When Silicon Valley venture firms set out to conquer China five-to-seven years ago, most of them picked one of three strategies.
There was the branch office strategy, whereby the China partners and Valley partners would still work as one firm, making all investment decisions together as a unit and sharing in the returns equally. There was the more common franchise model, where a brand name Valley firm lent its name to a group of local Chinese investors, but mostly left them to make their own decisions. And then there was the joint venture model, where a well known Valley firm didn’t seek to create a China office, it just partnered with an existing one.
That last tack – the join venture model – is the one Accel took, partnering back in 2005 with IDG Ventures– one of the pioneers of investing in the Chinese consumer Internet.