Investor Huang Xiaoming: More Than Just A Film Star
摘要： It’s common to see film stars conducting investment business, yet it’s rare to see someone who is founder of two investment firms as is Mr. Huang Xiaoming.
On the evening of April, 27th, popular Chinese actor and founder of Ming Capital Huang Xiaoming, along with his team members, officially met the press. Founders of some well-known Internet startups, such as MiaoPai, XiaoKaXiu, Yema Live, JmGO, etc. also attended the event. As a matter of fact, these projects are what Ming Capital had invested in for the past year.
Mr. Huang’s experience as an investor dates back to 2009, when he helped prepare the IPO of Huayi Brothers. Before 2009, he and his friends used to run a wine company.
On July, 11th, 2014, Star VC was officially launched, and Mr. Huang was one of the co-founders. On April 4th, Mr. Huang established his own investment firm Ming Capital. As chairman of the firm, he is in charge of investment business and makes decisions for major affairs.
Fading out from Star VC
It is reported that Mr. Huang has invested in some startups as early as 2014 by the name of Ming Capital, though the firm was officially established in the first half of 2015. Zhang Xiaoting, with rich experience in investment firms, was appointed CEO of Ming Capital. According to Ms. Zhang, during the cooperation between Ming Capital and Star VC, they together invested in several startups, including Hichao.com, MiaoPai, Handu.com. Mr. Huang took part in the major asset restructuring of lots of public companies.
Speaking of the relationship with Star VC, Mr. Huang admitted that he seldom had interviews as a co-founder of Star VC, and wasn’t a core member of Star VC’s team. On the contrary, he wished to be more focused on the entertainment industry. Obviously, Mr. Huang realized his goal through Ming Capital by investing in firms and startups in areas Mr. Huang was familiar with and even excelled.
Another reason why Mr. Huang gradually faded out from Star VC is that he had more freedom to make decisions by operating an investment firm of his own. In an interview with China Entrepreneur magazine, Ren Quan suggested that Li Bingbing, Huang Xiaoming and she respectively held 30% shares of Star VC, so they had to communicate with each other before making major investment decisions.
“We have expected the consequence of such division of shares, and decided that all three of us must agree before we make any decision, otherwise we wouldn’t invest in any startup,” Ms. Ren suggested. She admitted that such division of shares could make things really difficult sometimes, any decision was the result of a fluid “balancing” mechanism, and that the cost of communications in Star VC was generally several times higher than that of other investment firms.
In comparison, Ming Capital is more like an individual or family investment firm. It is reported that Ming Capital established Ningbo Mingqiao Investment Management Corporation., Ltd, and Ningbo Mingxiao Tiancehng Investment Management Center last May and July respectively. However, Mr. Huang’s mother Ms. Zhang Suxia is a natural person shareholder of the center.
In addition, it is worth noticing that Angelababy, who’s just married to Mr. Huang, is also a star investor. In June, 2015, Angelababy established her own startup venture firm AB Capital. Ymatou.com and HeyJuice are two of the first batch of startups that have received investment from AB Capital.
Focused instead on VR, culture, innovation, film and pan-entertainment
In line with Mr. Huang’s rich resources in the entertainment industry, Ming Capital seemed to prefer to invest in areas such as culture, innovation, upgraded consumption, film&TV series, pan-entertainment, etc.
The majority of startups that receive investment from Ming Capital are also focused on products related to everyday life and upgraded consumption. “Our focus is always to improve people’s living quality and makes people’s life better and more comfortable. The target consumers of both Star VC and Ming Capital are primarily the young people,” Mr. Huang revealed.
Ms. Zhang added that Ming Capital was open to invest in all the segment markets related to entertainment, Internet literature, IP, anime culture, fans economics, VR, AR, etc.
Speaking of the most hot-spot startup area VR, Mr. Huang also has made several attempts. On March, 29th, Mr. Huang’s Yixing Media announced that it would start re-shooting TVB’s classic TV series “Love and Passion”, and would adopt VR technologies when shooting the TV series. At the press conference, a preview featuring VR technologies for the TV series was also released.
At the same time, Mr. Huang revealed that he planned to join Guanya Culture and spend RMB 1 billion developing entertainment products featuring VR technologies, such as VR films, VR reality shows and VR games, in the next three years. Rumor has it that Mr. Huang has already taken part in the shooting of Black Tale, the first VR short feature film of Yixing Media.
When asked how to deal with the relationship with startups Ming Capital has invested, Mr. Huang suggested that he was more like a product manager than an investor. “I have my own understanding for products, and I am pretty sensitive to new concepts about fashion, young people, consumers since I work in the industry for so many years. In addition, I have accumulated lots of resources, whether platforms or film stars. So I can greatly help startups with my insight and resources,” Mr. Huang said.
At last, Mr. Huang revealed that he never sat for the Venture Capital Test at all. Rumor has it that half of the stars that sat for the test failed.
[The article is published and edited with authorization from the author @Han Pei, please note source and hyperlink when reproduce.]
Translated by Levin Feng (Senior Translator at PAGE TO PAGE), working for TMTpost.