Technopreneurship and the Early Stage Ecosystem in China 2011
Technopreneurship and theEarly Stage Ecosystem in China<br />Chris Evdemon (易可睿)<br />General Manager – Incubation Programs, Innovation Works<br />Principal, Innovation Works Development Fund (IWDF)<br />Director, Business Angels Network South-East Asia (BANSEA)<br />Founding Member, China Business Angels Network (CBAN)<br />April 2011<br />1<br />
What does a start-up entrepreneur need?<br />An early stage<br />Ecosystem<br />Market … A big enough market with major growth opportunities.<br />Entrepreneurship … Talent, drive, skills and ideas – all widely available.<br />Incubation … Real ‘turnkey’ services for start-ups.<br />Early Stage Investors… A community of angel investors and early stage VCs.<br />Innovation … A culture of innovation.<br />Ecosystem<br />
Chinese Economy: a unique and amazing story<br />From any current perspective, China has an awe-inspiring future ahead of it.<br />In the next 2 decades it will surpass the U.S., attaining an economic dimension unparalleled in history.<br />Growth will be based on its massive new and richer generation of Chinese, emerging from the country’s ever-growing urban areas.<br />Unlike Japan, China is likely to fulfill its enormous expectations.<br />Macro<br />
A strong middle class has been emerging …<br />Macro<br />
Retail sales (i.e. consumerism) are booming …<br />… in the midst of the financial crisis!<br />Macro<br />
<ul><li> Most traditional consumers are still predominantly price sensitiveand initially have a sense of mistrust for anything new.
Most consumers do not care about brands, although more and more people are starting to have brand awareness.
The consumer market is still very fragmentedfor most product / service categories.
Top tier cities (e.g. Beijing, Shanghai, etc.) are already becoming expensive and very competitive. The ‘new’ potential is in 2nd and 3rd tier cities.
Emerging middle class has only just started to pay attention to lifestyle, such as e.g. diet, fitness, beauty, travelling, etc.
Women have recently started to buy accessories, cosmetics, fancy lingerie, etc. in order to enhance their sense of well-being and self-respect.
“Newly rich” social class phenomena.</li></ul>But there is a unique set of challenges …<br />Macro<br />*<br />
<ul><li>Market research and other statistical information is usually unreliable …</li></ul> … “there are lies, damned lies and Chinese statistics!”*<br />But there is a unique set of challenges …<br />Macro<br />* Quote from a foreigner-facing tech blog.<br />*<br />
China’s New Digital Generation – a social phenomenon<br />“One Child Policy” (80后 and 90后 generations), today in the age range of 12 - 31 years, are ‘obsessed’ with the internet, extremely curious but still somewhat suspicious of most online content. <br />Beneficiaries of the “Reform” and opening up policies, today in the age range of 32-41 years of age, easily grasp the opportunities provided by the internet and enjoy its diversity. <br />The age range of 41+ years old typically do not adapt to digital services easily and usually just use simple mobile voice services, SMS and some news services. <br />In China, there are not many alternatives for affordable entertainment.<br />The media / music / cinema industries are still in their infancy and tightly controlled.<br />Internet is thus filling a gap. <br />A distinct Chinese Internet pop culture has been on the rise and is very influential.<br />Macro<br />
Sina<br />$5.63B<br />Sohu<br />$3.18B<br />NetEase<br />$5.87B<br />Tencent<br />$50.08B<br />Baidu<br />$42.60B<br />Shanda<br />$1.98B<br />Giant<br />$1.71B<br />Perfect World<br />$1.12B<br />Mobile + E-Commerce:Catalysts for the third wave of the Chinese Internet<br />Web portals in late 1990’s created the first boom.<br />Technology companies Baidu, Tencent, Shanda rose from the ashes of dot-com bust.<br />2nd Wave<br />We anticipate an explosive third wave propelled by Mobile Internet, E-commerce, Online Gaming and Cloud Computing.<br />1st Wave<br />3rd Wave<br />Valuation of Listed Companies (as of March 16th, 2011)<br />Mature Market<br />Major Opportunities<br />MOBILE INTERNET<br />E-COMMERCE<br />ONLINE GAMING (casual, mobile, social)<br />CLOUD COMPUTING<br />Internet<br />
Challenges of multinational giants:<br /><ul><li>Too short-term profit focused;
No willingness to tailor for China.</li></ul>Lucrative space reserved only for locals!<br />+<br />+ <br />= $150B <br />History of troubled multinational giants:<br /><ul><li>Yahoo: entry in 1999, 3721 acquisition in 2003 (40% market share), now 0.5% share
eBay: entry in 2003, Eachnet acquisition (nearly 100% market share), “sold” <5% domestic business in 2006
MSN: entry in 2004, distant #2 (~10% share) in instant messaging, not in top 5 in portal & search
AOL: JV with Lenovo in 2001, FM 365 portal, shut down in 2004, entered again in 2008 & shut down in 2009
Amazon: entry in 2005 by acquiring #2 player Joyo, which has been unprofitable and losing share
Myspace: entry in 2006 as local company with minority ownership by News Corp. Going nowhere.
