Latest Technology News China
In 1999, when China’s per capita income was just $850 a year, a 31-year-old entrepreneur named Neil Shen and three friends nevertheless bet that China would soon develop a huge domestic tourism industry. They created a travel-booking website, Ctrip.com. China’s per capita GDP has since grown ninefold, and the domestic tourism market has ballooned to more than $400 billion. Ctrip, which had an initial public offering on Nasdaq in 2003 (and nearly doubled its price on the first day of trading), now has a market capitalization of over $10 billion—and Shen, who went on to found other travel-related companies in China, is a billionaire.
In 2005, Shen began to shift roles, from star entrepreneur to venture investor. Much like U.S. counterparts such as Netscape founder Marc Andreessen at Andreessen Horowitz or Paypal cofounder Peter Thiel at Founders Fund, Shen has made the next chapter in his career about discovering and nurturing a new generation of entrepreneurs.
He founded the independently run China affiliate of venture capital titan Sequoia Capital and now manages a portfolio that is worth, according to the Financial Times, roughly billion. The range of Sequoia Capital China’s investments testifies to the energy and diversity of China’s burgeoning startup scene—from e-commerce platforms like luxury-bargain site Vipshop to science-oriented companies, including DeepGlint, which specializes in computerized 3-D image analysis; Magi, a search engine made by Peak Labs that gives answers instead of references; and drone maker DJI.
Total Chinese venture capital investment in 2014
In becoming a venture capitalist, Shen was once again ahead of the curve in China. According to data from the World Economic Forum, Chinese venture capital, which had consistently accounted for roughly 9 percent of the global total from 2006 to 2013, spiked to 18 percent (about $15.6 billion) last year. PricewaterhouseCoopers recorded 1, 334 venture capital deals in China in 2014, up from 738 in 2013 and 473 in 2012. Last year, China eclipsed Europe to become the second-largest destination for venture capital, after the U.S., according to the WEF.
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