Capital China wins
the Silicon Dragon VC of the Year Award. Sun, who has helped to steer
Meituan from its start, picked up the award for VC firm.
Sequoia Capital China
has set new standards. With its huge team canvassing China for deals, Sequoia is on just about every hot, up and coming tech company in China. The stellar firm has been in on 14 IPOs in 2018 and hasn't sold shares.
Recently listed Chinese e-commerce service company
Meituan is a good example. Meituan has emerged as a huge and fast-growing but money-losing business. It caters to China's growing middle class and millennials in urban areas who want convenient and high-quality consumer services. Some 357 million people click on Meituan to book restaurants, buy movie tickets, get food deliveries by speedy scooters, make travel bookings and bargain hunt using GroupOn-like discounts for 5.1 million merchants across China. Meituan transactions totaling $52.5 billion during 2017 but it lost money. Competition is mounting from such formidable players as
Alibaba with its recently acquired delivery service
Ele.me, merged with local commerce business
With its cash-burning, high-growth strategy and a falling share price since its $4.2 billion IPO in Hong Kong, how much staying power does
Showing what it's made of,
is sticking by
for the long term, claiming it will live on as one of China's Internet champions.
Sequoia's Motto Matters In China
U.S.-China flows feature in a recent $70 million cross-border investment in cloud communications company Agora.io in Santa Clara and Shanghai. New York hedge fund
, an increasingly active tech investor in cutting-edge startups, led the deal along with
and China investors
founder's VC fund
Tony Zhao, founder and CEO of
Agora, brings China and U.S. experience to his latest startup from roles as former CTO of Chinese social media giant
YY and founding engineer at
Agora has raised a total of $125 million for its platform that provides a way to embed voice chat into the latest craze for livestreaming and video.
China Creation Ventures has led a Series A investment in Fitness Center operator Shape, leveraging a trend in China toward keeping fit.
Lightspeed China Partners has led an initial funding of $7.2 million in Chinese artistic dessert brand PavoMea.
Skype co-founder Geoff Prentice and two co-founders snag $105 million for fintech lending venture Oriente in Southeast Asia.
China-based electrical vehicle startup Leap Motor -- 1 of some 23 in this burgeoning sector -- has lured in $290 million in funding from Shanghai Electric Group and Sequoia Capital China. Consolidation is inevitable in this sector as China surpasses the U.S. as the largest EV market. Currently, the one to beat is Tesla killer NIO.
Lightspeed U.S. leads a $20 million financing of Indian o2o platform (sorry for the lingo) MagicPin. 020 = offline to online, the new retail strategy that's permeated China and going to India.
Singapore startup Hmlet raises $6.5 million from Sequoia India to expand its co-living rental business in Southeast Asia.
Southeast Asian based VC firm Golden Gate Ventures will allocate $18 million toward startups in Malaysia and open an office there -- part of the boom in Southeast Asian tech.
A documentary about the weird world of online streaming celebrities, People's Republic of Desire, is making the rounds with screenings in New York with the China Institute and in Los Angeles with producer Janet Yang and in San Francisco with Elliott Ng of Google. The film from director Hao Wu reveals a lot about Chinese society today: loneliness, money hunger, and mania for livestreaming on mobile. Reviews of the sassy documentary have been terrific.
See LA Times
The phenomenon is moving to the West led by short form videos from TikTok and the entertainment app Musical.ly it just absorbed. Red-hot company ByteDance, the highest-valued unicorn right now, is behind the scenes. Read about TikTok, a Chinese video app brings fun back to social media.
NY Times: TikTok