Amazing stories of Chinese Internet madness …<br />Tencentvs. Qihoo 360<br />vs. Kaixin.com<br />Kaixin001.com<br />Internet<br />
Differences in User Demographics<br />Average age: U.S. 42<br />Average age: China 25<br />% new users each year: China 25%, U.S. 3%<br />Internet<br />
Usage Differences between China & U.S.<br />Different Usage of Internet between China & U.S. in 2003<br />Different Usage of Internet between China & U.S. in 2010<br />Internet<br />Data Source: CNNIC, iResearch and www.pewinternet.org<br />
How is the Chinese Internet different?<br />Entertainment centric and content-heavy<br />Music is nearly all unlicensed<br />Video is heavily (but not richly) monetized<br />P2P is extremely popular<br />SNS transition from copycat to localized<br />Blogging rate is much higher than U.S.<br />Mobile will be the explosive growth-catalyst<br />E-commerce is ready to shift from C2C to B2C<br />Gaming MMORPG flat, casual / social growing<br />Cloud computing will create a software industry<br />Chinese Users<br />American Users<br />10 sec. spent on result page<br />30-60 sec. spent on result page<br />Internet<br />
Internet Cafés are like “gaming arcades” …<br />Internet<br />
Internet Cafés of all sorts …<br />“decadence café”<br />“rural classroom”<br />“favorite date”<br />Internet<br />
Limited traditional media =reliance on the Internet<br />VS<br />Internet<br />
News<br />Blog<br />Portals blend blog & news to increase coverage …<br />Internet<br />
The Chinese Internet phenomena …<br />Curious users hungry to explore (less goal-oriented).<br />Entertainment-centric & information-overloaded.<br />Users eager to have a voice for self-expression.<br />Internet is creating best sellers, cultural icons, and brands.<br />No up-front payments; pay-per-use and ad-supported-piracy.<br />“Do-it-all” Tencentand lack of anti-trust anger competitors.<br />MMORPG: virtual fame and glory can be bought.<br />90后: a lonely generation with less social development.<br />Internet amplifies “angry young” and their nationalism.<br />Sichuan earthquake awakened sense of social responsibility.<br />Self-righteous citizens providing check and balance.<br />Weibo: exposing corruption, enabling civilian ‘paparazzi’.<br />Internet<br />
“Internet is like a mirror” …<br />“The internet is like a mirror, reflecting our society. If we do not like what we see in that mirror the problem is not to fix the mirror, we have to fix society.” Vint Cerf <br />Internet<br />
E-Commerce obstacles overcome by Chinese ingenuity!<br />Solutions<br />Problems<br />Escrow Payment<br />Very Few Credit Cards<br />Bicycle Delivery<br />Lack of Trust<br />Cash on Delivery<br />E-Commerce<br />
E-Commerce Emergence in China<br />In 2009, China E-Commerce Market was US$36 billion (grew 107% from 2008). <br />It doubled again in the 1st semester of 2010! <br />E-Commerce development<br /><ul><li>Payment has been solved via escrow, COD
E-commerce makes advertising more valuable</li></ul>E-Commerce<br />
User<br />Pre-purchase search<br />Decision influence<br />Shopping<br />Payment<br />Logistics & Service<br />1<br />2<br />3<br />4<br />5<br />Platform<br />6<br />China E-Commerce Analysis & Opportunities<br />Billion-dollar companies will emerge from in 3, 4, 5; however, low-margin & transaction-oriented.<br />Bank, carrier, escrow<br />Customer Service<br />Microblog& communities<br />Productsearch, yelp<br />B2B/B2C/C2C<br />1, 2, 6 best shows strength of Internet above and most suitable for technology e-commerce companies.<br />B2C companies need tools & platforms to build site & acquire customers (enabling traditional players).<br />Higher-margin opportunities may emerge in social/entertainment shopping & new Internet brands.<br />Value proposition needs to be clear:<br />Amazon: 1-6 360buy: 3, 4, 5<br />Dianping: 1, 2 Taobao: 3, 4, 6<br />SNS and crowd-sourcing sites that are not copiable but monetizable, as advertising value increases.<br />O2O (online to offline) model is a good fit for China, though just copying from US won’t work.<br />SaaS, cloud<br />E-Commerce<br />
