An India-focused venture capital firm, ZDream Ventures has launched its startup incubator ZDream Labs in Gurgaon, reports LiveMint. According to a media report, this move is part of a strategy to double down on the local ecosystem and serve as a bridge between Chinese investors and startups discovery in India.
Based in Beijing, ZDream incubator is housed in a 5,200 sq ft. facility. The newly launched incubator will provide mentorship and training to Indian startups along with the access to capital from Chinese VCs and tech companies, besides ZDream’s direct investment.
The incubator will initially invite early-stage startups focused on areas such as content and media, education and logistics and warehousing.
“All Chinese investors approach us—from large and small VCs to PEs and even secondary market investors… We also play the role of portfolio manager for Chinese companies that have investments in India, or are co-investors,” said Li Jian, Founder and Chief Executive, ZDream.Li Jian told in one of the
Li Jian told in one of the interviews that ZDream is an early stage investor and accelerator that consults Chinese firms on investment in India.
ZDream Ventures was setup by Li Jian in Gurgaon in 2015 which is the investment arm of Draphant, a TMT (telecom media and technology) consultancy group. Jian along with Jason Wang in 2013 formed this investment arm which also operates news and technology website ZDreview.com that publishes content on Indian internet and tech space in Chinese.
ZDream picked up some early stage investments—namely, Milkbasket, Hotify and Iamwire—in 2014-15 to survey the landscape. With two of its investments in media, and a third content portal of its own, Jian believes the media and content sector in India is ripe for disruption.
Not only this, Jian believes that Indian startups, most of which are created around business models in the US, require Chinese business and technology acumen to work in the local market.
In 2016, ZDream acquired startups database and intelligence platform Xeler8. The acquisition gave the firm access to proprietary database and analytics tools to survey companies and at the same time share the resources with its clients and investors in China.
Recently ZDream Ventures has appointed Rishabh Lawania as its Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Head of Investments in India. The Gurugram-based company had raised about $10 million India focused corpus from Limited Partners (LPs) in China and other Southeast Asian countries.
Over the last couple of years, Chinese giants like Alibaba and others are slowly but steadily making its presence felt in the Indian startup ecosystem. This all started in 2015 when Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba made its first move in India by making an investment in Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s Paytm, a mobile wallet firm. As of today, its stake in Paytm has grown to 60%.