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This year’s rush of IPOs from Chinese tech companies has dominated headlines, but what’s more interesting is how quickly they got there.
Traditionally, “going public” represented the gratifying culmination of sleepless nights and missed birthdays that went into building a company. The peak of a lengthy climb, where founders and VCs would finally see the fruits of their labor.
Companies - Peak - Peers - Public - Markets
However, Chinese companies appear to be reaching that peak much quicker than their American peers, heading to the public markets only a few years after initial venture investments, and often with little operating history.
Analyzing twenty of the most high profile Chinese tech IPOs this year, the average time from first venture investment to IPO was only around three to five years. Take e-commerce platform Pinduoduo, which pulled in $1.6 billion less than three years after its Series A. Or the recent IPO of EV-manufacturer NIO, which raised a billion dollars just three-and-a-half years after its Series A and having just delivered its first car in June.
Timeline - US - Tech - Companies - Dropbox
That’s less than half the average 10-year timeline for venture-backed US tech companies that went public in 2018, including Dropbox, Eventbrite, and DocuSign, which all IPO’d more than a decade after their initial investments.
Differences in market maturity, government involvement, and support from large tech incumbents...
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