Mobile Internet Opportunities<br />3G deployed<br />300 million users & growing<br />Monopoly 3 carriers<br />300M<br /><ul><li>CMCC (TDS-CDMA)
CT (CDMA2000)</li></ul>200M<br />100M<br />2007<br />2008<br />2010<br />2009<br />2006<br />Opportunities & Challenges<br /><ul><li>Carriers are betting on Mobile Internet due to ARPU pressure and competition.
Ecosystem needs devices, bandwidth, applications to create a virtuous cycle.
Yet users are younger (75% of Mobile Internet users are 27 or under) and not rich;
Apps should focus on entertainment (killing time) not productivity (saving time).</li></ul>Mobile<br />
Mobile Internetrevealing evolving digital divide …<br />Aspiring young white collar, students<br />Hi-endwhite collar<br />3-Low Users：blue collar, military, migrant workers<br />Rely 100% on Phone<br />No Internet Knowledge<br />Phone = Cheap Entertainment<br />Victim to Fraud<br />Phone + PC<br />Internet Savvy<br />Entertainment/Social<br />Cost Sensitive<br />Phone augments PC<br />Top app is Email<br />Productivity-focused<br />Cost is no issue<br />Mobile<br />
Mobile Internet User Segmentation<br />83% of the users are younger than 30<br />Observations<br />2000 RMB is important price barrier<br />High-end users are a small minority.<br />Must focus on aspiring young users before 3-low users.<br />Aspiring young users are existing Internet users.<br />Young users require lower prices.<br />Mobile<br />
Strategic Projections for Mobile Internet<br />Chinese Mobile Internet will evolve the same way as the Chinese Internet<br />Mobile ecosystem will follow the PC’s horizontal integration pattern.<br />Basic Tools<br />Browser, security, photos, etc. <br />Entertainment<br />IM, SNS,<br />Music,<br />Games,<br />Video.<br />Advanced Apps<br />E-Commerce, advertising, LBS, search,email.<br />￥5000<br />Minimal carrier subsidies; but Android devices will drop under 1000 RMB in 2011. <br />High 3G prices will lead to be “rich-device + minimal bandwidth”.<br />For next few years, entertainment applications will dominate Chinese mobile Internet.<br />AppStore/Marketplace model will become primarily freemium; no up-front payment.<br />￥1000<br />Mobile developer community will have many opportunities (AppStore, ads, export, etc.).<br />Mobile<br />
Today Chinese entrepreneurship is in transition. <br />Few home-grown role models although gradually a new class of serial entrepreneurs is emerging.<br />Entrepreneurship is still a new concept for local graduates – there is peer and family pressure towards ‘secure’ corporate jobs.<br />Older generation is risk averse but grass-roots entrepreneurship from young people in their late 20s and early 30s is rapidly improving, especially in the TMT sector.<br />A number of Chinese entrepreneurs dubbed “returnees” (from Australia, Europe and especially the U.S.) with prior overseas entrepreneurial experiences are coming back to start their own companies.<br />Entrepreneurship in China<br />Entrepreneurship<br />
Founding a Chinese Tech Start-up: the problems<br />Angel<br />VC<br /> Nascent angel network<br /><ul><li>Angel investors are few and immature: minimal knowledge and unreasonable expectations.
