ChinaVest Inc. 中国创业投资有限公司
Friday, September 05, 2003
Started in 1980 by Robert Theleen and his wife Jenny Hsui as a finance advisory and investment
service firm in Hong Kong, and in 1981 joined by Patrick Keen, Robert’s co-worker at the First
Dallas Asia Limited which was the Hong Kong banking subsidiary of the First National Bank in
ChinaVest was founded as a private equity fund in 1983.
Its management has 5 partners and one vice president (a Chinese nationality) in charge of China’s
Headquartered in San Francisco with branch offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Taipei.
It is reported that they have US$ 300 million under management (with $100 cash holding). Their
funding was from Ford Foundation, IBM Passion Funds, Bell Atlantic, John Hancock Insurance,
University of California Regents, and ROC Taiwan Fund.
Most deals they invested were between $2 million to $5 million for early-stage companies or $5
million to $15 million for more mature companies.
The areas they have been interested are precision manufacturing, branded consumer services (such as
franchise business), logistics and supply chain solutions including marketing and distribution, and
telecom and information technology, as well as mass media as their new interested area.
It is reported that they have invested in more than 55 companies. Three of them went to public in
NASDAQ, which are AsiaInfo（Asia），Eon Communications（EONC）, a call center telecom
hardware and software company, and Zindart（ZADT）, a manufacturer of plastic and die-cast
collectibles. Two companies were acquired by other public traded companies, and two are Hong
Kong Stock Exchange listed.
Among them, the most successful one is AsiaInfo, an Internet systems integration services and
telecom software developer, in which they invested US$ 7 million in 1997. The company went to
public in NASDAQ on Mar. 3, 2000, and the share closed at $93, rose 287.5% over the IPO price that
was $24 the first day.
They invested in two logistic companies in 2002, one in Shanghai and the other one in Beijing. They
expressed explicitly they are interested in China’s logistic industry because China has become the
manufacture center of the world and logistic is in high demand currently.
On their web site, they only listed 23 portfolio companies: 5 in precision manufacturing, 5 in branded
consumer services including two franchisees: Domino’s Pizza and T.G.I. Friday in Taiwan and China,
3 in logistics and supply chain solution including one of the oldest marketing and distribution
company, and 9 in telecom and information technology.
Among the 23 portfolio companies, 7 are based in China, 7 in Hong Kong, 4 in Taiwan, and 6 in US.
Two companies were reported to be their portfolio companies but are not mentioned on their web site.
They are Portelco Communications (www.portelco.com) and Surfmonkey (www.surfmonkey.com), a
Campbell, California-based Internet technology company offering safe children Internet browser.
They are the oldest venture capital investor focusing in China, and one of the top 50 most active
venture capitalists in Asia selected by Forbes.
ChinaVest I closed 1985
ChinaVest II closed 1988
ChinaVest III closed 1989
ChinaVest IV closed 1993
ChinaVest V closed 1998
ChinaVest VI under consideration
Precision Manufacturing (5)
acquired by Elitegroup (TSE: 2331)
Manufacturer of notebook (Macintosh) computers
Tripled its $3.5 million investment in 2 and half years.
Manufacturer and designer of mobile handsets
Jackin International (SEHK: 0630)
Manufacturer of blank media and CD replication services.
Hong Kong, SAR PRC
SHANGHAI REEFERCO Singamas Refrigerated Container Limited
Manufacturer of refrigerated containers
Zindart Limited (NASDAQ: ZNDT) 鑫 达 公 司
Manufacturer of plastic and die-cast collectibles (includes Corgi Classics and Lledo),
specialty books and packaging.
Hong Kong, SAR PRC; Leicester, England
In 1993, invested in $12 million, and 1998 provided more funding to acquire a
Branded Consumer Services (5)
Prime Credit (Advantage Holdings)
Financial services company providing short term credit
Hong Kong, SAR PRC
Virgin Asia Management 维 珍 （ 亚 洲 ） 、
Incubator of Virgin branded businesses in Asia and Greater China
including businesses of recording, telecom, airline (Virgin Atlantic), hotel, beverage, etc.
