Hutong (Ad)Ventures Episode 4: Daniel Shi – Founding 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.

Daniel Shi is the Founding Partner of Shanghai based VC fund 23Seed. After completing his university degree in Australia, Daniel returned to China to found his own startup before founding 23Seed in 2013 in Shanghai Zhangjiang Tech Park. Investments have included 24Tidy which is a ‘Uber for laundry services’ and Olset, a traveltech company from 500 Startups Batch 7. 23Seed’s own data analysis platform has allowed Daniel and the team to spot trends early and has been the source of some of their most successful investments. Daniel is also a producer and investor in The Next Unicorn, China’s first reality TV show about global startup and innovation. In Episode 3, we interviewed 23Seed’s other partner and Paypal seed investor Peter Davison sharing his insights with us.


Key points covered:

  • Background to 23Seed
  • Allocation of funding: initial investment vs follow on investment in portfolio companies
  • Thinking process behind dilution vs taking up pro rata in subsequent rounds
  • Main difference between a Western entrepreneur and Chinese entrepreneur and the key characteristics of a Westerner entrepreneur who is doing well in China
  • What can Western investors doing better to have great successes in China
  • Portfolio exits in China: Risks and mitigants
  • How are Chinese investors moving money out of China

Items mentioned:

Example of Chinese and Western cofounder success: Chenchao Zhuang, Douglas Khoo and Fritz Demopoulos, Qunar

Favourite book: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Favourite company: Toutiao

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