No technical/market understanding to evaluate early-stage.</li></ul>$28B<br />Home-grown CEOs need mentoring<br />$19B<br /><ul><li>Entrepreneurs are often uni-dimensional.
Limited business, industry, and operational experience.</li></ul>US<br />Fear of failure by top engineers<br />?<br />$7B<br /><ul><li>China only started VC-funded start-ups in the late-1990’s.
The Chinese culture is less tolerant of failure.
Many engineers and managers are well-paid and risk-averse.</li></ul>China<br />Tough to assemble a full team<br />Data Source: Zero2IPO<br /><ul><li>Difficult to assemble a complete & complementary team.
Limited access to resources, network, and industry information.
Information flow is not fluid in China.</li></ul>Entrepreneurship<br />
New “Homegrown” Entrepreneurs<br />程炳皓(Binhao Chen)：<br /><ul><li>CEO, kaixin001.com
Giving an opportunity to the new generation …<br />Entrepreneurship<br />
Setting up a legal entity for a start-up <br />If you want to receive offshore (i.e. USD) funds, there are 3 forms of business types available: <br />Joint venture with a Chinese partner (JVC) <br />Equity Joint Venture <br />Contractual Cooperative Joint Venture <br />Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise (WFOE) <br />Representative Office (RO)<br />Entrepreneurship<br />
Setting up a legal entity for a start-up<br />Before incorporating, any entrepreneur should remember: <br />Changing the type of business organization is long and costly<br />Once the venture is declared to make business in a specific industry sector, very difficult to change <br />There are always grey areas, and the regulations are being updated on a weekly basis. <br />Law enforcement in China is weak in many areas, including contract law, IP law, etc.<br />Foreign investment in certain sectors is subject to industry-specific regulations.<br />Telecommunications: the stake of the foreign investors in the telecom enterprise can not be more than 49%.<br />Insurance: property and personal insurance are possible but companies need permit to engage in large commercial risk insurance, all-inclusive policy insurance, etc. <br />However China is compelled by WTO to change its legislation in protected sectors.<br />After being issued a Corporate Legal Person Business License, a foreign-invested enterprise (FIE) must apply for registration of foreign exchange with the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) at the place of its business registration.<br />Chinese entrepreneurs also need to go through SAFE registration for their shares in offshore vehicles (e.g. Cayman Islands or BVI).<br />Entrepreneurship<br />
Zhong Guan Cun(in Beijing’s northwest corner) is still China’s best approach to a Silicon Valley ecosystem.<br />Clear priority to nurture hi-tech innovation start-ups and create an early stage investment environment. Tax incentives’ scheme.<br />Surrounded by about 50 universities incl. Tsinghua, Beida and Beihang, over 1,000 research institutes, a software park, 150 incubators and >10,000 hi-tech start-ups.<br />“Real-estate minded” incubation, few added value services, no service oriented mentality and lack of expertise / skills required.<br />Many “incubators” but no real incubation …<br />Incubation<br />
In 1.5 years …<br />100,000 CVs<br />400 project team members<br />40 professionals<br />Exceptional Mentors & Investors<br />26 projects<br />14 Incubation<br />8 Angel Round<br />4 Series A<br />Incubation<br />
IW’s Mobile Internet Strategy<br />Cloud Services<br />Phone UIFramework<br />iTunes-likeClient<br />Mobile Product Portfolio<br />Market Place<br />Partner with ”Chiwan” companies to grow ecosystem & drive down cost<br />Develop localized UI and applications targeting young users<br />Games Platform<br />Use proven Internet business models, but fit in with carriers<br />Bet on Android, but not Google experience<br />Develop ultra-easy-to-use cloud + client apps that conserve bandwidth<br />Incubation<br />
What IW incubated in 2010 …<br />Talked to over 1,000 start-ups<br />Incubated 23companies<br />Gaming (8)<br />Mobile (8)<br />Wandoujia / Tongbu-(iTunes)<br />Yingyonghui- (Getjar)<br />Tapas <br />Umeng - (Flurry + AdMob)<br />PhotoWonder- (Instagram)<br />Feihong-(Kik)<br />Guoguo* - (Qik)<br />Xingyun- (Zynga)<br />Leiyoo<br />Doodle - (Ngmoco)<br />X6 / X7 (project codenames)<br />Black Bubble*<br />Fengkuangbuluo*<br />Pada*<br />Buding- (Foursquare + Evite)<br />Looa<br />Meishidaren*- (Foodspotting)<br />Nada*- (Plancast)<br />Diandian – (Tumblr)<br />Zhihu – (Quora)<br />Junren*<br />SNS (3)<br />E-Commerce (4)<br />(In brackets are products recognizable in other parts of the world, used solely for the purpose of easy reference )<br />Incubation<br />* Jump-Start Program <br />
Today, early stage in the U.S. is changing …<br /><ul><li>The traditional VC model seems “broken”. Why?
