Here’s how China has its roots deep in the Startup ecosphere in India

china in indian startup ecosphere

On June 15, 2020, 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the deadliest clash with the Chinese Troops in Galwan Valley of Ladakh during disengagement exercise to end an extended standoff along the Line of Actual Control.

First Indian casualties’ conflict with China since 1975 has pushed the already tense ties furthermore. The anti-China sentiments will grow stronger as time passes that will call for the boycott of Chinese goods in the coming days.

Chinese roots are deep in the Indian economy. In the Indian start-up ecosystem, Chinese companies are big investors. This has not only created a new class of entrepreneurs but also has given India some new jobs all the way as well as the technological push that was needed.

Some of the biggest Chinese players in the Indian Startup ecosystem are:

Ant Financial/Alibaba

Ant Financial, the Jack Ma-owned fintech arm conglomerate Alibaba group, one of the most prolific Chinese investors in India has invested million dollars in Paytm and Snapdeal. It has invested in almost seven companies across India and the amount invested is close to $2.7 billion.

Apart from Paytm, it has separately funded the e-commerce offering Paytm Mall as well. Ant Financial had said in November 2019, it is been trying to raise a billion dollars for the sake of fresh investments in startups in India and Southeast Asia.


Another major investor in the Indian startup sector is Tencent. Unicorns like Flipkart, Swiggy, and Ola are sponsored by Tencent. Back in China, WeChat, an instant messaging platform that is their equivalent of WhatsApp is run by Tencent as well as a host of e-commerce business and gaming apps.

Tencent has around 15 startups and close to $2 billion of exposure in India. Some of the growth-stage players such as Khatabook, MyGate, Niyo solutions, and some other established players such as PolicyBazar and Udaan are backed by Tencent. Reportedly, Tencent is also in talks with multiple new startups looking for rounds in the range of $10 to $15 million.

Shunwei Capital

Indian startups like food delivery giant Zomato, social commerce startup Meesho, messaging app Sharechat and lending platforms Krazybee and Loantap Shunwei Capital have a lead. Across 17 companies, the investment made is $129 million.

Fosun Group

Fosun RZ Capital an interesting Chinese investor, founded in 2013 is fast emerging. In 12 Indian startups, the investment made is around $85 million. Some of the late-stage investments like Ixigo, Delhivery, and some of the early-stage investments are LetsTransport, Mylo, and others. The firm run by Tej Kapoor cuts smaller cheques and does not compete with the likes of Alibaba and Tencent directly. In India, the digital lending startup, Kishht, is the only fintech investment by Fosun.


The popular smartphone brand and maker, Xiaomi is also an active investor in Indian startup sector. Including lending startup Krazybee and Sharechat it has led round in few others. Manu Kumar Jain, the top India executive said that the company was thinking to invest in Rs 6000 crore in across 100 Indian startups back in 2018. It has invested in 8 companies around $61 million as of now.

Hillhouse Capital

An investor in Baidu, Grab Airbnb and others, Hillhouse Capital has already invested in more than $165 million in India. Including Swiggy, Udaan, and Cred, it has stakes in 7 companies. Hillhouse was started in 2005 and it has been active in the mobility segment since then. It invested $50 million in an online automobile comparison platform CarDekho in 2014.

TR Capital

TR Capital popularly known as the secondary specialist is an active secondary investor in India. In 2018, it has even set up an office in Mumbai. Amongst the nine companies it has invested in Flipkart, Lenskart, Urban Ladder, and BigBasket are some. The investments made by it in India are to the tune of $111 million.

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