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35 minutes | Nov 28, 2017
Hutong (Ad)Ventures #10: Xinhua Zhou, SVP Operations @Terminus Technologies, ex-GP @Everbright - Focus Media New Industry Fund
Xinhua Zhou is currently Senior Vice President of Operations at Terminus Technologies, a smart city and internet of things startup backed by China Everbright Group and IDG Capital, amongst others. Prior to Terminus, Xinhua was a General Partner at Everbright-Focus Media New Industry Fund, where she closed investments in portfolio companies such as Yixia Technology which produced popular livestream apps Yizhibo and Miaopai, fintech 米么金服 mi-me.com focused on female consumers, and 寿全斋 Shou Quan Zhai a 250 year old Chinese health products brand. Before entering venture capital industry, Xinhua was at Dianping, China’s top groupbuying company and closed strategic investments in companies such as food delivery platform ele.me and O2O karaoke startup一起唱 Yi Qi Chang. Xinhua completed her MBA at The Wharton Business School and Bachelor degree in Engineering from Shanghai Jiaotong University Key points covered: Journey to from a startup to a VC and then to a startup What do LPs look for when GPs approach them to raise a fund? What type of due diligence does the LP do on the GP? Investment logic behind some of Xinhua’s portfolio companies: Why did she invest in a ~250 year old brand? Transitioning from fund to startup: What are the learnings? Tips for foreign startups looking to enter China market Items mentioned: Xinhua’s previous startup: Dianping (now Meituan Dianping) Case study investment: Shou Quan Zhai Twitter: (at)hutongv, (at)haymarkethq Hutong (Ad)Ventures is a podcast on how to succeed in China featuring top venture capital investors, founders and operators with real China experiences. Hutong (Ad)Ventures is part of Haymarket HQ. Hosted by Jemma Xu.
33 minutes | Oct 31, 2017
Hutong (Ad)Ventures #9: Guy Sivan, Founder @ Vericant
Upon graduating from Columbia University in 2005, Guy moved to Beijing to found his first startup. Since then Guy has been a serial entrepreneur in China and in 2010 sold his third startup’s core technology to a publicly listed company. Guy is currently co-founder and CEO of education company Vericant which helps US schools to better understand their Chinese applicants through on-demand video interviews. Vericant is backed by Shunwei Capital, one of China’s top tier venture capital firms with Xiaomi’s founder Lei Jun as its Founding Partner. Key points covered: Guy’s background and how did he come to start Vericant? University admissions is a competitive niche, how does Vericant differentiate from competitors? Why did Shunwei invest in Vericant? Why did Vericant take capital from Shunwei? What to get out of Board meetings? What are the learnings from managing a distributed team? Items mentioned: Favourite book: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni Most inspiring education company: Vipkid founded by Mi Wenjuan Twitter: (at)hutongv, (at)haymarkethq Hutong (Ad)Ventures is a podcast on how to succeed in China featuring top venture capital investors, founders and operators with real China experiences. Hutong (Ad)Ventures is part of Haymarket HQ. Hosted by Jemma Xu.
38 minutes | Oct 10, 2017
Hutong (Ad)Ventures #8: Michelle Garnaut - Pioneering restaurateur, founder @ M Restaurant Group
Well known by many expats in China, Michelle Garnaut is a pioneering restaurateur and founder of a series of popular upmarket restaurants in Hong Kong and mainland China, including M at the Fringe in Hong Kong, M on the Bund and Glam in Shanghai, and Capital M in Beijing, together forming the M Restaurant Group. Over the years, M Restaurant Group has attracted esteemed guests from all walks of life such as Tim Cook, Rupert Murdoch, Nicole Kidman and Prince Andrew of Great Britain, just to name a few. With a career spanning over 30 years in Mainland China and Hong Kong, Michelle is heavily involved in the local philanthropy and culture scene, such as founding Shanghai International Literary Festival and the Capital Literary Festival in Beijing, serving as the Asia jury president for Cartier Women’s Initiative Award and working with numerous Chinese charities in education, arts and culture. Key points covered: Michelle’s background and her path to becoming a pioneering restaurateur in China Why moving from Hong Kong to Shanghai and why opening on the Bund? Anecdotes on navigating through the issues she encountered as a foreign entrepreneur Learnings from Capital M closing down Team - what to do when teams become broken? How to manage firing staff? Items mentioned: Favourite book: Regeneration Trilogy by Pat Barker; Middlemarch by George Elliot Twitter: (at)hutongv, (at)haymarkethq Hutong (Ad)Ventures is a podcast on how to succeed in China featuring top venture capital investors, founders and operators with real China experiences. Hutong (Ad)Ventures is part of Haymarket HQ. Hosted by Jemma Xu.
