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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Investors netted by appeal of new Internet companies

By Shen Jingting (China Daily)

11:05, March 23, 2012

Startups receive $5.8 billion from VC and private equity firms in 2011.

Venture capital and private equity companies showed great enthusiasm for investing in new Chinese Internet companies in 2011. The year saw $5.8 billion put into such businesses, a record high.

Venture capital firms from home and abroad spent $3.3 billion, or 3.6 times as much as in 2010, on 276 investments in China's Internet industry last year, according to a report issued by the Beijing-based investment consulting company Zero2IPO Group.

Private equity firms invested $2.5 billion in Chinese Internet companies, an increase of 124 percent year-on-year, the report said.

E-commerce, social networking and online gaming websites attracted the most investments last year. Venture capital and private equity companies, for example, made 93 investments in e-commerce, compared with 65 in 2010.

In one of the best-known cases, 360buy.com, a company that started mainly by selling computers and electronics over the Internet, said last April that it had raised $1.5 billion in the third round of financing in its history.

The investors that put money into it included Digital Sky Technologies, a Russia-based Internet investment group that owns stakes in Facebook Inc and Groupon Inc, and Robin Li, founder and chief executive officer of the search engine company Baidu Inc.

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