Fenox Venture Capital, a Silicon Valley-based fund with significant operations in Southeast Asia, will soon launch a startup incubator in Chengdu, the capital of southwestern China’s Sichuan province, in partnership with the government.
In an interview with e27, Fenox’s General Partner and CEO Anis Uzzaman said the VC firm has already hired two persons with great knowledge of the Chinese market to run the incubator.
Fenox has also opened a new office in Chengdu as part of its expansion plans in China.
“I just want to give you the news that we have just received the licence to open up a startup incubator in China. The incubator will be located in Chengdu. We have also received funding from the Chinese government for the programme,” he told e27 in a telephonic interview from the US. “We are also opening a new office which will help us expand our footprints in China.”
The incubator, which is yet to be named, will follow the same working style adopted by Fenox’s Indonesian programme, GnB Accelerator. “When a company joins our programme, we give them US$50,000 funding in exchange for a 10 per cent equity. We train them for a few months by trainers and mentors from Silicon Valley and local markets. We will follow the same model in China as well,” he added.
When the startups graduate, Fenox will also help them connect with new VCs and help them raise the next round of funding by conducting a demo day, Uzzaman explained.
In China, most companies are consumer-focussed, as the market has already passed the e-commerce stage. “Chinese tech companies are far ahead of their peers in other parts of Asia. They are totally different. China is more serious about startups than any other markets. I think other countries should emulate their model.”
Reviving India-focussed fund
Uzzaman also said that Fenox is reviving its plans to launch its India-focussed fund, and is on the hunt for a General Partner capable of running it. “We were planning to launch a US$50 million fund last year and hired Venktesh Shukla as General Partner. However, we had to put the plans on hold after Shukla left us owing to some previous commitments. We are now reviving the plans and are on the lookout for a new partner, who has great knowledge of the local market,” he said, adding that Shukla’s leaving was a major setback for Fenox.
“We want to start with a strong team and a General Partner who can help Indian companies grow. We are waiting for the right capable partner. It is sad it is taking a bit of time,” he went on. Uzzaman, however, expressed confidence that Fenox will be able to launch the India-focussed fund in 2018.
Started in 2011, Fenox works with emerging technology companies across the world. Its 60-plus person team operates out of offices across eight different countries, including Japan, Indonesia, and South Korea, and offers a wide range of domain expertise. It invests between US$250,000 and US$10 million in companies across segments.
Fenox currently manages 17 funds across these markets, and has several multi-million dollar funds under management.