30 minutes | Sep 26, 2017
Hutong (Ad)Ventures #7: Simon Henry - Co-founder @Uwai, co-founder @Juwai (exited)
Simon Henry, who, with co-founder Andrew Taylor, recently launched Uwai which is a tourism platform providing digital infrastructure for Chinese tourists to explore and engage with local businesses, governments and corporations. Launched in South Australia only a few weeks ago, Uwai has already onboarded 850 businesses and will be rolling out across tourist destinations globally. Simon and Andrew are probably best known for co-founding Juwai, one of China’s largest global property portals and one of the few trusted brands created by foreigners. They successfully exited Juwai in Dec 2016. Key points covered: Simon’s background and what led to Juwai and Uwai. What was it like to exit Juwai? What are the top 3 learnings from Juwai that have been applied to Uwai? What is the business model for UWai? Content and channels - Different methods of getting to the target consumers for Juwai and Uwai Why launch in Adelaide, not in cities more popular with Chinese tourists? How to build a global team from Day 1? Items mentioned: Favourite book: Platform Revolution by Geoffrey Parker Twitter: (at)hutongv, (at)haymarkethq Hutong (Ad)Ventures is a podcast on how to succeed in China featuring top venture capital investors, founders and operators with real China experiences. Hutong (Ad)Ventures is part of Haymarket HQ. Hosted by Jemma Xu.
34 minutes | Sep 11, 2017
Hutong (Ad)Ventures #6: Gang Lu - Founder and CEO @Technode
Dr. Gang Lu is the founder and CEO of Technode, one of China’s premier tech media companies and also the official partner of TechCrunch in China, covering the latest news on start-ups, venture capital and industry trends in China and Asia. With strong academic background in wireless communications, Gang is very passionate about the Open Web concept and plays very active role in building efficient channels among Asian local markets as well as between Asia web and global industry. Gang obtained an MSc and PhD in wireless communications from the University of Sheffield, U.K. Key points covered: Gang’s background and how did Technode start Current business model: why work with corporates? What are the concerns behind setting up a fund? Monetising or not: difference between China and Western countries. What are the important metrics for a media company like Technode? Why does Technode focus on other metrics too? What difficulties have Technode encountered? In retrospect, what are the different sides to taking investor money? Tips for foreign companies entering China market Items mentioned: Favourite book: The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson Twitter: (at)hutongv, (at)haymarkethq Hutong (Ad)Ventures is a podcast on how to succeed in China featuring top venture capital investors, founders and operators with real China experiences. Hutong (Ad)Ventures is part of Haymarket HQ. Hosted by Jemma Xu.
27 minutes | Aug 28, 2017
Hutong (Ad)Ventures #5: Mike Zhang - Founder and CEO @Walnut co-working space
Mike Zhang is the founder and CEO of Walnut co-working space in Chengdu in southwestern China. Born in China, grew up in Canada, Mike returned to China to found Walnut in 2015, the first co-working brand in Chengdu. Unlike most returnees or expats, Mike’s research took him to start in Chengdu, not the usual Tier 1 cities. A big thanks to Brodie Burns - Williamson from the Australian Consulate Chengdu for suggesting Mike as a good interviewee candidate. Key points covered: Background to Walnut Why choosing Chengdu? Differences between Chengdu and a Tier 1 city. Walnut vs other co-working spaces: differences Thoughts on coworking space vs accelerators/incubators What are some of the interesting startups that have been in Walnut? Are they a reflection of the Chengdu startup scene? As a returnee Chinese, what are the difficulties faced and how to overcome them? Items mentioned: Favourite book: The House of Morgans by Ron Chernow Favourite Chinese investor: Zhang Lei, Hillhouse Capital Twitter: (at)hutongv, (at)haymarkethq Hutong (Ad)Ventures is a podcast on how to succeed in China featuring top venture capital investors, founders and operators with real China experiences. Hutong (Ad)Ventures is part of Haymarket HQ. Hosted by Jemma Xu.
