Tang Binsen is not only the founder of Chinese beverage brand Genki Forest – he is also an avid investor. Challengers Venture, founded by Tang, has become one of the fastest rising upstarts in the venture capital community. Now, a fund operated by the entrepreneur has achieved new progress.
On October 31, a Shanghai subsidiary wholly-owned by Focus Media, a Chinese out-of-home advertising operator, announced that it has invested 100 million yuan ($13.8 million) in Hefei Challenjers Gemini Venture Capital Investment Partnership (Limited Partnership). Beijing Chuangxinyizhou Investment Management Co., Ltd. is the fund manager and Xiamen Challenjers Yunteng Management Consulting Partnership (Limited Partnership) is the general partner. The actual controllers of these two companies are Zhou Hua, Chen Hongyu and Li Bo, while the latter two are the managing partners of Challengers Venture.
The new fund was established on November 20, 2020, with a target scale of 2.5 billion yuan ($344.35 million), and its initial capital contribution was not less than 1 billion yuan. According to an announcement released by Focus Media, 900 million yuan has been raised. The fund mainly invests in consumer industries, enterprise services, entertainment and other fields, mainly covering projects in the early and middle stages, growth stages and maturity stages.
In addition to Focus Media, the limited partners also include Hefei Guidance Fund, Luyang Innovation Fund, Sequoia Yuhui (Xiamen) Equity Investment, Beijing Juxinde Investment Management Center, Li Hanqiong and Zhu Bideng, contributing 200 million yuan, 100 million yuan, 30 million yuan, 50 million yuan, 20 million yuan and 10 million yuan respectively.
Challengers Venture, founded in 2014, focuses on investment in the consumer industry, with accumulated assets under management of 10 billion yuan and accumulated investment in over 150 startup companies, including UP Fintech Holding, Genki Forest, Alexander Wang, M Stand and so on.
Just as Genki Forest stood out from the fierce competition in the beverage industry with its concept of “zero calorie, zero fat and zero sugar,” Challengers Venture also favors enterprises that challenge “industry giants.”
According to Chinese media outlet Foodaily, the 2020 Challengers Venture Private Placement Memorandum mentions a strategy referred to as “cracks in the empire.” It is said that this is also the initial investment position of Challengers Venture.
According to this report, apart from Genki Forest, the cases that Challengers Venture has tended to introduce to LPs since 2014 include convenience food RamenTalk, daily chemical brand Power28, GuanYun Liquor and other consumer brands. Almost every field in which these consumer brands operate has industry giants.
According to a report by Chinese media outlet Lieyunjingxuan, Tang Binsen has repeatedly expressed his recognition of “Bayes’ theorem,” saying that “good industries are different from bad industries. In good industries, the top 100, top 10, top 20 are much stronger than the first player in a bad industry. It is very different.” When talking to the media about the logic of entrepreneurs investing many years ago, he once said that “the possibility of things depends on the confidence and courage of those who do things” with “the best and only logic.”
Under the leadership of Tang Binsen, Genki Forest and Challengers Venture, which continue to invest in the consumer field, are building a huge consumer goods investment map together.