13 Aug 2021

Looking Back on Our First Six Years in China

Telstra Ventures

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On July 1 2015, our General Partner Chris Pu marked the official start of Telstra Ventures in China.

During the first six years, nearly one-third of the investees have become unicorns. The total amount of follow-up financing of the investees has been 20.5 times that of the initial investment. Chris is a veteran of more than 20 years in the Venture Capital industry and has worked in China, East Asia, Southeast Asia, India and the United States in direct investment and business development, covering the mobile Internet, communications and enterprise software and services sectors, and has accomplished exceptional returns.

Since joining Telstra Ventures in 2015, Chris has been in charge of investment activities in China and also played an important role in the spin-off from Telstra in 2018. With many years of experience in the investment industry, Chris Pu and Investment Manager, Elaine Pan, have formed a highly successful team at the forefront of venture capital in China. The investment team of Telstra Ventures has always maintained mutual trust, cooperation and sincere attitude both internally and externally. In fact, Telstra Ventures participates on the board of 90% of our investments in China to show their support to investees.

 

Our investment proposition. 

Every Investor, every Venture Capitalist has a different tune. In the current rapid transformation of the economic structure, venture investors often see a trend and address any obstacles with herd mentality. However, in the view of Telstra Ventures, the most important business ability as an investor is to judge what small trends the current wind is driven by and whether negligible pain will trigger ecological reconstruction with independent judgement.

Chasing the investment of a hot trend, the short-term value will evaporate soon if it cannot be refined and built into a product moat. Instead, it is likely to be counterproductive in medium- and long-term value generation. Such realizations are a difficult time for startups and a time for investors to reflect on their own responsibilities.

In the six years since Telstra Ventures China was established, in the massively growing economy, we have been able to remain rational and professional, focusing on tapping potentially sustainable value-creating tracks, and need to be patient and consistent to investment propositions.

 

 

Just be a “high-return player” in the Venture Capital community.

In recent years, Telstra Ventures has maintained the frequency of two or three deals per year for an investor, not super high production. However, all this is due to the unique investment style of the investment team. “With a perhaps not necessarily very appropriate way of speaking, some hunters do their homework first and then take sniper far away to target large prey. Some hunters use a shotgun, shoot lots of bullets, so there is always one hit. We’re obviously the first kind!”

Over the past six years, Telstra Ventures China has purposely increased understanding of its ecosystems upstream and downstream rather than solely chasing the investment activities. Of course, all this comparison and measurement is based on a considerable return on investment.

 

The next moment is already in sight. 

It is worth mentioning that investors in Telstra Ventures have set themselves the goal of studying two small sectors each year. The latest areas include the various enabling software for enterprise services, cross-border infrastructure, and smaller businesses, which is based on the knowledge from the existing investments such as Cloopen and XTransfer, with a high understanding and a large market potential.

In addition, data-related investment projects are also of interest, such as Gago and Fintell. Telstra Ventures believes that it is necessary to find a way to turn data into a truly effective output solution in order to find an innovative and user-approved path in the competition of some large players.

 

The seventh year of the “China Track.”

Telstra Ventures has an outstanding professional “gene” and excellent investment vision as a long-term technology investor dedicated to investing in industry breakthroughs. In the seventh year of its China operations, in addition to increasing the scale, Telstra Ventures plans to screen investment targets using a more professional and efficient data science approach.

Using data to mine potential value and empower investee businesses, Telstra Ventures believes that such continuous iteration of data tools will allow it to capture more forward-looking investment targets. Of course, adhering to the consistent investment proposition, stable high returns will still be the recipe for Telstra Ventures.