Hutong (Ad)Ventures Episode 3: Peter Davison – Seed Investor in Paypal, Founder @Fishburners, Partner@23Seed

Hutong (Ad)Ventures is a podcast on how to succeed in China featuring top venture capital investors, founders and operators with real China experiences. Hutong (Ad)Ventures is part of Haymarket HQ, hosted by Jemma Xu.

Peter Davison, who with no startup or venture capital experience, started a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley in 1998 and went onto have several successes including a seed investment in Paypal in which Peter was a key adviser to Peter Thiel on business and product strategy. Upon returning to Australia, Peter founded, built and sold several highly profitable internet businesses from his home. In 2011, Peter founded Fishburners in Australia, the largest coworking space in the Southern Hemisphere which now also has a presence in China in Shanghai. In 2014, Peter moved to China where he has been active in the Chinese startup and venture capital scene and is now a Partner at Shanghai based VC fund 23Seed. Peter is also a mentor at Haymarket HQ. 



Key points covered:

  • What areas are you investing now in China and why?
  • You have invested mainly in Chinese companies focussed on the Chinese domestic markets, not so much in cross border startups. Why?
  • Growth hacking vs quickly industrialising at scale: what are you seeing in China?
  • Is the current VC model working?
  • How should a new fund look to invest in China and attempt to max returns?
  • What is your view on the topic of gender in the Chinese startup scene?
  • Most English speaking founders still look to Silicon Valley, not Beijing or Shanghai. Is it a cultural bias? Or is there something else to it?

Favourite book: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (also reading philosophy by Hegel)

Favourite company: Hai Di Lao Hot Pot

Favourite investor/entrepreneur: Zhu Min, founder of Webex and founder of Cybernaut Investment Group

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