Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Alibaba Poised To Write $5 Billion Checks For U.S. Tech Startups

Alibaba’s IPO is set to have a big impact be on U.S. tech M&A deals and future listings from venture-backed China startups on Wall Street.  See Silicon Dragon Talk, Sizing Up Alibaba.
Referred to as the WalMart of China for its heft, the public listing of Alibaba will give it a huge treasure chest to acquire more U.S. tech startups and possibly write $5 billion to $10 billion checks, says venture capitalist Nazar Yasin of Rise Capital. Since 2013, Alibaba has invested in nine U.S. tech startups in deals valued at $968 million, according to investment banker David Williams.
VC Jay Eum of Translink Capital, which has seen three of its portfolio companies (Peel, Tango and Quixey) get acquired by the Chinese e-commerce giant, says he has been “super-impressed” by Alibaba as a strategic investor. He pointed to fairly generous deal teams and alignment with management to mutual benefit as two advantages.
The IPO of Alibaba, predicted to be the biggest in the tech sector, could lead to many more venture-backed Chinese startups to go public on Wall Street. This year, China IPOs have rebounded to 10 after a two-year slump.
See Silicon Dragon Talk, Sizing Up Alibaba.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Sizing Up Alibaba IPO Prospects Against Other Winners


As Alibaba gets ready to go public in the U.S. this September, it’s worth a look at how Internet players from emerging countries have fared in the public markets.
The answer is exceedingly well.  Research from San Francisco-based venture capital firm Rise Capital, which invests in emerging markets, shows that $300 billion in market value has been created in the last five years by e-commerce and media companies from developing nations.
Little surprise, most of those companies are from China. Russia, India and Brazil do factor in though, accounting for nine of the 35 in the top ranks.
Tencent is number one on the list with a market cap of $143 billion, figures dating from June 2014 show. Baidu ranks second at $66 billion. Alibaba rival JD.com is third, with a market cap of $35 billion.
If Alibaba hits the estimates of a $200 billion market capitalization, we’ll have to get out the measuring sticks again. Alibaba, which drawfs Amazon and eBay for merchandise sold through its multiple business and consumer sites, could rank up there among the top 10 U.S. tech firms by market valuation — and also surpass Tencent. Bets are on too, that Alibaba will bypass Facebook as the biggest tech IPO ever in the U.S.

Keep reading: Alibaba prospects
http://www.forbes.com/sites/rebeccafannin/2014/08/14/sizing-up-alibaba-prospects/

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Silicon Dragon Talk Launches from the Valley

Guests at Silicon Dragon Talk:
Hans Tung, Eric Feng, Geoff Yang
We recently launched Silicon Dragon Talk, our new monthly program featuring trends in venture capital and tech innovation globally.

The first program featured three experts discussing Alibaba's IPO, Flipboard's Chinese strategy, and trends in China tech entrepreneurship.

Here is a clip from the first Silicon Dragon Talk show, with guests Hans Tung of GGV Capital, Eric Feng of Flipboard, and Geoff Yang of Redpoint Ventures.

Eric is sporting a special T shirt -- GoLong. It's a reference to VCs strategies of keeping a portfolio investment until it ripens.

Our shows are being recorded at the DingDing.TV studios in Santa Clara, CA. Stay tuned for the next program!

-- Rebecca
  

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Flipkart's $1 Billion In Funding Puts India Startups In The Big Leagues

More proof of India’s rise as one of the Silicon Valleys of the world can certainly be seen in the latest mega venture financing of leading Indian e-commerce startup Flipkart. With $1 billion in new funding, Flipkart joins the big leagues for not only the largest amount raised by an Indian company but among the largest for an e-commerce company globally.
I’ve been writing that this Silicon Tiger nation would catch up to China’s Silicon Dragon, and the evidence keeps piling up. Flipkart raised the sum from Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC, as well as existing investors including Tiger Global Management, Naspers, Accel Partners and Morgan Stanley Investment Management. This latest deal for Flipkart follows a $210 million fund raising this past May and Flipkart’s acquisition of fashion retailing site Myntra, which also is venture backed.
I first covered Flipkart (and also Myntra) in my book Startup Asia, after meeting with the founders — Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal — in Bangalore in 2010.
Keep reading post at Forbes, Flipkart.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Copying China Business Models In The U.S. Catches On As A New Tech Startup Trend - Quite the Reverse!