It costs very little to do an internet start-up.
Very limited local angel activity in China …<br />Incubator<br />Angels<br />VC<br />Western Mindset vs. Local?<br />Founders<br />Lei Jun (雷军):<br /><ul><li>Vice-Chairman of KingSoft.
Angel Investor of UCWeb, Vancl, and many other start-ups.
In last three years, he has helped several companies get more than $150 million in total in follow-up capital.
Before his involvement, UCWeb could not get funded, now it has two rounds of investment for more than $40 million.</li></ul>Zhou Hongyi (周鸿祎):<br /><ul><li>Ex-Yahoo! China GM. Founder of 360 and 3721, has been called “king of the Internet channels” and “father of malware”.
Invested in Xunlei, Discuz, Qvod, Kugou, Xunyou, and others.
Among the top 20 client software companies in China, Zhou's portfolio has 4.
Xunlei was a late comer compared with FlashGet and underperforming in IDG'sporfolio. Zhou picked it out and mentored it to scale. It's now the 3rd biggest client software company in China.</li></li></ul><li><ul><li> Already the 2nd largest VC market in the world but still only about 1/4th of the U.S.
2008 was a historical high, 2009 a logical correction, 2010 was a real test but … passed with flying colours!</li></ul>China’s VC market is growing steadily …<br />Early Stage<br />
Liquidity is abundant!<br /><ul><li> A lot of funds initiated during 2008-2009 failed to complete their fundraising until 2010 due to the global financial crisis.
The frenzied domestic IPO activity and the resulting super-high ROIs diverted even more capital into domestic VC/PE market.
China's rapid economic recovery in 2010 led to excess liquidity in domestic capital markets, as a result, both oversupplied public money and private capital went into VC/PE funds.</li></ul>Early Stage<br />
The financial crisis has changed the game …<br /><ul><li> The current global financial crisis has temporarily slowed down but has not greatly hurt the VC market in China. The fundamentals of the Chinese economy are still strong - investment opportunities are still here.
There is a major shift from offshore USD funds to domestic RMB funds, from a 70% - 30% split in 2008 to 30% - 70% in 2009. The trend is even more acute in 2010. </li></ul>Early Stage<br />
The new name of the game is … RMB funds!<br />One of major trends in China's RMB fund market during 2010 was the stepped-up efforts by foreign VC/PE institutions to launch RMB funds.<br />The Blackstone Group completed its fundraising for a RMB5 billion, IDG Capital launched a RMB 3.5 billion fund, and the Carlyle Group completed its first closing for a RMB 2.4 billion fund.<br />In addition, many institutions, including KPCB China, Sequoia Capital China, and QimingVenture Partners have also completed their fundraisings for their RMB funds in 2010.<br />CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, in teamwork with Shanghai Guosheng Group, initiated the RMB 10 billion Guosheng CLSA Industry Investment Fund, TPG launched two RMB funds respectively in Shanghai and Chongqing, aiming to raise RMB 5 billion each, and UBS, in collaboration with the Municipal Government of Beijing, is also preparing to establish a RMB fund.<br />Early Stage<br />
Why RMB funds?<br />The ChiNext(launched in 2009) created an effective exit option for RMB funds.<br />For as long as investors are being subject to FX capital account controls, RMB funds will be a preferred way for most institutions operating in the Chinese capital markets. <br />Strong support from the Chinese government is a contributing factor. For example, Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing, among others, have rolled out their preferential policies in taxation and FX to foreign RMB funds. <br />And the pilot program for establishment of foreign invested equity investment firms recently initiated in Shanghai also carved out more fundraising channels for foreign RMB funds.<br />BUT:<br />Legal issues – a lot of regulations (new, neither mature nor tested).<br />Existing funds – predominantly USD and still preferring NYSE / NASDAQ exit.<br />Local governments increasingly act as a direct investor and/or a LP – what are the implications?<br />Early Stage<br />
<ul><li> In China, there is very little attention to early stage, furthermore …
Traditional industries still account for more than 50% of the VC money invested in China.
