INCE Capital’s JP Gan as he appeared on the cover of Forbes China in 2019. “Young consumers enabled … [+]
The year 2022 started out well enough for Shanghai-based venture capitalist JP Gan. The investment firm he started, Shanghai-headquartered INCE Capital, said on Jan. 7 it had raised $700 million in new capital from investors including Duke University, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, Kaiser Permanente, and Dietrich Foundation. In January of this year, it also made a new investment in fashion retailer Ponhu’s $45 million round of outsider funding.
Things started to get more complicated in March. First, China major tech hub Shenzhen locked down to contain the spread of Covid in the first half of the month. And later last month, Shanghai, an Asia business hub of more than 26 million people, locked down, too.
Good thing for Gan, he was in Beijing when the worst of it hit Shanghai, which has accounted for most of the country’s cases in the past month, including some 26,000 on Monday. Supply chains, investment, manufacturing and staffing have disrupted business, according to surveys by two American Chambers. There are also been reports of food shortages. “I’m almost like a refugee,” smiled the long-time Shanghai dweller on a Zoom interview, waiting it out in China’s capital for Shanghai to settle down.
The pandemic spike doesn’t take away from a new Gan success this year. He made the 2022 Forbes Midas List unveiled today as one of 17 China-based members. Gan ranked No. 97, down from No. 24 a year ago. The lower ranking and pandemic haven’t shaken his approach to investing in the country, which has long focused on consumers. “Young consumers enabled by technology will lead the consumption trend. That’s something that we continue to be bullish on.”
Gan made his name in Shanghai from winning picks earlier in his career with China online travel leader Trip.com Group (once known as Ctrip.com), social media Bilibili, delivery site Dianping.com (later merged with Meituan), and Musical.ly (acquired by
JP Gan is a board member at Nasdaq- and Hong Kong-traded social media Bilibili. Photographer: Qilai … [+]
© 2021 Bloomberg Finance LP
ByteDance and turned into TikTok). He made those over a 13-year span at Qiming Venture Partners, where he as a managing partner after earlier stints at Carlyle Group, Merrill Lynch, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Gan holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BBA from the University of Iowa.
Both INCE and Qiming, which has still two members on the 2022 Forbes Midas List (Nisa Leung and Duane Kuang), embody how a boom in venture investing in China has energized China’s start-up scene for newcomers that also include fund management firms. Last year alone, VC investment in China totaled a record $130.6 billion compared with $86.7 billion a year earlier, according to reported figures from Preqin.
Gan, 50, formed INCE in 2019 with colleagues who also left Qiming Ventures and are now founding partners with him: Steven Hu, Paul Keung and Stella Zhou. INCE’s strategic advisors include top Trip.Com’s chairman James Liang and CEO Jane Sun, where Gan still sits on the board, along with Rui Chen, the CEO of Bilibili, where Gan also holds a board seat. Steven Neil Kaplan, a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business is also an advisor.
Unlike Gan himself, INCE’s Shanghai-based colleagues are largely working from home. “They’re still doing calls and video conferencing. We’re still doing things.”
Eventually, he believes, the pandemic will recede and it will be easier to target businesses that fit into his strategy. When, though, is impossible to say for even the far-sighted venture capitalist.
A medical worker conducts Covid-19 tests for residents after a confirmed case was found in the … [+]
See related posts:
U.S. Tips For American Citizens Still In Shanghai
Mom’s Encouragement Lands China Healthcare Investor On Forbes Midas List