Virgin Asia Radio Limited
Manager and operator of Virgin branded FM radio stations in Asia and Greater China
Virgin Group of the U.K. launch a Chinese and an English radio station in Hong Kong
as part of a plan to build a pan-Asian FM radio network. Virgin has agreed to an
alliance with ChinaVest to open stations in Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Singapore, and
Thailand and India. Virgin Radio (Asia) holds 75% of shares and ChinaVest holds the
Franchisee of Domino’s Pizza in Taiwan and China
Taipei, Taiwan, Beijing, PRC
The Taiwan business was opened first, and then the model was moved to China.
Franchisee of TGI Friday’s in Taiwan and Beijing
Taipei, Taiwan; Beijing, PRC
Taiwan’s T.G.I Friday’s was started by Sun Daqiang (宋大强) in 1991, and was sold its
90% of stake to Chinavest in 2002. Mr. Sun still holds less than 10% of shares.
ChinaVest owns 57% of Beijing T.G.I. Friday's Restaurant Co., Ltd..
2002 年 8 月中国创业投资有限公司从孙大强手中收购了其持有的星期五公司股权 。
2003 年，Friday's 一度扩充到 11 家连锁店。2003 年年 4 月、 月间受到了 SARS 严重
冲击，ChinaVest 随将其股权出售给了 Friday's 的美国总部卡尔松集团（Carlson）。
Logistics and Supply Chain Solutions (3)
CV Global Logistics 中创北京环球物流保税有限公司
Distribution and logistics center in Chao Yang Port, Beijing
In 1995 it started by ChinaVest’s subsidiary. ChinaVest holds 80% and a Beijing company
(北京陆港国际物流有限公司) holds the rest 20%.
Tait Asia Limited 德记洋行
Distributor of consumer goods (including Heineken, Evian, St.Dalfour, Volvic, RFSU) in
Hong Kong and China. It was found by James Tait in 1845 in Xiamen China.
Hong Kong, SAR PRC
Tait’s parent company is IIarrisons＆Cros-field and founded in 1867, and has more than
100 years history.
Tait has 10 warehouses, 300+ trucks in China, the largest distribution network in China.
In 1996, ChinaVest invested $5 million.
Chic Logistics 上海熙可储运有限公司
Third party logistics provider in China
Invested in $ 3 million at the end of 2001.
Telecommunications and Information Technology (9)
AsiaInfo (NASDAQ: ASIA) 亚 信
Internet systems integration services and telecom software developer
E. M. Warburg Pincus, Chinavest ($7 m) and Fidelity invested $18 m in Dec. 1997. It went
to public in NASDAQ on Mar. 3, 2000, and the share closed at $93, rose 287.5% over the
IPO price that was $24 at the first day.
Eon Communications (NASDAQ: EONC)
Call center telecom hardware and software
Excel Technology (HKGEM: 8048) 志鸿科技国际控股有限公司(“志鸿科技”)
Enterprise software for financial organizations
Hong Kong, SAR PRC
In March 2000, Cheung Kong (Holdings), United Overseas Bank (新加坡大华银行有限公)
and its managed venture funds and ChinaVest invested. It went to public in Hong Kong
Stock Exchange on June 30, 2000.
Microsoft to Java migration software and consulting services
San Jose, California
In 2002, Stryon merged with Halcyon Software which was a portfolio company of
ChinaVest. Its investors included ChinaVest and H&Q Asia.
DVD authoring consumer software
San Jose, California
In 2000, ChinaVest invested $6 million.
Softswitch telecommunications software developer
First round funding was invested by InveStar Capital and several angles from Silicon Valley
in September 1999. Second round funding was from Vertex, ChinaVest, SI, Intel, and etc in
2001 (US$ 3 m to 7 m).
Robert A. Theleen
Group Chairman, General Partner and Founder
Mr. Theleen co-founded ChinaVest in 1983. He began his career in 1973 with the
First National Bank in Dallas. After serving as General Manager of the Singapore
Branch, he organized in 1977 the bank's Hong Kong merchant banking subsidiary,
First Dallas Asia Limited. In 1980, Mr. Theleen (and his wife) established the Dallas Pacific Group
(predecessor to ChinaVest) to provide corporate finance advisory and investment services in East Asia to
clients from the US and Europe, with a focus on China. Under his direction, ChinaVest's first private equity
fund was launched in 1983. During this period in Hong Kong, he represented US oil company to negotiate
with Chinese company to develop ocean oil projects in South China Sea.
From his early experience with China, he realized the overseas Chinese with US education and experience are
the group of people who can make business success in China.
