tech crunch There’s never been a better time to start an early-stage startup in China, according to one of the country’s most successful foreign entrepreneurs. by Jon Russell
'Fritz Demopoulous, co-founder of travel giant Qunar — which just raised $500 million — and now an investor with Queen’s Road Capital, told the audience at TechCrunch China
that a “proliferation of capital on the angel side” is making it easier
than ever to raise enough capital to get a startup off the ground.
'Things are, however, more complicated for foreigners coming into
China, Demopoulous — who is no longer in a role with Qunar — said.
That’s because domestic entrepreneurs in the country tend to have a
solid grasp of both the local market and — thanks to the internet and
abundance of books and other media — a good understanding of U.S. and
'“There’s more competition,” Demopoulous — who first arrived in China
in the 1990s to work for Media Corp — explained. “In the past, you could
turn up and be successful. But Chinese entrepreneurs get the local
market and U.S. too. Unfortunately, most Americans only get what’s
happening in North America.”
'That said, there are opportunities emerging for non-Chinese nationals
in China, but Demopoulous believes that entrepreneurs and their
companies must fulfill some key — and often tricky criteria — to have
any chance of success.
'“There is room [for new companies], but you have to ask what value
foreign companies can bring,” he explained, pointing out that money,
tech and even management sophistication are already at advanced levels
across China’s tech industry.'