The SOSV Chinaccelerator has been a successful Shanghai-based VC in China for a decade. Managing director William Bao Bean, explains to Russel Flannery of Forbes how they re-invented themselves and started to export their China strategy to other emerging economies as Orbit startups and stopped investing in China.
Flannery: What was behind the change with Chinaaccelerator and Orbit?
Bean: Orbit Startups is a rebranding and re-focusing of Chinaccelerator and MOX, which was another program based in Taiwan. Our parent organization SOSV is very much focused on a sustainability mission, which includes global emerging frontier markets where we can leverage our know-how and capital to drive economic independence. As part of sustainability, SOSV is also centered on health and climate, which of course also have lots of applications in emerging markets.
We’re a lot different than VCs that break up the world by geography, such as Europe or India. We think tech is global, and view the world in terms of vertical strengths. We all invest through our fund SOSV, but we have Orbit, which focuses on the Internet and software, HAX for hardware and IndieBio for biotech. We want the best innovation from all around the world. Often times, that’s in Silicon Valley or London, but sometimes it’s in Jakarta or Lagos.
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