Sunday, October 18, 2015

Silicon Dragon Knew Them When - Youku Tudou Founders, VCs & Alibaba Too

Gary Wang, Tudou co-founder,
circa 2006
Silicon Dragon photo
It was 2005 in Shanghai at an Elements Fresh Café that I first met Tudou co-founder Gary Wang and his VC investor, Helen Wang, then with GGV Capital. Gary was only beginning to ramp up his online video sharing site with $8.5 million in capital, and was showing me how the site worked.
And it was in 2009 at a Xintiandi restaurant in Shanghai with Eric Li of Chengwei and heard his strategy of funding only potentially big winners in large market sectors that were emerging in China. Chengwei led a $40 million investment in online video site Youku in 2009.
Fast forward: in 2010, Youku went public on the NYSE, in 2011 Tudou listed on NASDAQ, in 2012 Youku acquired Tudou, and in 2014, Alibaba acquired Alibaba and Jack Ma’s Yunfeng Capital invested $1.2 billion for an 18.5% stake in Youku Tudou.
With Alibaba’s bid to purchase the remaining 85.5% of Youku Tudou in an all-cash deal valued at $5.1 billion and take it private  .... continue reading at Forbes.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Silicon Dragon's Startup Nations Tour of Israel and China Begins Soon!

The Israel-China Connection: Two Startup Nations 

Exploring the Growing Links for VC, Tech Innovation, R&D and expansion in two of the most important startup nations in the world.

Silicon Dragon Israel 2015
December 1, 2, 2015: Tel Aviv


Aaron Mankovski
, Managing General Partner, Pitango Venture Capital
Gilad Novik, CTO, Horizons Ventures
Ehud Levy, General Partner, Canaan Partners Israel
Kobi Rozengarten, Managing Partner, JVP
Zvi Shalgo,  Partner, China Synergy Funds
Ilan Maor, Managing Director, Israel, BDO Ziv Haft
Jon Medved, CEO, OurCrowd
Roy Wiesner, CEO, Hutchison-Kinrot
Zohar Gendler, CEO, NGT3
Anya Eldan, GM, Early Stage Companies & Incubators, Office of Chief Scientist
William Bao Bean
, Partner, SOSV / Managing Director, China Accelerator
Danny Shacham, CEO, Nextec Technologies
Sagi Bakshi, General Manager, IronSource
Ziv Tamir, Owner & Acting Managing Director, Zdev Medical Ltd.
Dror Pearl, Cloud & Global Technology Unit Leader, IBM Israel
Oded Salomy, General Manager, Visa Europe Collab Israel
Ariella Grinberg, Innovation Manager, GM Advanced Technical Center
David Tadmor, Co-Chairman & Co-Managing Partner, Tadmor & Co. Yuval Levy & Co.
Howard J. Krongard, former Inspector General, U.S. Department of State, and VC Investor
Ziv Wassercug, Partner, Tadmor & Co. Yuval Levy & Co.
Dan Moram, Co-Author, The Crowdfunding Revolution
Yesha Sivan, Executive Director, The Coller Institute of Venture, Tel Aviv University
Rebecca Fannin, Founder/Editor, Silicon Dragon (MC)

Welcome Reception: Dec. 1, 5:30-8pm
Forum: Dec. 2, 12-6pm
Sponsors: IBM Innovation Center, Tadmor & Co. Yuval Levy & Co., KPMG
VENUE: IBM Innovation Center, IBM Headquarters, 94 Derech Em-Hamoshavot, Kiryat Arie, Petach-Tikva 49527

PROGRAM ADD-ON: week of Nov. 29

Startup Nations Exec Ed Tour

Week-long training and educational program led by Tel Aviv University and Silicon Dragon, Nov. 29-Dec. 5, for senior executives to explore the startup nations of Israel - and China. Program includes Silicon Dragon reception and conference. Registration ends Nov. 5 See program details: Silicon Dragon's Startup Nation.

Contact events@silicondragonventures for more info on Silicon Dragon’s event in Tel Aviv.

Friday, July 17, 2015

July 16, 2015 09:00 ET

Silicon Dragon Rises in Los Angeles: Debuts Conference Spotlighting LA-China Investment and Innovation

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - Jul 16, 2015) - Los Angeles is emerging as a hub for Chinese cross-border investment and innovations, catching up with Silicon Valley.
Assessing China's impact in the West, Silicon Dragon is hosting a well-timed tech innovation and venture capital conference in Los Angeles, July 29-30, at the Pasadena Convention Center. The program explores LA's increasing links to China with talks by leading venture capitalists, tech and entertainment entrepreneurs and executives. The venue is just steps away from Alibaba's new base in Pasadena.
Silicon Dragon's LA program features two keynote speakers from powerful Chinese companies that have recently launched in California: Stella Li, president and CEO of BYD Motors, and J.D. Howard, general manager of LETV. Shenzhen-based BYD is the Warren Buffet-invested electric vehicle maker and Beijing-based LETV is an online streaming service and smartphone maker.
A venture capital panel addresses the boom in startup funding and valuations, and China's rise as a tech leader as Chinese brands go global. Speakers include Jim Robinson of RRE Ventures, backer of many winning U.S. and Chinese startups, and Marc van der Chijs of CrossPacific Capital, co-founder of Chinese video sharing site Tudou.
The conference also features a market sector outlook on mobile payments and chats with founders of LA companies that are profiting by expanding in China -- Elemoon, Broadvision Entertainment and TeleSign.
Expecting to draw 200 participants, the forum brings together leaders from Chinese and American companies, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors and the startup ecosystem for discussions about capitalizing on cross-border Chinese and U.S. business opportunities. Participants will gain insights on how to raise financing and develop strategies to succeed in China.
East West Bank
Nixon Peabody
Grant Thornton
Nihao Pay
Event Partners
Innovate Pasadena
America Innovates
Media Partner
Pasadena Convention Center
300 East Green Street
Pasadena, CA 91101
Registration, Conference Agenda
To register online and to obtain full program details, please visit
About Silicon Dragon
Founded in 2010 by author and journalist Rebecca Fannin, Silicon Dragon is a news, events and research group covering innovation and investment hubs in Silicon Valleys around the world. Known for its series of tech and investment forums in Asia, the U.S. and Europe, Silicon Dragon also publishes the e-newsletter Silicon Dragon News and thought leadership reports.