30 minutes | Aug 14, 2017
Hutong (Ad)Ventures #4: Daniel Shi - Founding Partner@23Seed
Daniel Shi is the Founding Partner of Shanghai based VC fund 23Seed. After completing his university degree in Australia, Daniel returned to China to found his own startup before founding 23Seed in 2013 in Shanghai Zhangjiang Tech Park. Investments have included 24Tidy which is a uber for laundry services and Olset, a traveltech company from 500 Startups Batch 7. 23Seed’s own data analysis platform has allowed Daniel and the team to spot trends early and has been the source of some of their most successful investments. Daniel is also a producer and investor in The Next Unicorn, China’s first reality TV show about global startup and innovation. In Episode 3, we interviewed 23Seed’s other partner and Paypal seed investor Peter Davison who shared his insights with us. Key points covered: 1. Background to 23seed 2. Allocation of funding: initial investment vs follow on investment in portfolio companies 3. Thinking process behind dilution vs taking up pro rata in subsequent rounds 4. Main difference between a Western entrepreneur and Chinese entrepreneur and the key characteristics of a Westerner entrepreneur who is doing well in China 5. What can Western investors doing better to have great successes in China 6. Portfolio exits in China: Risks and mitigants 7. How are Chinese investors moving money out of China Items mentioned: Example of Chinese and Western cofounder success: Chenchao Zhuang, Douglas Khoo and Fritz Demopoulos, Qunar Favourite book: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell Favourite company: Toutiao Twitter: (at)hutongv, (at)haymarkethq Hutong (Ad)Ventures is a podcast on how to succeed in China featuring top venture capital investors, founders and operators with real China experiences. Hutong (Ad)Ventures is part of Haymarket HQ. Hosted by Jemma Xu.
31 minutes | Jul 31, 2017
Hutong (Ad)Ventures #3: Peter Davison - Seed Investor Paypal, Founder @Fishburners, Partner@23Seed
Peter Davison, who with no startup or venture capital experience, started a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley in 1998 and went onto have several successes including a seed investment in Paypal in which Peter was a key adviser to Peter Thiel on business and product strategy. Upon returning to Australia, Peter founded, built and sold several highly profitable internet businesses from his home. In 2011, Peter founded Fishburners in Australia, the largest coworking space in the Southern Hemisphere which now also has a presence in China in Shanghai. In 2014, Peter moved to China where he has been active in the Chinese startup and venture capital scene and is now a Partner at Shanghai based VC fund 23Seed. Key points covered: 1. What areas are you investing now in China and why? 2. You have invested mainly in Chinese companies focussed on the 3. Chinese domestic markets, not so much in cross border startups. Why? 4. Growth hacking vs quickly industrialising at scale: what are you seeing in China? 5. Is the current VC model working? 6. How should a new fund look attempt to max returns when investing in China? 7. What is your view on the topic of gender in Chinese startup scene? 8. Most English speaking founders still look to Silicon Valley, not Beijing or Shanghai. Is it a cultural bias? Items mentioned: Favourite book: Outlier by Malcolm Gladwell (also reading philosophy by Hegel) Favourite company: Hai Di Lao Hot Pot Favourite investor/entrepreneur: Zhu Min, founder of Webex and founder of Cybernaut Investment Group Twitter: (at)hutongv, (at)haymarkethq Hutong (Ad)Ventures is a podcast on how to succeed in China featuring top venture capital investors, founders and operators with real China experiences. Hutong (Ad)Ventures is part of Haymarket HQ. Hosted by Jemma Xu.
