Monday, February 21, 2011

China's Facebook May Be Next Big Tech IPO

Chinese entrepreneur Joe Chen could claim title to the next hot Chinese tech IPO when his Beijing-based social networking brand Renren goes for a $500 million public listing on NASDAQ this spring.

Chen won’t match the stratospheric $63 billion market valuation for Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook. But that’s not taking anything away from Chen. Renren should reach an estimated market cap of $2 billion to $3 billion when investment bankers Morgan Stanley, Credit-Suisse and Deutsche Bank take the startup public – significantly, the first Chinese lookalike brand to go IPO ahead of its American counterpart – putting it on par with two recent China IPO hits, YouTube lookalike Youku and Amazon replica Dangdang.

Read my blog at Forbes for more:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Why India doesn't have a Baidu--and May Not Ever

I remember venture capitalist Sumir Chadha telling me that he had just made his best business decision. That was back in 2006 when he merged his young firm Westbridge Capital Partners with the well-known tech investor Sequoia Capital.

The move certainly did jump-start his career as India’s premier venture capitalist. But now that Chadha and his core team of three partners have split from Sequoia Capital India to focus on investing in public companies, the break-up spells a new era not only for the Goldman Sachs-trained investor but also for venture capital in the subcontinent market.

India does not yet have a Baidu or Alibaba – two of the most successful among dozens of Chinese startups that have gone public. And the odds for India startups to fly high are slimmer now that one of the most experienced venture teams in India is shifting to PIPE (private investment in public equity) deals. Their reasoning? Why do venture when you can invest $10 million like Sequoia did in late 2008 in Nagarjuna Construction Co. and get $23 million in six months. Sequoia Capital India has made at least seven PIPE deals.

Venture deals in India take a much longer runway and only one startup has generated a return that could measure up to China – though the promise still remains. As five remaining managing directors take over at Sequoia Capital India, it’s not going to be business as usual at India’s leading venture firm and its portfolio of 94 tech, consumer, financial, healthcare, energy and outsourcing deals.

Could the same thing happen at Sequoia Capital China? Not too likely. But keep in mind that founding managing partner Neil Shen has trended from venture investments in startups to larger funds for fast-growth emerging companies. He’s also done some PIPE investments – just like the India team under Chadha’s leadership.

My reasoning why it won’t be repeated in China? Investment returns in China startups have far outperformed those in India, and many more young Chinese companies are set to go public this year.

Read more in my blog for Forbes:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

China, India & the Next Silicon Dragon Frontier

Announcing our February 9, 2011 Silicon Dragon event:

China, India & the Next Silicon Dragon Frontier for Startups, Ventures & Fortunes
Bill Draper, Draper International and author, The Startup Game
Bill Tai, Partner, Charles River Ventures
Jake Seid, Managing Director, Lightspeed Venture
Claudia Fan Munce, Managing Director, IBM Venture Capital
Keith Larson, Managing Director, Intel Capital
Ajit Nazre, Partner, Kleiner Perkins
Charles Comey, Partner, Morrison & Foerster
Chris Evdemon, General Manager, Innovation Works

Steven Chan, president, Suntech America with KPMG parnter Maria Walker
MakeMyTrip investor Vispi Daver of Sierra Ventures with NASDAQ Senior VP Bob McCooey

Panels/Networking/Q&A/Cocktail Reception

Rosewood Sand Hill, Menlo Park, CA
February 9, 2011 6-9pm

For those who can't make it to "Sand Hill Road"
Viewers can chat online, query the panelists, and archive the video

Thanks to our event sponsors: KPMG, Wells Fargo, Morrison & Foerster, NASDAQ OMX
Reception host: K&L Gates
Marketing partners: AAMA, Asia Society, CCICE, CSPA, SFEntrepreneur, IVCA
Media sponsor: DingDing.TV
Live webcast courtesy of Intel Capital