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IDG Capital hunts for new retail investment companies

By Cai Xiao | China Daily | Updated: 2017-07-05 08:17

Leading venture capital firm IDG Capital said it is actively seeking out investments in new retail, brands and services companies which are benefiting from the transformation of the consumer market.

"The Chinese consumer market is having an unprecedented revolution," said Yan Yisheng, a partner of IDG Capital.

Yan said the growth of China's e-commerce market was slowing down and there were fewer opportunities online. Instead, she said, offline retail was recovering.

"We are looking closely at new retail, which combines the new technologies of e-commerce such as big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence with offline retail," Yan said.

She said people no longer bought products just because of price and now brand and quality had become the most important factors. Younger people liked to try out new brands, as the current brands failed to fully meet their expectations.

"In the next 20 years, more and more new Chinese brands will be coming out and there will be a number of international brands developed in China," she added.

Yan said IDG Capital also had great confidence in the services industry, as services would exceed products as the main driver of China's consumption growth.

"Chinese customers will go from purchasing products to enjoying services, so we believe China will see the appearance of a slew of new services companies, each with valuation of more than $10 billion," Yan said.

Xiong Xiaoge, chairman and founding partner of IDG Capital, said the firm had invested in more than 100 companies in the consumer sector. More than 10 of them had been listed and there were another 20 companies whose valuations have each exceeded $1 billion.

"China's consumer market is so huge that we hope there will be giants in the industry exceeding Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent," Xiong said.

In China consumption contributed 77.2 percent to GDP growth in the first quarter this year, compared with 64.6 percent in 2016, according to National Bureau of Statistics.

IDG Capital has invested in new retail companies such as online to offline retail platform Dmall.com and Chinese buyer-based social network site Mogujie.com, new brand companies including leading smartphone maker Xiaomi and tea chain Heytea, and new service companies like photo-editing app Meitu.

Zhang Bin, CEO of grocery operator Wumart Stores Inc, said his group was actively working with Dmall.com to better serve customers, which was also the core of new retail.

Zhang said Wumart has connected data with Dmall.com, so customers can order Wumart products on Dmall.com's platform and Dmall can deliver the goods to customers immediately.

"Through new retail, customers can obtain high-quality products from Wumart in a quick and convenient way," Zhang said.

Nie Yunchen, founder of tea drink chain Heytea, said Heytea is a tea brand for young people.

"We are not only selling tea drinks, but spreading tea culture," said Nie.

"Based on our culture, we can attract a number of young customers who like our brand."

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