500 Startups expands emerging market footprint to China

China flag

China flag

Insanely popular business accelerator 500 Startups is expanding its emerging market footprint to China reports The Next Web. Former associate at The Raine Group, venture capitalist Rui Ma, has joined the company to help to launch the Beijing outpost.

500 Startups was founded in 2010 by high profile Silicon Valley Angel investor, Dave McClure. The organisation describes itself as a seed accelerator with a tech bias.

According to a TechCrunch report, Ma has worked in the region over the last few years, specifically providing investment and advisory services through merchant bank The Raine Group, notable as an advisor to China’s biggest social network, Renren, during their IPO.

McClure announced at its Demo Day that 500 Startups is not going to limit itself to Silicon Valley, but wants to recognise talents across the globe. It has already developed a strong presence in developing economies such as India, Brazil, Southeast Asia, Mexico (through the acquisition of Mexican.vc) and now China, the firm is making that point quite clear.

Since its inception three years ago, 500 Startups has grown from a four to five man strong company to the 21 employee international firm it is today. Ra joining as venture partner further strengthens their position in the global market.

The accelerator has invested in more than 300 startups including up and coming tech startups such as Visual.ly, Udemy, and Markerly.

As stated on her LinkedIn profile, Ra’s investment focus has been on “film, music, animation, online gaming, online video and e-commerce via self-built network.”

Interestingly, this news comes in the wake of Japanese-based telco NTT Docomo’s announcement that it will invest part of its US$109-million VC fund into 500 Startups through its US-based subsidiary Decomo Capital.



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