Xi’an native catches his ‘Internet tidal wave’

Updated: 2015-09-07 03:37

(China Watch)

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Xi’an native catches his ‘Internet tidal wave’

Xi’an Software Park in Shaanxi province. The industrial park is a key national high-tech industry center and a hub for software exports and IT-based outsourcing services. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Xin Xiaochen, a 33-year-old native of Xi’an, Shaanxi province, founded his own high-tech company in 2010 after rejections from eight foreign companies, including IBM, for a job as a software engineer.

“Getting into a foreign high-tech company was my ideal job before I made up my mind to start my own business,” he said in late July at Xi’an Software Park.

Seeing a great deal of potential in the mobile Internet sector, Xin created a business plan and sought out investors by sending out hundreds of e-mails.

“The first Internet tidal wave occurred at the beginning of this century when I was at school. I wasn’t able to enter the business world at that time,” he said. “This mobile Internet boom is the second wave that will bring huge opportunities, and I cannot miss out. Otherwise, it may take another 20 years for another chance.”

In late 2010, Wang Huadong, 30, and a Beijing-based partner at venture capital firm Matrix Partners China, invested 1.5 million yuan ($233,000) in Xin’s business, which he later built into Xi’an Geeksoft Technology Corp.

“It was a bit of luck,” Xin said. “Wang might have had some favorable impression of Xi’an.”

Xin said Wang attended Northwestern Polytechnical University, located in Xi’an.

The investment in Geeksoft was the first project for Wang, who said he was eager to flesh out his business vision and abilities in the venture capital market. Wang said he would love to see Geeksoft grow into a software company focusing on services for global users.

“Xi’an has a good talent pool because of its universities, which can be an advantage for startup companies,” Wang said. “You can find many dream-chasers here.”

After five years, Geeksoft has a staff of more than 50 employees in two offices in Beijing and Xi’an.

Other venture capital firms have since invested 35 million yuan over the past five years in Geeksoft, which currently has about 70 million active users.

Xin’s goal is to build Geeksoft into a mobile Internet advertising platform that can display its clients’ services and products to millions of users.

He said up to 80 percent of Geeksoft’s users are in overseas markets, unlike most of China’s mobile app companies.

“Foreign users are accustomed to paying for online software applications, which can bring us more revenue in the future,” Xin said.

He estimated that the company will reap a profit when its users reach 150 million.

He plans to get the company listed on the New Three Board, China’s new exchange for nonlisted small and medium-sized companies, by the end of the year.

“Once we secure more capital through the platform, the company will have a bigger cash flow to increase users and realize a profit,” Xin said.

He said the Xi’an city government helped a great deal when the company was founded.

“(It) provided us free offices during the first two years when I established my company,” Xin said.

“Because of its policies encouraging high-tech companies, the local government offered us rent subsidies and tax breaks. I would like to keep the company’s research center in Xi’an even when the company grows bigger. Beijing will be the location of our marketing team.”