GSR Allen Zhu: China is recovering from startup market crunch next year

He also sees great opportunity in WeChat’s mini-program ecosystem.

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GSR Allen Zhu: China is recovering from startup market crunch next year

Chinese startup market is recovering from a capital crunch next year, according to Allen Zhu Xiaohu (朱啸虎), one of the most high-flying investors in China who is renowned for his deals on Didi Chuxing, Ele.me, and Ofo, as he speaks with Chinese media on the sidelines of a local event.

The Shanghai-based venture capitalist with China’s GSR Ventures also foretells a boom in China’s enterprise service market for a three-pronged reason.

First, he believes that as Chinese post-90s are less willing to work on full-time gigs these days, how to efficiently recruiting and managing the young workforce become a challenge that relevant enterprise software, such as the human resources related ones, could come into rescue.

Second, software is moving from desktop to the cloud and subscription model, which is more receptive among clients compared with traditional and expensive desktop software licenses.

And finally, the ubiquity of artificial intelligence and big data technologies also renders enterprise services more useful, translating to a market with big potential.

Additionally, Zhu is also bullish on the WeChat mini-program system. At the end of the day, it’s one of the most popular apps on the planet with more than 1 billion monthly active users. Now as other local tech giants, the likes of Alibaba, ByteDance and Baidu, all stepping their toes into the sector, China’s mini-program market is expected to further grow in upcoming years. Mini-programs are expected to replace less-frequently-used native apps, given its convenience and easy to use.

In China’s dotcom world, there is always a ‘bubble and winter’ every three years in a cyclical pattern, Zhu said. And he believes that the current funding winter will be followed by a spring awakening next year. He also suggests that entrepreneurs who are weathering through the winter should try to onboard a new funding without fixating on a certain valuation figure during this special time.

Zhu’s firm, in addition to enterprise services and mini-program startups, also closely follows verticals like online education, consumer startups, as well as the community-based group buy startups.

Editor: Ben Jiang