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Dealmaking a bit nuts, markets to be volatile: Airbnb backer Hans Tung

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Aditi Shrivastava

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Madhav Chanchani

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Aditi Shrivastava

156 reads
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Madhav Chanchani

121 reads

The Silicon Valley-based investor says venture investing now is as aggressive as during the dotcom days, and yet he remains undeterred in his hunt for great companies

March 08, 2021

11 MINS READ

Hans Tung, Silicon Valley-based managing partner at GGV Capital, shouldn’t have reason to complain about the ongoing bull cycle in the capital markets. A few high-profile companies in his portfolio—home-sharing platform Airbnb, fintech company Affirm, and online fashion marketplace Poshmark—have made stellar trading debuts in recent months. Overall, 11 companies in GGV’s portfolio have filed for an IPO since September 2019.

Yet, in a video interview with The CapTable, Tung says venture investors in the US are throwing caution to the wind with their aggressive investing. He also warned that the capital markets will be volatile this year, especially for tech stocks. On Indian internet companies seeking to list in the US, Tung’s advice is they should opt for the traditional IPO process over the faster but controversial SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) route.

Not because he’s wary about SPACs—quite the opposite—but so institutional investors can get to know Indian companies better. There’s also the matter of Indian regulations governing overseas listings, which can make even SPAC listings slow for India-registered companies.

Ranked No. 10 on the ‘Forbes Midas List—The World’s Best Venture Capital Investors in 2020’, Tung also speaks on what short-video apps should do in India and on some of the most valued startups he missed out on in the US and China. 

GGV has been an active investor in India since 2019, backing B2B commerce major Udaan, edtech startup Vedantu, and digital gold loan provider Rupeek.

The interview has been edited for clarity and length.

This is the first of a two-part series.

Let us kick this off by getting your views on the state of the global IPO market. What’s going on? 

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