Make Your First Move to the Chinese Market

8 Oct

Baylor Wei

An Interview with Baylor Wei, CEO, Yuhang Capital

By Candice He, Global Investment Strategist, LSN

Candice He (CH): Hi Baylor, could you briefly introduce Yuhang Capital and its mandate of the early-stage life science investments?

Baylor Wei (BW): Yuhang Capital aims to cultivate innovation, support entrepreneurs, and ultimately realize the vision of improving human health and creating better life. We are headquartered in San Francisco, California, and have office in Hangzhou, China. Our team manages both an USD and an RMB fund across public and private company investments worldwide.

We provide seed funding to help start-ups go from 0 to 1. At this stage, we are mainly looking for a driven team who are working to solve a pressing problem, who can really innovate, and who have a clear plan to eliminate their technology risks at the lowest possible cost. We are dedicated to creating long-term value for our portfolios and the larger start-up community.

CH: As you’ve mentioned, Yuhang has offices in both China and the U.S. Compared to other countries, do you think the Chinese market is especially suitable for life science start-ups to grow?

BW: Absolutely. China has expanded to be the second largest pharmaceutical market globally with $137 billion USD in total spending in 2018. Over the past 5 years, China has gradually become the strategic hub for multi-national pharmaceutical companies. For example, Pfizer has moved three of its research units to China to bring more developed products to the country; in 2019, Sanofi also launched new business unit “China and Emerging Markets” to leverage the tremendous growth opportunities in these markets. The Chinese market has made up 4%-18% of the global revenue for multi-national pharmaceutical companies, which also shows its great potential.

In addition, the policy in China has shifted to support more the use of IoT and other innovative technologies to solve healthcare problems. This is also what we are most interested in. As an example, we have been working with the CITRIS and the Banatao Institute to build CITRIS-Zhejiang, with the focus on the intersection of technology and healthcare. Finally, while the healthcare resources in China had been increasing in recent years, there is still a big gap given the large population. In the coming ten years, we expect even higher demands for talents, technology and innovative drugs and medical devices to fill in the gaps in the Chinese healthcare industry. 

CH: Could you specify what kind of company Yuhang is looking for in this competition, in terms of sectors, indications, or stage of development? Does Yuhang have a geographic preference?

BW: We are interested in start-ups who use innovative technology to address key issues in life science and healthcare. These include, but are not limited to biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostics, human therapeutics, digital medicine and health services. We believe innovation should have no borders. We welcome teams from any geographical area to join in this global movement. We try to impose less restriction on eligibility for the competition, but we are looking for great science and a driven team.

CH: That sounds like a great fit for the LSN start-up community! How many winners will be selected? Will they receive cash rewards or service supports?

BW: In total, 16 winners will be selected and will be getting both cash rewards and service supports. The First Prize will receive 6 million RMB, up to 10 million RMB interest-free bank loan and up to three-year free office space of 1,000 square meters. In addition, Yuhang Capital and our partnering venture capital funds will also consider follow-on investment based on further due diligence.

CH: Can’t say no to that! So how did Yuhang get involved in hosting this competition? What is Yuhang’s long-term vision? Would you focus on equity investments or are you ready to do more on top of the investment? 

BW: The reasons that Yuhang decided to host this competition is exactly due to our long-term vision, which is to cultivate innovation, support entrepreneurs, and ultimately realize the vision of improving human health and creating better life. We are committed to bringing long-term value to the global healthcare community, and this has to be coming from equity investments and beyond.

CH: Thank you very much for the interview, Baylor.

For our readers who want to know more about Yuhang Capital, please visit Yuhang’s Sponsor Dedicated Webpage.

Apply to 2020 Global Biotechnology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition Before Oct.18th Here.

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