iAsk x China Daily | Time is the best friend of an investor

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中国日报·汪潮涌

砸钱、上市、套现,资本市场的“暴力美学”让人着迷。

First, acquire a large amount of financing, then get public listed and cash out – this seems like an intriguing pattern on the capital market.

从2017年开始,中国科技类企业掀起了第三次上市潮。2018年上半年,中国TMT企业IPO共计26家,融资金额达578亿元,同比猛增124%。其中,工业富联(富士康)、爱奇艺和哔哩哔哩(B站)三家企业IPO募资规模在今年上半年所有上市TMT企业中排名前三,三起IPO融资额占到上半年中国TMT企业融资总额的77%。

Since 2017, the Chinese tech companies experienced three waves of IPOs. On the first half of 2018, 26 TMT firms in China has went public, financed as much as 57.8 billion RMB, a huge increase of 124% on year-on-year basis. 77% of the total TMT financing amount comes from the top three players — Foxconn Industrial, iQiyi and Bilibili.

创始人十位数的身价、投资人近百倍的回报、8家上市公司同一天敲响港交所的锣……都像一支支兴奋剂一样,注入到创投市场。

10 digital net-worth for the founder, 100x returns for investors, 8 firms went public listed on the same day on HKEX– all the news is like adrenaline shots, injecting into the venture capital market one after another.

但药物的刺激、市场的亢奋并不能阻挡中国资本市场的寒潮。上证指数的持续萎靡、上市企业的接连破发,理性的投资人看到的更多是资本危机的一步步迫近。

However, despite these adrenaline surges on the Chinese capital market, they did not stop the winter from coming. Shanghai Composite Index continues to slump, several firms fall on its first day of trading, rational investors are expecting a capital crisis to come.

原来只要在风口上砸够钱,就能孵化出头部公司,然后获得十倍、百倍甚至千倍的回报。但是当风口过去,融资环境骤变,资本市场的“关门效应”出现,融资难、资产交易难、上市难、退出难。

In the past, as long as enough money is invested on the trending topics, the top players are incubated to gain 10x and even 100x to 1000x returns. However, when the hype is gone, financing environment suddenly changes, and the knock-on effect of the capital market kicks in. Then, it gets hard to do financing, hard to do transactions, hard toget listed, and hard to exit.

如何在资本市场繁荣时保持理性睿智,在资本寒潮来临时傲然挺立,成了投资人最常问的问题。

How to remain rational and clear-headed in the prosperous times and also to survive and thrive during the difficult times of the capital markets are common questions investors have to answer.

“时间是投资者最好的朋友”。 信中利资本集团董事长汪潮涌给出了他的答案,最近几年信中利的声音似乎少了很多,汪潮涌淡然地说:“这个市场没有人做得到一家通吃。市场需要不同风格的存在,我们的定位是追求投精品和回报,不追求规模。”

“Time is the best friend of an investor.” Wang Chaoyong, the CEO of ChinaEquity Group gave his answer. In recent years, people seem to hear less about the ChinaEquity Group. Regarding that, Wang Chaoyong took it lightly and commented that “no one can ‘get-it-all’ in this market”. He said, “The market needs investors with different styles and strategies. Our position is to invest the best firms with the highest returns. We do not go for the largest scale.”

失败了就继续往前走,就像航海一样,前面永远有最好的风景。不要在乎那些失败的投资,投资就是要做到无怨、无悔、无惧。

Continue moving forward even if you failed this time. Just like sailing, the best sceneries are always ahead of you. Do not care about the failed investments. For this business, it is about having no complaints, no regrets, and no fears.

本期艾问顶级人物,艾问创始人艾诚对话“创投教父”汪潮涌,领略他的投资人生,读懂一个投资人的抉择与取舍。

This week’s iAsk Leader, Gloria Ai is having a conversation with the “VC Godfather”, Wang Chaongyong to discuss his life as an investor, and the choices and trade-offs he made.

分割线艾诚:您如何评价前半生的投资?

Gloria Ai: How do you evaluate all the investments you made so far for the first half of your life?