Contact Information

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Silicon Dragon Eyes LA With Alibaba's Move To Set Up In Pasadena

Alibaba's new digs in
Alibaba's move into Los Angeles by leasing a 22,000 square foot office space in Pasadena’s new Playhouse Plaza signals a bigger opening of cross-border China and southern California business connections. These links are being framed around technology entrepreneurship, venture investment and nearby innovation hubs that seek to make startups more central to the city’s economic base.

This is a catch up for LA compared with its northern neighbor San Francisco. Sand Hill Road venture capitalists have long been bridged with China, and Chinese tech titans Baidu,

Alibaba, Tencent, Fosun and Renren have been setting up bases and making numerous investments in Valley startups over the past few years. But far fewer SoCal venture and tech links with China have existed.

Now a new corridor between LA and China is emerging from Silicon Beach in trendy Santa Monica to San Gabriel Valley’s Pasadena. Famous for hosting the annual Rose Bowl football game and parade, Pasadena is getting on California’s innovation hotspots map with startups from the world-renown Caltech, Idealab, the Art Center College of Design – and soon Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

Silicon Dragon’s forum in LA, July 29-30, will delve into this trend of LA as a gateway city for China investment, with tech talks, venture panels and deal making at the Pasadena Convention Center, just a few blocks from Alibaba’s soon-to-open digs.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Silicon Dragon Dealmakers Face Beijing VC Bubble

Dealmaker panel at Silicon Dragon Beijing 2015
It’s a nerve wracking time for venture capitalists doing deals in China today. Valuations to invest in hot startups that could be the next unicorn have escalated to new heights. Yet no one wants to take a pass on a deal that just might be the next Albaba, Baidu, Tencent or Xiaomi in the world’s second-largest venture market.
The competition is fierce and the pace fast to get in. Yet experienced venture capitalists who have been through up and down cycles of the market before are taking a slightly more measured approach. A panel of venture capitalists at a recent Silicon Dragon event in Beijing said they are trimming the number of deals they’re investing in this year and being more selective about teams and business models they back.
At the same time, these venture capitalists are encouraging entrepreneurs and founders of emerging Chinese companies to take in as much capital as possible now while the boom lasts.
Keep reading at Forbes: Beijing bubble

Alibaba's Jack Ma Doesn't Sound Like a CEO In New York

If it’s true that dreams can change the world, then Jack Ma may be on to something big.
Alibaba’s founder spoke before a packed ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria at the Economic Club of New York, and told of his vision to take China’s e-commerce titan into the next decade, and even the next century as he seeks to fulfill his promise for Alibaba to last 102 years.
Not sounding like the typical American CEO of a major company, Ma wove in references to religion, politics, climate change and social good into his remarks, which were made flawlessly for more than half an hour before an audience of investors and corporate leaders who kept their smartphones clicked off to listen.
Keep reading post at Forbes: Jack Ma in NYC.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Renren's Pivot to Fintech Deals: Hear Joe Chen at Silicon Dragon's Beijing event May 21

The transition underway at Chinese social media company Renren underscores the fast and furious startup scene for China tech innovation and investments. Never before has the momentum been quicker or the impact deeper and wider. See Forbes post: Renren's pivot.
Renren, which started out as the Facebook of China, is pivoting now to the internet finance business and diversifying into more profitable areas with investments in such seemingly far afield areas as logistics (ie the company’s recent investment in a trucking deal).
Chairman and CEO Joe Chen says the company’s first quarter financial results — net revenues down 41 percent from a year ago with an operating loss of $26.5 million – reflect a bottoming out of Renren’s legacy business in online advertising and gaming.
As new social messaging apps such as WeChat have caught on in China, Renren has been busy investing in numerous tech startups, with as much as $500 million venture capital invested in more than 30 deals. More than half, $275 million, have been invested in the fintech space. See prior article at Forbes, Renren’s burst of deals in U.S. tech startups.
One of the more significant of those fintech investments is online lending platform SoFi, which is set to go public this year in what could be a $3.5 billion valuation. Renren has a 25 percent stake in SoFi.
Such moves are being regarded by hedge fund investors as worth watching for the upside potential.
We will learn more about Renren’s future as CEO Joe Chen speaks next Thursday, May 21, at Silicon Dragon’s Beijing event.