Mr. Theleen was educated at Duquesne University (B.A. in Philosophy) and John Hopkins University (studied
Political Economics of China) and later received an MBA from the American School of International
Mr. Theleen serves on several corporate boards, including Zindart, NewTone Communications, and Virgin Asia
Management. Mr. Theleen is also active in the wider community: he sits on the Board of Trustees of the Asia
Society; is a contributing member of the Task Force on America's Role in Asia, a Brookings Institute
sponsored group to investigate and propose US policy in Asia for the Bush Administration; and is active with
the Young Presidents Organization and the Hopkins-Nanjing Center.
Patrick L. Keen (Left)
General Partner and Founder
Mr. Keen co-founded ChinaVest in 1983. He began his career at First National Bank in
Dallas in 1973. After serving in Dallas and London, came to Hong Kong in 1978 as Vice
President/Manager of Marketing and Credit in First Dallas Asia Limited, the Hong Kong
merchant banking subsidiary of First National Bank in Dallas. Thereafter, Mr. Keen joined
the Dallas Pacific Group (predecessor to ChinaVest) in 1981 to provide corporate finance
advisory and investment services in East Asia to clients from the US and Europe, with a
focus on China.
Mr. Keen was educated at the University of Texas at Austin, where he received both his BBA and MBA.
Mr. Keen serves on the boards of Tait Asia and Virgin Asia Management.
Jenny Hsui (Theleen’s Wife) 徐珍利
General Partner and Founder
Ms. Jenny Hsui co-founded ChinaVest in 1983. Ms. Hsui started her career as an
entrepreneur having founded and sold a number of companies involved in the
manufacturing and logistics sectors of China. Thereafter, Ms. Hsui co-founded the
Dallas Pacific Group (predecessor to ChinaVest) in 1981 to provide corporate finance
advisory and investment services in East Asia to clients from the US and Europe, with
a focus on China.
Ms. Hsui is a graduate of the University of Singapore and has a postgraduate degree from l'Institut d'Etudes
Ms. Hsui serves on the boards of Beijing Global and Chic Logistics, and previously on the boards of Eon
Communications and Surf Monkey. Ms. Hsui also serves on the Board of Catholic Charities, a non-
denominational non-profit organization dedicated to helping the disadvantaged.
(as of Friday, February 24, 2006)
Chairman and Co-CEO
Mr. Theleen has been a pioneer in China’s venture capital industry. Formerly, he was Chairman, Chief
Executive Officer and a founder of ChinaVest, the oldest American venture capital firm in Greater
China. Founded in 1983, ChinaVest raised over US$300 million from leading American and European
institutions, and invested in industries including light manufacturing, branded services,
telecommunications and information technology. Mr. Theleen is currently a trustee of the Asia
Foundation and serves on the Board of Directors of one of China’s leading state-owned enterprises.
Deputy Chairman and Co-CEO
Mr. Mathai-Davis brings to ChinaVest over 25 years of experience in emerging markets and building
financial institutions in the United States. As a partner at Offitbank for 16 years, he was Chief
Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer and helped to build one of the premiere private banks in
the United States with a total of $23 billion in administered assets. Mr. Mathai-Davis serves on leading
corporate, educational and public policy boards in the United States and in the international
President and Director
Ms. Hsui is one of the most experienced private equity investors in China. With over 20 years of
hands-on business experience in Greater China, she oversaw more than 25 of ChinaVest’s investments
in the People’s Republic of China, and played an integral role in the organization and success of
ChinaVest’s advisory business. Ms. Hsui currently serves on several corporate and non-profit boards in
and outside of China.
William P. Fuller
Vice Chairman and Director
Mr. Fuller joined the board of ChinaVest, Ltd. after a long and distinguished career in international
development efforts. Mr. Fuller was president of The Asia Foundation from 1989 to 2004. In the 1980s
Mr. Fuller served as deputy assistant administrator of USAID in Washington, and as director of USAID
in Indonesia. From 1971 to 1981, Mr. Fuller was with the Ford Foundation in Thailand and Bangladesh.
In earlier years, Mr. Fuller worked as an economist with the World Bank. In addition to serving on the
board of ChinaVest, he serves on the boards of the Bank of the Orient in San Francisco, Orient First in
Hong Kong, and Array Networks in Campbell, California. He is also a member of the Advisory Council
of the Asian Development Bank Institute in Tokyo and is a board member of a number of non-profits
with programs in Asia.