Globally minded startup teams in the U.S. are beginning to adopt Chinese business models and getting funding from American venture capitalists with China experience. An example of this newly unfolding trend is Curse, Inc., an online gaming media company in Huntsville, Alabama that just raised $10 million from Silicon Valley and Shanghai-based GGV Capital.
This new trend is the reverse of the copy-to-China phenomenon of a nearly a decade ago when look-alike sites of U.S. Internet brands such as Facebook, Google and Amazon sprung up in China and were largely funded by Sand Hill Road venture capitalists. It’s being fed by the globalization of tech trends among entrepreneurs and VCs alike.
Hubert Thieblot, the CEO of the U.S.-based gaming business Curse, doesn’t downplay how he got the idea for his startup’s new communications platform Curse Voice. It was inspired by Chinese startup YY.
Keep reading post at Forbes:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/rebeccafannin/2014/07/08/copying-china-business-models-in-the-u-s-catches-on-as-a-new-tech-startup-trend-quite-the-reverse/

 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

China Tech Innovator With 200 Patents For LEDs Gains $80 Million More To Break Through

Silicon Dragon tours LatticePower lab in Nanchang
A lot of people are skeptical about China’s potential for technology innovation. But one Chinese company I wrote about in my book Silicon Dragon in 2008, and have been tracking since then, has certainly been setting some new standards in cleantech — and ability to raise venture investment.

LatticePower Corp., which grew out of research by physics professor Jiang Fengyi at his Nanchang University lab in China, claims to be the first company to commercially develop high-quality, reliable and affordable LED lighting — a major step in a goal of replacing conventional light bulbs and fixtures with energy-savings LED lights.

The China-based company is no lightweight. It’s filed for more than 200 global patents and attracted financial support from the World Bank and several leading venture capital investors.

LatticePower has been championed by its lead investor, Sonny Wu of Chinese-US venture firm GSR Ventures. He was tipped off to this ground-breaking technology research happening in Nanchang by a senior official of the Chinese government’s Ministry of Information Industry inn 2000, then sent a team there to investigate further and first backed the company in 2005.

Now, fast forward, and LatticePower has just lured in $80 million in financing to ramp up R&D and manufacturing in the U.S., build research teams in Korea and Taiwan, expand production in China, and finance sales growth globally.
Keep reading post at Forbes, China LED innovator.

Forbes link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/rebeccafannin/2014/07/01/china-tech-innovator-with-200-patents-for-leds-gains-80-million-more-to-break-through/

Sunday, June 29, 2014

It's Not All Roses But Thorns Too As Alibaba IPO on NYSE Nears

As Alibaba prepares for its gigantic IPO on NYSE, more concerns over investor risks are popping up. Central to the issues is the corporate structure for Alibaba. Its use of a variable interest entity (VIE), which allows for foreign investment through an offshore holding company, has been under the recent spotlight of Capitol Hill — and Wall Street too. While VIEs have been the accepted way of investing in venture-backed China-based companies listed in the U.S., Chinese courts could strike down its legality in China, which in turn could leave investors with fewer rights. If that all sounds remote, remember what happened with AliPay. The financial business was spun out from Alibaba in 2011 and put under Jack Ma’s control to comply with Chinese regulations — a move that Yahoo YHOO +1.78%, which owns a 22.5% chunk of Alibaba, claims it was surprised by. Corporate governance issues are proving to be a thorn in other ways for the China-based e-commerce company. Keep reading post at Forbes: Alibaba IPO risks Link here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/rebeccafannin/2014/06/27/its-not-all-roses-but-thorns-too-for-alibaba-as-nyse-ipo-nears/