51 minutes | Jul 16, 2017
Hutong (Ad)Ventures #2: William Bao Bean - Partner @ SOSV, MD Chinaccelerator & MOX
William Bao Bean is a General Partner at SOSV, a US$300m venture capital fund that invests in startups in its accelerators across the world. William is also the Managing Director of SOSV’s Chinaccelerator, China first startup accelerator based in Shanghai and MOX, SOSV’s mobile only accelerator platform SE Asia. Prior to joining SOSV, William was the Managing Director at SingTel Innov8, where he led investments in Yodo1 and Gmobi, among many others. Previously, William was a Partner at Softbank China & India Holdings. William began his career as an equity research analyst, most recently with Deutsche Bank, where he was responsible for Internet and Telecom Equipment across Asia and China technology, media and telecom. In 2005,he was ranked No.1 stock picker in Technology, Media and Telecom, and No.3 overall for Hong Kong/China. Key points covered: 0:00 William’s background and introduction to Chinaccelerator. 4:52: How has the investment thesis differed amongst Softbank China, Singtel and SOSV? 11:00 What are the differences between Chinese consumers and SE Asia consumers? 14:10 How to do social commerce in China? 16:50 Why does SOSV only invest in startups going through its accelerators? 17:40 Chinaccelerator invests in convertible notes. What are differences in convertible note terms between China and the West? 20:10 Have there been any issues working with local Chinese investors and how to resolve them? 25:40 What is a portfolio company that has succeeded and why? 30:24 What are examples of companies or sectors where things did not go well? 32:23 Chinese B2C startups prioritise market share. Is burning cash for market share a necessary first step? How has that changed recently? 36:46: As China market matures, how has SOSV’s investment thesis changed? 45:05: What is the one most absurd investment term William has come across? Items mentioned: SOSV’s China focussed China Accelerator SOSV’s South East Asia’s focussed MOX Accelerator Singtel Innov8 investment: GMobi China Accelerator portfolio company: OCheng China Accelerator portfolio company: The Fashory Favourite book: Lean Startup Favourite Chinese company: Tencent Other books recommended: Only The Paranoid Survive, Innovator’s Dilemma Favourite Chinese investor: Lei Jun (Entrepreneur and Investor), Founder of Xiaomi and Founding Partner Shunwei Capital Chinese phrases mentioned: Shanzhai 山寨: copycats / lookalikes Twitter: (at)hutongv, (at)haymarkethq Hutong (Ad)Ventures is a podcast on how to succeed in China featuring top venture capital investors, founders and operators with real China experiences. Hutong (Ad)Ventures is part of Haymarket HQ. Hosted by Jemma Xu.
27 minutes | Jun 29, 2017
Hutong (Ad)Ventures #1: David Gulasi - Top 3 Foreign Online Influencers in China
David Gulasi is an Australian who has lived in China for nearly 10 years and has become one of China’s top 3 foreign online influencers with over 8 million Chinese followers across various Chinese social platforms. Whilst most foreigners prefer cities like Beijing or Shanghai, David is based in Hohhot in far north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region which borders Mongolia and a bit of Russia. As an online celebrity, David has worked with Chinese and foreign clients such as Volkswagen, Netease, Sony and Chinese dating app Momo just to name a few. David also runs his own successful education company New World Language School in Hohhot, preparing Chinese students for standardised English tests such as the IELTS and TOEFL. Key points covered: 1. How did David go from 58 online followers to 120,000 overnight, then to 8 million followers now? 2. What is the demographics of David’s followers? What content do they like? 3. What are the key characteristics of each social media platform? 4. How do consumers behave differently on each platform? 5. How does David leverage his online follower base for his education business? How does it compare to his competitors? 6. What are the advantages and disadvantages of being based in Hohhot vs Tier 1 cities like Beijing and Shanghai? 7. What is the one tip for companies looking to entering China Items mentioned: Weibo: http://weibo.com/login.php Photos and video sharing: www.meipai.com/en Livestream: https://www.yizhibo.com/ David Gulasi’s Weibo account: weibo.com/n/DavidHohhot David’s favourite book: Sahara by Clive Cussler Chinese phrases mentioned: Laowai 老外: foreigner City name + hua 话: local dialect Baikashui 白开水: boiled water for drinking Meishi'er 没事儿 (and its various Inner Mongolian dialects): No problem; often used to imply 'can be fixed' or 'I've got it' mentality Twitter: (at)hutongv, (at)haymarkethq Hutong (Ad)Ventures is a podcast on how to succeed in China featuring top venture capital investors, founders and operators with real China experiences. Hutong (Ad)Ventures is part of Haymarket HQ. Hosted by Jemma Xu.
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