The Chinese edition of Fortune published on Friday a list of “the 30 most influential investors in China”. Criteria for an investor’s level of influence include types of funds, amount of funds at their disposal, number of companies invested, valuation of listed companies among the invested, etc.
We handpicked five of the 30 most influential investors, and here are their records and remarks.
Neil Shen (Shen Nanpeng), Sequoia Capital
In 2015, Sequoia Capital China played a part in the merger of group buying platforms Dianping and Meitan, as well as of China’s Craigslist, 58.com. In addition, it has also invested in well-performing enterprises such as the leading ride-hailing platform Didi Chuxing and the news aggregator giant Toutiao.
Over the past 11 years, Sequoia China has invested in more than 300 Chinese companies that have innovative business models and great potential. From 2015 to 2016, five companies in which Sequoia China invested went public, adding up to a total valuation of RMB 150 billion (USD 22.51 billion). These include online education group 51Talk and cinema operator Wanda Cinemas.
As the founding managing partner of Sequoia China, Shen is known for his deep insight and efficient judgment. His advice to entrepreneurs is four key terms: Strategy, Product, Team, and Business Model.
Andrew Yan (Yan Yan), Softbank Asia Infrastructure Fund
Since 2001, the Softbank Asia Infrastructure Fund (SAIF) has been making investments. Among the listed companies that it has invested in include computer-based testing services provider ATA, China’s largest privately owned juice producer Huiyuan Juice, and China’s Craiglist, 58.com.
As the managing partner of SAIF, Yan has a great reputation in the field of venture capital and private equity. He believes that two trends will revolutionize the world: one is globalization, the other is technological innovation.
For entrepreneurs, Yan said that success depends upon three capabilities: discovering new opportunities, making things happen, and in managing and organizing.
Tong Shihao, Granite Global Ventures
Since Granite Global Ventures (GGV) was founded 15 years ago, 28 of its invested enterprises have gone public. Among the listed companies that are valued over USD one billion include travel website Qyer.com, video-streaming site Youku Tudou, and social shopping platform for women MOGU STEERT.
This April, GGV announced that it has completed the eighth round of fundraising totaling USD 1.2 billion.
Tong became the managing partner of GGV in 2013, and focuses on innovative enterprises both in China and in Silicon Valley. He believes that entrepreneurs will find it hard making their business a unicorn if the business is not globalized, saying that “The next decade will be the prime time for mobile internet, and Chinese enterprises must have a global picture to seize this opportunity.”
Bob Xu (Xu Xiaoping), ZhenFund
Xu is known in China as a “mentor for the young”. He is also one of China’s foremost angel investors.
As the founder of ZhenFund, he once invested in the NYSE-listed online cosmetics firm Jumei, the returns from which was thousands of times of the investment – amounting to nearly USD 300 million.
Xu believes that entrepreneurs must utilize the web-celeb economy, and that every CEO must lead the image and marketing of the company – even if the CEO is not capable of doing so, there must be someone performing the role of a figurehead.
Lei Jun, Shunwei Capital
Lei is not only the CEO and co-founder of smartphone maker Xiaomi, he is also a co-founder of Shunwei Capital, an entity which is already five years old.
Among the over 100 enterprises in which Shunwei Capital has invested, investments in the field of smart devices are mostly an effort contributing to Xiaomi’s ecosystem.
Two years ago, Lei saw two markets that can become potentially huge: agricultural production and rural consumption. He then invested in several companies concerned and believes that, in 10 years, dozens of internet companies with a focus on the countryside economy would rise up as giants valued over tens of billions of U.S. dollars.