The past two years have been seeing the momentum growth of Sina Weibo, along with a bevy of startups that emerge to ride on the trend. Realizing the potential behind these social-related startups, Xue Manzi, one of China’s most prominent angel investor, and Wang Yuquan, a man with many titles including founding manager of Frost & Sullivan China, telecom expert and so on, co-founded a cause dubbed Haiyin Incubator in a special aim to gold mine these companies.
The list below includes some of its portfolios since its founding last year while many of which are built on top of Sina Weibo:
|Haoyou Food||Social restaurant recommendation|
|Yinbei||Social music platform|
|Buygreen||Social farming platform|
|Entdigital||Social data platform for films|
Just like you should’ve noticed, all these startups involved in social businesses. It directly speaks to Haiyin’s main focus – social-related field. Some have doubted local SNS sites for them being too monotonous and having unclear business model. But Wang still has faith in them.
“Actually the chances have come to us. Maybe someone would judge that Weibo marketing didn’t work and it was the end of social. That was just not true. Even Facebook didn’t really take off immediately until 2007, after three years’ growing. Entrepreneurs should always seize the first chance right away before some big players appear and leave no room for them.
Haoyou Food, one of its portfolio investments, is a social recommendation platform for foodies where comments on food were analyzed to better understand users’ likes. Wang thought that closer friends would tend to have closer tastes and that to work on the data generated through networks of friends is the key to recommendation service.
Another interesting startup Entdigital works on predicting box office numbers. “Wonder if the movie is a hit or not? Just read the comments below”, said Wang. Entdigital studies and tracks Weibo users’ comments on actor/actress, plots or anything related to the coming movie and make predictions of its future marks. This idea is novel home and abroad and could be very useful to film investors and producers.
The two partners Wang Yuquan and Xue Manzi are both Weibo addicts who never stop posting and reposting. They’re always on Weibo 7X24. That’s probably why Haiyin shines spotlight on startups that know how to leverage on the data produced on Weibo. “Social project is all about data and processing data, so they have to start on a big platform with big active user base. Sina Weibo’s data is open, and naturally comes to be our first choice”, Wang said.
Haiyin incubator consisted of a incubator and a Chinese RMb fund. There’re about 10 projects (each receiving RMB 2m investments) in the incubator, while projects worth more than RMB 5 million are invested by the fund.
Wang revealed that LegendCapital is one of the incubator’s LP.
Haiyin’s RMB fund, on the other hand, favored high-end ecommerce startups, Wang said that “I think Chinese e-commerce is gradually growing into two types, the relatively low-end ones who compete at low-price and the other ones aim at high-end users groups and providing premium online shopping experience.” Haiyin is on the look out for the second group.
screenshot of Haiyin portfolio VINUX