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商业 - 科技

寒冬将至:中国创业公司面临市场衰退

Scott Cendrowski 2015年09月14日

现在上哪里去找下一笔钱?今年第二季度,中国互联网行业VC/PE融资规模环比下降了一半,预示着今后的日子会很难熬。目前风险最大的,是数千家一直在不计成本争取用户且迟迟不愿考虑盈利问题的公司。“冬天来了”的氛围意味着这些烧钱的公司无望开展新一轮融资。

    9月4日,一群中国天使投资人在雨夜中聚集在北京科技寺众创空间。在那里,一些初创公司正对投资者进行“电梯游说”,他们来自北京和上海,是正在快速增长的创业大军中的一部分,现场来听讲的有100多人。但这个夜晚最后快要结束时,压轴登场的换成了投资者来给创业者提出一些忠告。

    最不容忽视的一条就是:竭尽所能地筹集一切你能拿到的资金,因为市场正在转变风向。

    求索创投管理合伙人James Tan在成都和北京两地都在进行天使投资,他把自己的演讲题目定为“冬天来了”。他说,就在过去一年半时间里,25%的中国初创公司进行了融资。在A股暴跌以及人们对中国经济形势普遍担忧的情况下,投资增长不光难以为继,局面还可能发生反转。他表示:“我们告诉自己投资的公司要尽快去找下一笔融资。”

    的确,来自投资中国网和《21世纪经济报道》的数据显示,今年第二季度,互联网行业VC/PE融资规模环比下降了一半,跌至37亿美元。

    目前风险最大的,是数千家一直在不计成本争取用户且迟迟不愿考虑盈利问题的公司。其中许多都来自政府和BAT三巨头大力支持的O2O领域,分属食品快递、教育等十几个行业。

    “冬天来了”的氛围意味着这些烧钱的公司无望开展新一轮融资。举例来说,据《21世纪经济报道》称,8月底,一家销售蔬菜水果等农产品的的中国初创公司裁员1500人,它已无法再度融资。

    从全球来看,大大小小的初创公司都难逃风险。硅谷资深投资人Bill Gurley刚刚警告说,增长周期比盈利更重要的风气将终结。上周早些时候,《财富》杂志曾报道,美国西海岸风投界越来越担心那些“垂死的独角兽”。

    在中国,创业公司也感觉到了类似的信号。(财富中文网)

    译者:Charlie

    校对:詹妮

    On a rainy night last Friday in Beijing, a group of China’s angel investors was huddled inside a shared work space for startups named Tech Temple. They were part of a crowd of 100 that came to hear elevator pitches from some of the rapidly growing number of startups in Beijing and Shanghai, but the end of the night was devoted for investors to give advice.

    The biggest one: raise all the money you can now. Because the market is turning.

    James Tan, managing partner of Quest VC, an angel in Chengdu and Beijing, titled his talk ‘Winter is coming.’ He said 25% of Chinese startups were funded in just the past year and a half, growth that not only couldn’t continue but that would reverse amid China’s stock market sell-off and general uneasiness about China’s economy. “We tell our companies to go and raise [funding] as fast as you can,” he said.

    Indeed, venture capital financing for Internet companies is down 50% in second quarter this year, to $3.7 billion, according to Chinaventure.cn and the 21st Century Business Herald.

    The most exposed companies are the thousands who have added users at any expense and put off thinking about profits. Many are part of the online to offline (O2O) industry in China, which has been promoted by the central government and China’s big three tech companies—Tencent Holdings Ltd TCEHY -1.01% , Alibaba Group Holdings BABA -0.33% , and Baidu Inc. BIDU -2.24% They are in food delivery, education, and dozens of other industries. (Click here to read Fortune’s coverage of Tencent’s evolution into a VC targeting O2O startups this summer.)

    The ‘winter is coming’ atmosphere means that fundraising rounds are drying up for the companies burning through capital. In late August, for instance, a Chinese startup selling vegetables and fruits from the countryside laid off 1,500 employees, the Business Herald reported, when it couldn’t raise more money.

    If anything, the world’s startups look like they’ll be exposed together. Silicon Valley veteran Bill Gurley was just warning that the cycle of growth being more important than profits might be ending. Fortune reported earlier this week that VC companies on the West Coast are increasingly concerned about ‘dying unicorns’.

    China’s companies are hearing the same drumbeat.

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