[TMTpost’s new column Photo Gallery aims to record individuals and entrepreneurs in the Internet industry: whether young ambitious entrepreneurs who have just found their place in the world of business, star investors who walk through different venues, programmers who spend hours of time writing codes in front of the computer screen, or Internet operators, geeks, even delivery guys…It is their collective efforts and devotion that constitute the Internet world we live in right now, so their moments are worth recording, and remembering. Photos don’t lie, but they don’ tell the whole truth; photos are free, but they are also full of traps. Therefore we present the images we see, and let you have your own understanding of these individuals.]
According to TechinAsia’s latest report, the total investment volume in the Chinese tech industry again broke the record and skyrocketed to 36 billion USD in 2015. In some sense, startup wave and investment wave have become one of the key words of the past year. In TMTpost Photo Gallery 009, we’d like to turn our camera towards Li Xiaoyu, a female Financial Advisor (FA) who often frequented places such as CBD Beijing, cafes, venture capital firms, startups… What 2015 meant for Ms. Li was somewhat what 2015 meant for the Chinese tech industry.
Since FAs can deduct 1, 3 or even 5% from every investment they made happen, people commonly believe that they can make quick fortune as an FA. Some people likes to compare FAs as directors in the negotiation table who go between investors and entrepreneurs and link them together with their communications skills, experiences in the industry and resources along the industry chain. Indeed, FAs can be quite important for entrepreneurs to raise enough funds quickly and effectively.
“Raise as much money as possible, and everything will be fine when the capital winter is over,” Ms. Li would tell this to almost all the entrepreneurs she met. After working as a strategic investment advisor in JD for five years, she left and became the chief director of an investment firm. At last, she decided to become an FA and joined HuaxingAlpha.
Ms. Li was in her office at HuaxingAlpha, which is located at one of the most expensive and busy areas of Beijing, the World Trade Center. Her everyday job is to help startups raise money, mostly at least 10 million RMB. Compared to the previous job, she likes to be an FA better since it’s more challenging. “Different venture capital firms have different ways of thinking and value systems: some prefer to invest in great projects, others prefer to make quick fortune. What I am supposed to do is match different investment firms with different startups,” she explained.
Ms. Li was looking through her schedule for the next day: four on-site and one telephone conferences between investment firms and five startup teams. The areas she focused most are e-tailer logistics, technology (technique, artificial intelligence and hardware), supply chain finance, medicine, culture, etc. However, she was best at the first three areas due to her experience back in JD.
In a telephone conference between an investor and a startup team, Ms. Li kept cutting in and adding new information. The startup team has been working in the e-tailer logistics industry for years and has developed a logistics robot to make the storage procedure smoother.
In a video conference hall of an investment firm, Ms. Li was holding a video conference between a representative of the firm and two co-founders of a startup team. The representative was willing to invest 30 million RMB in the startup, but wanted to discuss further with the two co-founders over the estimated market value of the project.
After walking out of the firm, Ms. Li began to summarize the performance of the two co-founders. “They fell more confident and assured when I am present,” she was very careful about every details of the conference, “I’ve got to tell entrepreneurs what’s wrong and what need to be improved in time after every conference.”
In the above picture, Ms. Li led some entrepreneurs to meet with potential investors. “Being an FA, I have to be bold enough to say things entrepreneurs are not willing to say and be alert enough to attribute entrepreneurs’ mistakes to my own. I have to do everything I can to avoid any kinds of failure, since fund-raising is one of the most crucial steps for any startup teams,” she explained. In addition, she believed there was no such thing as capital winter for good startups projects, saying that “the capital winter is a good thing for good projects, while a terrible news for mediocre ones.”
It is essential to make necessary summaries and gather experiences about what should she say, how should she say them, what should be stressed and what should be avoided… Many entrepreneurs lack experiences about how to communicate with investors, so she’s got to do lots of preparation in order to make the communication between entrepreneurs and investors more effective and smooth
Ms. Li was having a dinner with an entrepreneur who is working on an overseas shopping project. The entrepreneur worked as an overseas shopping agent for six years in Germany and currently owned a 30,000-square-kilometer storage around the border of France and Germany. Her project received the angel investment from Ge You, a famous Chinese comedian, and is looking for an A-round investor before the end of the lunar year. She almost had no experiences about how to deal with investors at home since she lived abroad for too long. Ms. Li advised her to lower her expectations in the A-round financing and survived the capital winter by raising a small but adequate amount of money first. In addition, Ms. Li told her that investors were mostly running out of money near the end of the year and taking day-offs around period of time.
Ms. Li was interviewing an entrepreneur who was focused on cloud voice recognition technology. She often bombarded entrepreneurs with questions when meeting them for the first time. Quite interestingly, Ms. Li majored in journalism in college, but went to work in JD when she graduated. “Being an FA is similar to being a journalist, since I am also supposed to grab the most information in the shortest time and find my answer.”
When deciding whether to help a startup project or not, Ms. Li has her own set of considerations: first of all, its founders must be fully devoted to the project and different co-founders must be complementary; second, the project must have a good starting point and enter the time in the ripe time; third, the project must adopt an appropriate business model and provide services that are needed a lot. Ms. Li loves working with entrepreneurs. In terms of future career planning, she said that she would still focus her attention on entrepreneurs and startups.
TMTpost Photo Gallery
Special column of TMTpost
Aiming to record individuals and entrepreneurs in the Internet industry
Photos don’t lie, but they don’ tell the whole truth
Photos are free, but also full of traps
This is an Internet age, and we want you to discover stories with us online
(Like our Facebook page and follow us now on Twitter @tmtpostenglish and on Medium @TMTpost and on Instagram @tmtpost_english.)
[The article is published and edited with authorization from the author @fliesslaughterhouse, please note source and hyperlink when reproduce.]
Translated by Levin Feng (Senior Translator at PAGE TO PAGE), working for TMTpost.