汪潮涌:我觉得投资是我这一辈子最好的选择,也是我最喜欢的职业,是我毕生追求的事业。因为在中国的经济改革中、大潮里头,用资本、用投资去扶持一批创业家,帮助他们实现他们的理想,同时为社会创造收益,创造税收、就业,我觉得这就是一个合格的投资人的一个定位。

Wang Chaoyong: I think becoming an investor is the best choice of my life. It is my favorite kind of job, and a career I will pursue my whole life. Riding the waves of China’s economic reforms, employing capital and investment to help entrepreneurs to realize their dreams, while creating income, tax revenue and jobs for the society, I think these are things a qualified investor should position himself in.

艾诚:投资必定是成败的组合,因为有一个二八法则。看一个基金管理的项目,如果有20%存活,甚至是有回报的话,这个基金就是一个很棒的基金了,也就是必定还有80%我们会认为是失败的或者不那么成功的。

Gloria Ai: Investing is a combination of successes and failures, as there is a 20/80 rule. For a fund, if 20% of its investment survives, or even has some return, it is already a great fund. That means, there must be 80% left that are deem to fail or are relatively unsuccessful.

汪潮涌:你这个二八法则应该是这么理解。就是说在投资圈子里头,80%的利润和回报被20%的好的机构或者是好项目赚走了。

Wang Chaoyang: Your 20/80 rule should be understood in this way – in the VC circle, 80% of the profits and returns are earned by the best 20% deals or organizations.

作为一个领先的创投机构,我们就要瞄准那个20%这个领域或者是20%的项目,作为每支基金的话,我们不能有那么高的失败率,我觉得应该十个项目里有两个失败,其他八个里面可能有两个很成功的,其他有几个普通的,但是不能有80%的失败率,那个失败率太高了。

To be a leading VC, we need to aim at the sector or projects that are the best 20%. For every fund we have, we cannot have such a high failure rate. I think for every 10 deals, 2 of them can fail. Among the rest 8 deals, maybe 2 of them are very successful, the other ones are normal. But we can’t have a 80% failing rate. That is too high.

艾诚:但投资的智慧都是要从倒霉的项目里面锻炼出来的。

Gloria Ai: But the wisdom comes from the unlucky deals.

汪潮涌:确实是这样。

Wang Chaoyong: Indeed, that is true.

艾诚:什么样的项目在您投资的历程中是特别糟糕的,以后坚决不涉及了?

Gloria Ai: Throughout your career, what kind of deals were the worst, which you will definitely not get involved again?

汪潮涌:最糟糕的例子我还没有碰到,但是有遗憾。比如说早期那时候我们刚成立的时候,资金不足,所以在投资的范围只是局限在北京,所以我们投到了百度,投到了搜狐,但是没有投到杭州的阿里,没有投到深圳的腾讯,这是很大的一个遗憾。

Wang Chaoyang: I haven’t met the worst, but I have my regrets. For instance, when we just started, we were lack of capital, so the investment was limited in Beijing area. Therefore, we found and invested in Baidu and Sohu, but we did not invest in Alibaba from Hangzhou or Tencent from Shenzhen. This is a huge regret.

再一个就是后来的这几个互联网浪潮里,我们没有去跟。比如说在电商这个领域,我们错掉了美团、大众点评这种好项目。

Another regret is the subsequent waves of the internet economy, which we did not follow. For instance, regarding the E-commerce sector, we missed great deals such as Meituan or Dianping.

艾诚:就像您所说的,时间是检验的最好标准,是吗?

Gloria Ai: Just as you said, time is the best way to prove who is right.

汪潮涌:没错,时间是投资者的最好的朋友,也是投资机构最好的朋友。过去在创投领域,硅谷总是能够募到特别长的资金,十年,甚至十年以上。在中国,3+2,五年到头了,非常不利于长期持有好的项目。

Wang Chaoyang: Correct, time is the best friend for an investor, as well as for investment organizations. Because in the past, the Silicon Valley VCs can operate a fund for 10 years or even longer. In China, it is the 3+2 mode, which means a maximum 5 years of holding period. This is bad for holding good deals for over along period of time.

别看我们研究国内这个风口、那个风口,可是他们持有的时间都很短,很少有超过七年的,更没有超过十年的。可是恰恰在中国,投资最成功的两个项目,MIH投资腾讯,软银投资了阿里,都是持有超过十六七年,最后创造了上千亿美金的回报。

People in China focus on chasing “the next big thing”, but as you can see, they actually do not hold their investments for long. Very few exceeded 7 years, and none exceeded 10 years. However, the two most successful deals are made by MIH from South Africa’s for their investment in Tencent and Softbank investing in Alibaba. They both held for over 16, 17 years and created returns exceeding 100 billion dollars.

