Hans Tung (@hanstung), the managing partner of GGV Capital and #69 on The Forbes Midas List joins us for an interesting conversation on his journey as a venture capitalist which traverse between China and US. He also discuss some of the interesting companies on his portfolio. Starting his time as a venture capitalist in China, 2004, and witnessing the rise of the Chinese internet giants: Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent with the upstarts, Xiaomi and Cheetah Mobile, Hans Tung offers a different perspective into the ever changing ecosystem of the Chinese mobile and web landscape and how mobile is now the common platform for both US and Chinese companies to compete for the next 2-3 billion out there in the other markets. He also shares with us interesting anecdotes on Xiaomi, with reflections on how Lei Jun and his team have built the company from the start till now, and the real back story to how Xiaomi hired Hugo Barra from Google. Lastly, he discuss how mobile is now the new platform where both US and Chinese companies will compete out there for the next 2-3 billion market.
Here are the interesting links for the discussion:
- The career of Hans Tung as a venture capitalist from Bessemer Ventures to Qiming Ventures to GGV Capital.
- What is the investment thesis for Hans Tung? What are the essential traits he look in founders within his investments? What are the categories of interest: mobile on-demand services, mobile marketplaces & the Internet of things? The surprise, he is also an angel investor who has invested in some of the leading Indian companies.
- Given that venture capital tends to be localised, how does GGV transverse between China and US? The list of notable companies in the portfolio of GGV Capital: Alibaba, FlipBoard, Buddy Media, SoundCloud, KingSoft, GrabTaxi, Houzz, Reebonz.
- Interesting portfolio companies under Hans Tung:
- Wish, cross border ecommerce company.(GGV)
- Misfit, wearables company (GGV) – investment from Xiaomi (US$40M)
- Curse, gaming platform – potential communication & transaction (GGV) where the company learned from the Chinese company, YY and localise it for the US and European market
- Xiaomi: (i) Reflections on Lei Jun & the “Avengers” team, and how Lei Jun’s experience from Kingsoft and he built Xiaomi’s ecosystem thru learning from his super angel investments: Xunlei, Vancl, VIP Shop. (ii) the early days of Xiaomi vs now and have they sticked to their original vision in their current form? (iii) Business model: is Xiaomi a consumer electronics company, a software services platform, ecommerce site or something else, (iv) the backstory of getting Hugo Barra from Google to join, (v) where will Xiaomi be in the next few years?
- Looking at the China landscape:
- How has the Baidu-Alibaba-Tencent (BAT) companies evolved over the years?
- What are the next generation of companies after BAT & Xiaomi? (a) JD (Jingdong), (b) Cheetah Mobile and others.
- What are the challenges for Chinese companies to scale globally?
- Hans Tung’s insight on mobile as the new platform that flattens the world and how it allows both US and Chinese companies to compete for the next 2-3 billion users.
- Venture capital from Silicon Valley to China: What are the lessons learned from both cultures?