Chinese Unicorns set eyes on Indian startup ecosystem

Momentum gains in internet, tech space

Chinese Unicorns set eyes on Indian startup ecosystem

 Emulating internet giants like Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu and Kingsoft, now Unicorns from China want to invest in the Indian startup ecosystem led by venture capital funds.

The Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), along with five Chinese venture capital firms led by Onionfans, a Singapore-based venture capital company, and other internet companies, interacted with 30 select Indian startups. The event was organised by Mobile10X Startup Hub, an IAMAI initiative to support app developers across the country in Bengaluru, in association with the Government of Karnataka.

Interacting with Deccan Herald, Onionfans Chief Executive Officer Hutu said that the Chinese Unicorn company investors are here to understand the startup ecosystem. “This is the first time that we are interfacing with Indian startups in Bengaluru to learn more about them. We are satisfied with the tech prowess of the city, and this year, Onionfans will allot a fund of $5 million as part of our seed investment,” he said. Hutu said that Onionfans will help Chinese investors find companies for investment in the internet and technology space.

“There are lots of wealthy Chinese who are ready to invest their money. Since the market is volatile and there’s no more investment opportunities in China, they are looking at opportunities abroad. We have an evolved startup ecosystem and Indians can learn from the mistakes committed by us,” he said.

Joe Wei, Founder of Grand Value Capital, said that Indians have creativity to come up with innovative solutions and the country has the advantage of having over one billion people. “We are ready to invest in B2C companies, mobile internet companies, and other cutting-edge technology companies. Here, the bottlenecks of infrastructure and language barrier should be reduced,” he said.

Ku Kay Mok, Partner from Gobi Partners, said the Chinese Unicorns are ready to invest in Indian startups as it will give them better access to customers in North America and Europe. “We are ready to invest in B2C companies in the software as a service (SaaS ) areas which will help the Chinese companies grow fast,” he said.

Mok said the Chinese investors are yet to explore companies here, compared with the startup ecosystem in Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv. “The Israeli companies are focusing on core technology. But the best Indian talent is heading tech companies in Silicon Valley. We should give opportunities in India and call them back. It will help India build global companies,” he said.

Eventhough China became India’s largest trading partner in 2008, investment flow from the country remained very limited.

According to a Credit Suisse report, India’s internet and eCommerce business space bears close similarity with that of China, with a lag of 8-10 years.

Besides investing heavily in Israel and Silicon Valley, Chinese internet companies and mobile ecosystem players are now influencing the valuation of Indian technology companies, especially eCommerce companies.

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