所以,这就是创投行业和投资控股行业的区别。我们应该探索的是,为什么中国的创投机构投了那么多好的项目,最后没有一家成为软银或者是MIH,我们当年投百度,五年122倍,我们卖掉了,但我要是拿到现在,可能接近一千倍。

So this is the difference between venture investment and equity investment. What we should find out is that Chinese VCs has invested in so many great deals, but why none of them became a Softbank or MIH? Back then, we invested in Baidu and got a 122x returnin five years and we sold our shares. But if I would have kept it until now, it would be close to 1000x.

艾诚:在现在大众创业、万众创新,人人都创业、人人都投资的年代,一个项目投资之后的退市,一个项目之后的这个上市和退出越来越难。

Gloria Ai: Right now everyone is founding a startup or working on innovation topics. In the era which everyone is founding or investing, it gets harder and harder for a deal (investment) to get public-listed and exit.

汪潮涌:确实是这样。因为在中国,两千多万家中小企业总共只有不到五千家的主板上市公司,一万家的新三板,加起来一共一万五千家,和两千万的公司相比,这是非常小的一部分。所以,上市、退出肯定是非常非常难的一件事。

Wang Chaoyong: Indeed. Because in China, out of over 20 million SMEs, a total of less than 5 thousand firms are listed on the Main Board and 10 thousand firms on the “New Three Board” – a total of 15 thousand companies. Comparing with 15 to 20 million firms in total, it is a very small share. Therefore, getting publicly-listed and exit is for sure a rare thing.

现在作为证监会,他们最担心的是这么多的VC和PE,投的公司上完市以后,VC和PE都要退、减持,这样对二级市场造成了巨大的减持压力。所以,他们现在也出各种各样的政策来限制减持。我觉得这个最好的解决方案就是让这些投资机构能上市的上市,能借壳的借壳,这样的话,他们就不急于减持他们投的项目。

As for the CSRC (China Securities Regulatory Commission), what they worry the most is, that there are so many VCs and PEs who would sell their shares after the deals go on IPO, which will give huge pressure to the secondary market. So now, they are also making all kinds of policies to limit companies from reducing their shares. I think the best solution is to make these investment organizations either get listed themselves or through a shell. Therefore they will not be in hurry to reduce the shares of their investments.

艾诚:美团的王兴说了,现在已经是中国互联网的下半场了。您觉得也进入下半场了吗?要面临大量的清算倒闭吗?

Gloria Ai: As Wang Xing from Meituan said, this is already the second half game for the Chinese Internet. Do you also think we have entered the second half of the game, facing lots of clearing and closedowns?

汪潮涌:还不到这个时候吧,我觉得再等个三五年。因为现在很多的基金都是处于一个投完以后的等待期。

Wang Chaoyong: I think not yet, maybe in 3 to 5 years. Because many funds now have invested all the money and are waiting for returns.

艾诚:五年之后见分晓,两到三年的一个存续期,是吧?

Gloria Ai: So we will see in five years, there are still two to three years left for the duration of the fund, right?

汪潮涌:是的。

Wang Chaoyong: Yes.

艾诚:您预判会有什么样的结局?

Gloria Ai: What do you think will come?

汪潮涌:会有很多的机构被淘汰掉,就像互联网创业一样。

Wang Chaoyong: There will be lots of VCs that are being phased-out, just like the internet startups.

艾诚:谁会留下?

Gloria Ai: Who will stay?

汪潮涌:有规模的,有退出记录的,有募资能力的,有品牌的,有经验的团队。

Wang Chaoyong: The large ones, the ones with good exit records, with fundraising abilities, with a good brand name and an experienced team.

艾诚:什么样的投资人会留下?

Gloria Ai: What kind of investors will stay?

汪潮涌:这些机构领军的投资人都会留下。

Wang Chaoyang: The investors from these organizations will stay.

艾诚:他们有什么共同的属性?

Gloria Ai: What are the common things about them?

汪潮涌:有深厚的产业背景,有深厚的投资背景,有广泛的人脉资源,更重要的是有非常好的学习能力、与时俱进的这些投资人会留下。

Wang Chaoyang: The investors who have a deep industrial and investment background, good networks and most importantly, fast learning abilities and who are keeping up with the times will stay.

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