For the last two years, Chinese venture capitalist Geng Yixuan traveled to India every month or two to meet local startups. Geng’s firm, Shunwei Capital, is backed by Lei Jun, the founder of Xiaomi, the most popular smartphone brand in India, which gave Geng a solid entree to Indian entrepreneurs. This year, Shunwei recruited its first Indian employee and set up an office in Bengaluru.
Shunwei is one of an increasing number of Chinese and China-focused venture capitalists and entrepreneurs turning to India, lured by the country’s market of nearly a half-billion internet users, second in size only to China. Chinese VC firms invested $5.9 billion in India in 2018, compared to $3.4 billion in 2017 and just $665 million the year before, according to data firm Tracxn. In the first three quarters of 2019, Chinese firms have invested $2.2 billion in India, the data shows.