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