Wednesday, November 26, 2014

All It Takes Is 1 Hong Kong Startup To Break Through

Amidst the buzz and energy surrounding Hong Kong’s push to become a hub for tech innovations, startups here are beginning to make waves, pulling in some big financings from venture capitalists and corporate venture investors, scaling up and expanding internationally.
Seeing these startups take off is an encouraging sign for Hong Kong, where young businesses have faced a financing gap to boost their operations and to pursue global ambitions.  While not sizeable rounds compared to the what we’ve been seeing in Silicon Valley or India lately, these recent venture financing in Hong Kong are still quite respectable.
Take the $14 million that innovative lending service WeLab hauled in this year from Sequoia Capital and Li Ka-Shing’s Tom Group. It was the first time that Sequoia Capital, a force behind many successful ventures in mainland China and Silicon Valley, has invested in a Hong Kong startup.
See tech chat video.
Keep reading Forbes post: Hong Kong breakthrough

Hong Kong Startups Get A Reality Check on Silicon Dragon Talk show

With all the recent buzz about the potential for Hong Kong startups to make it, it can be difficult to separate the hype from the reality.
I asked three experts investing in the Asian region and in Silicon Valley — Tytus Michalski of Fresco Capital, Melissa Guzy of Arbor Ventures and Simon Squibb of Nest — to put a microscope on the key trends and let us know what is really going on. See Silicon Dragon Talk: Hong Kong Reality Check.
There wasn’t exactly a consensus on whether Hong Kong entrepreneurs are naturally entrepreneurial, if there is enough startup capital from the right sources, and how much government support is the right amount.
Keep reading Forbes post: Reality Check

Monday, November 24, 2014

Founder of Shanghai Car Rental Service I Met In 2009 Takes His Startup Public on NYSE and Raises $120 Million

It’s interesting to see another of the high-powered Chinese startups I wrote about in Startup Asia  – Shanghai-based eHi Car Rental Services — go public in New York. The leading Chinese car rental service eHi debuted on the NYSE on November 18, raising $120 million, the first IPO to tap into the China economy since Alibaba in September.
I remember meeting the founder and CEO of eHi, Ray Zhang, a classic returnee to China with Silicon Valley entrepreneurial experience and computer science smarts, at his Shanghai office in 2010.  At that time, the operation he founded in 2006 was small but was on an exceptionally fast-growth track, expanding by 200 percent annually but still unprofitable. It still is losing money, by the way, despite taking in loads of venture capital and strategic investment while chasing the growth opportunity in China.
The son of a schoolteacher and scholar on Sino-US relations at the Hoover Institute on the campus of Stanford University, business didn’t seem to be a natural path for Zhang. But then again, how many opportunities come along to be in the driver’s seat on a fast-growth, still largely undeveloped market in the world’s fastest-growing economy? Zhang, an executive MBA graduate from the highly regarded CEBIS in Shanghai, knows eHi’s success depends on precise execution, timing and plenty of financing and strategic deals.
Continue reading post at Forbes: eHi Wheels into Wall Street