Business / Technology

Internet convergence to boost investment options

By Shi Jing (China Daily) Updated: 2015-12-17 09:50

Investment and entrepreneurial opportunities centered on Internet convergence in sectors like healthcare, education, and global trade will grow manifold during the next decade, a leading venture capitalist said.

Jim Breyer, the founder and chief executive of Breyer Capital, a United States-based venture capital firm, said that many companies are investing in or are focused on artificial intelligence. "It is an extraordinarily powerful thing when it is an enabler and not a displacer," he said.

In October, Breyer Capital invested in a healthcare startup, which is using analytics and big data to improve patient experiences, and how doctors and patients can work together. It is an example of the intersection of healthcare analytics, data analytics and new technologies to improve healthcare outcomes, he said.

Breyer has invested in over 30 companies that have gone public or completed a merger, including the well-known social network service provider Facebook, and online handmade and vintage marketplace Etsy.

In 2005, Breyer helped form a joint venture between Accel Partners and IDG Capital Partners, a leading Chinese investment company. IDG is currently lead by well-known investor Hugo Shong. Breyer has served as a co-lead on the Accel-IDG joint venture's strategic investment committee since 2005.

Together with IDG, Breyer Capital is jointly working on companies that are both in China and the US.

"We are big believers in cross-border investment. You will see more cross-border investment over the next year in companies such as technology and how it helps and enables next generation of healthcare," he said.

An example would be Circle Internet, a company which Breyer Capital provided series A funding in 2013. It's a digital payment infrastructure company which is now starting to hire and build a team in China. IDG China invested in Circle in March.

Speaking about the mass entrepreneurship trend in China, Breyer said he is confident about young entrepreneurs if they are passionate, truly interested in startups and can create innovative and entrepreneurial ventures.

But he said that there are also risks like some late-stage private companies which are raising a great deal of money and spending it too.

"I'm extremely excited about the level of encouragement in China for innovation and entrepreneurship. I view it as an extremely positive enabler for venture capital investment," he said.

But Breyer stressed that there are not enough incubators in China to help the startups. He thinks China needs significantly more early-stage venture capital incubation help not only for capital requirements, but also for hiring top talent and thought leadership.

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