Mr. Fuller received his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D degrees from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from
Edgar M. Masinter
Mr. Masinter brings to ChinaVest a distinguished career in corporate law in the United States. Mr.
Masinter joined ChinaVest from J.P. Morgan Securities, where he was a Managing Director in the
Investment Banking division, Financial Institutions Group. Before bringing his expertise to the financial
services sector, Mr. Masinter spent 38 years at the law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, where he
served as head of the firm’s Corporate and Banking Departments and as Chairman of the firm’s
Senior Managing Director
Mr. Wei brings vast operations expertise and over 20 years’ management experience to ChinaVest. His
professional career includes over eight years at Ascend Communications, one of the fastest-growing
companies in technology history. At Ascend Mr. Wei served in various executive operational roles,
including Vice President of Manufacturing Operations and later as Vice President of Worldwide Sales
Operations, where he managed the growth of sales revenues to a $2 billion run rate. After Ascend
merged with Lucent technologies in a $24.4 billion transaction, the largest technology transaction to
date at the time, Mr. Wei helped to integrate the two companies.
Edward B. Collins (Left)
Mr. Collins joined ChinaVest in 1995. Prior to joining ChinaVest, Mr. Collins was a
partner with McCutchen Doyle Brown & Enersen, a law firm in San Francisco, where
he served as legal counsel for many leading Hong Kong and Taiwan based
corporations and individuals. Mr. Collins began his career at Morgan Guaranty Trust
Company and later served as the Hong Kong representative for Republic National
Bank of Dallas with responsibility for Hong Kong, Taiwan and China.
Mr. Collins is a graduate of Boston University (BA), George Washington University
(MBA) and The American University Washington College of Law (JD).
Mr. Collins serves on the boards of Mediostream and Single Chip Systems, amongst others and also serves on
the Board of Directors of the ROC Taiwan Fund.
Michael Brownrigg (Left)
Mr. Brownrigg joined ChinaVest in 1997. Prior to joining ChinaVest, he served for 12
years in the US Foreign Service, the bulk of which was spent negotiating international
trade agreements in intellectual property, telecommunications, aviation and market
access. From 1988 to 1992, he served at the US Trade Representative's Office in
Washington, DC including tenure as Special Assistant to Ambassador Carla Hills.
Mr. Brownrigg is a graduate of Williams College with degrees in Economics and German.
Mr. Brownrigg serves on the boards of Stryon Software, SCS Systems and is Chairman of the Board of
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Jun Zhao (Left) 副总裁赵军
Vice President and Beijing Representative
Mr. Zhao joined ChinaVest in 2000. Mr. Zhao is responsible for coordinating deal
sourcing and due diligence for ChinaVest's China related investments. He is also
active in the wider community on behalf of ChinaVest.
Mr. Zhao received an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a PhD in Civil
Engineering from the University of Houston. He serves on the Board of Newtone Communications.
ChinaVest (中国创业投资有限公司) 副总裁, 美国工程学博士, 耶鲁大学 MBA, 多年欧美跨国公司管理经
Monique S. H. Lau 刘罗少红 (Left)
Former Partner and COO
Ms. Lau joined ChinaVest in 1997. Prior to joining ChinaVest, Ms. Lau was Group
Head of Corporate Banking at Citibank in Hong Kong, where she oversaw major
financings for numerous leading Hong Kong companies. Ms. Lau's career at Citibank
spanned over 14 years.
Ms. Lau is a graduate of University of Hong Kong with a Bachelor of Social Sciences, majoring in Economics
She serves on the board of Advantage Holdings and works closely with Jackin International and Excel
Felix Wong (Left)
Former Vice President
Mr. Wong joined ChinaVest in 2000. Prior to joining ChinaVest, Mr. Wong served five
years in the capacity of New Business Development in Asia for Universal Studios, during
which time he spearheaded the development of Universal Studios' "Experience-Beijing"
attraction, the first entertainment project to be built in the PRC by a major Hollywood
Mr. Wong has a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors in International Economics with a minor in Chinese
Classical Literature from the University of California at Davis.
1. ChinaVest Company Web Site:
2. ChinaVest Diary: very comprehensive information regarding to ChinaVest.