As globalization continues, increasingly more labors and investments are moving abroad. According to statistics, there are over 100 million Chinese abroad and the number keeps rising, thus, a new market has emerged – the overseas Chinese market. Targeting on this market, Bujiong Fund from Beijing aims at investing in innovative projects that connect people of Chinese origin, and provide convenience to Chinese people abroad.
Wei Zhang, the founder of Bujiong Fund told Financial Buzz in an interview that the predecessor of the fund originally invested in real estate and had over 50% of return at that time, but as the economic environment changes he decided to shift the focus to technology and internet companies. Nevertheless, competition among innovative technology companies in China escalated during the past year, which further encouraged him to invest abroad. He considers the overseas Chinese market very promising given the strong capacity of consumption, the custom of creating business and the accumulated wealth of Chinese people.
Yet, there is still a market gap for people with Chinese origin. For example, in Flushing, a district in Queens and the fourth largest central business district in New York City, more than 33,000 Chinese are living or doing business there. Many of the vendors provide specialized products and services targeting on the Chinese or Asian people. Walking along the streets in Flushing, you will easily find some most authentic dim sum restaurants that beat many similar restaurants in China. However, despite some of the vendors have been in the U.S. for decades, they could barely speak English, which limits their business and other activities.
Bujiong Fund is committed to invest in projects that help overseas Chinese live an easier life. The first investment that the fund made about one year ago is called Biu Technology, which includes the foremost Bujiong Shop, a mobile application that combines E-commerce and social media, as well as other platforms covering food, coupon, transportation, jobs etc. In the shopping app, you can not only find the specialty goods directly from the Chinese vendors but also see the products that your friends purchase. Biu Tech raised $80 million in funding last year from Bujiong Fund, and the shopping app is anticipated to profit already in this month, the third month in operation.
According to Wei, Bujiong Fund currently holds approximately $300 million and invests only in angel rounds. At the same time, he plans to establish a “Parallel Fund” in the U.S., which would primarily invest in the Internet and Technology. Domestically, he anticipates to integrate the non-performing assets first and later to invest in industrial companies. Speaking of what distinguish the fund with other investment fund, Wei said that they had acquired a marketing and promotion company abroad to serve the start-ups they invest, and would allow new apps to grow users faster. In addition, through Biu Tech, a platform was created which allows transferrable users between the apps, and new apps can be put on Biu Tech’s platform for a three-month testing.
Bujiong also plans to organize an innovation contest in major U.S. cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Houston and Washington DC.