Beijing (especially for TMT) is the place to be.</li></ul>… but where is truly Early Stage?!<br />Early Stage<br />
Early Stage VCs in China<br />The VC in industry in China is at its infancy.<br />Vast majority of VCs go for the ‘low hanging fruit’, i.e. later stage, lower risk, higher transparency, pre-IPO type of investments. <br />Good and experienced VC investment managers are a scarce resource in China.<br />Good and experienced EARLY STAGEVC investment managers are a VERY scarce resource in China.<br />Good and experienced EARLY STAGE VC investment managers that:<br />have previous own start-up / operational experience (i.e. ex-founders / entrepreneurs), and <br />truly work ‘hands-on’ with the team(s) to add value, at least on a weekly basis <br /> are a VERY VERY scarce resource in China.<br />On a more positive note, in the past couple of years there is rapid accumulation of top talent in the Chinese VC industry; also overcrowding at the growth stage is bound to bring some people back to early stage.<br />Early Stage<br />
Early (?) Stage VCs in China<br />Early Stage<br />
Exits: 2010 was a record year for VC-backed IPOs …<br />Early Stage<br />
<ul><li>Lack ofdomestic IPO exit was one of the most critical obstacles in RMB investment up until the last couple of years.
However, the stock markets in Shanghai and in Shenzhen continue to rapidly improveespecially in terms of shortening post-IPO lock up, transparency, etc.
Government also launched ChiNext (创业板), termed as “China’s NASDAQ”, but profitability requirements do not make it very suitable for TMT companies.
Shenzhen’s SME board has already proved to be an exit option for VC investment in China for potentially more than 10x returns in a period of 3-4 years.
But in NYSE / NASDAQ not everything is ‘rosy’ (RenRen, Qihoo 360, Dangdang, Youku, etc.).</li></ul>Rapidly improving local IPO market …<br />Early Stage<br />
… but where is my trade sale exit?!<br />Negligible domestic and cross-border M&A activity takes away one of the most important exit routes for early stage technology investors.<br />Early Stage<br />
What is innovation? Product (R&D), or Process, or Business Model?<br />Is the market mature enough for innovation? Have the basic Chinese consumer needs been already fulfilled?<br />More than a government policy or budget. Innovation is about culture and education.<br />In China innovation is still predominantly university and government driven.<br />Step-by-step process. It took generations for other countries; China will do it faster but it will still take time.<br />C2C (Copy-to-China) Micro-innovations Innovation.<br />Is China innovating?<br />Innovation<br />
“Shanzhai” phenomenon started with mobile phones….<br />Innovation<br />
Now spreading to the Internet …<br />Innovation<br />
But localization / micro-innovation is happening …<br /><ul><li> It took SinaWeibo 66 days to reach it’s first million users.
177 days to the first 10 million, which achieved April 28, 2010.
Since then the site has reached 100 million registered users it continues to grow at a breakneck pace
SinaWeibo’s main competitor TencentWeibo claims to have reached 100 million users a month earlier but quality / traffic are considerably lower.</li></ul>Innovation<br />
But localization / micro-innovation is happening …<br />Innovation<br />
Marginal but truly innovative features …<br />Based on local needs!<br />Innovation<br />
“70% of success in life is … showing up”Woody Allen<br />
Contact me at:firstname.lastname@example.org<br /> You can also find me at:<br />http://twitter.com/evdemon http://t.sina.com.cn/evdemon <br />