Another little-known VC emerged.
According to the investment community, Challenger capital, a major shareholder of Yuanqi forest, has quietly invested in a brand of bottled ready to drink coffee, never coffee. More interestingly, the legal person of Challenger capital is Tang Binsen, founder of Yuanqi forest. In other words, Yuanqi forest is slowly extending its investment antenna through a VC.
Challenger capital, a VC firm founded in 2014, currently manages three RMB funds with a capital scale of 2 billion yuan. It has deep involvement in the fields of consumption, entertainment and games, and enterprise services, and has invested in many well-known projects such as panda brewing, ramen theory and Yuanqi forest.
Tang Binsen is almost invisible in China’s venture capital circle. The post-80s generation started from game entrepreneurship, and created the early blockbuster game “happy farm” so that he could achieve wealth freedom; the new consumer brand “Yuanqi forest” which started again was robbed by first-line investment institutions, with a valuation of 14 billion.
Quietly invested in a coffee company
The vitality of the forest fire, is constantly extending its investment antenna.
The investment community (wechat ID: pedaily2012) learned that Yuanqi forest had quietly invested in a bottled ready to drink coffee, never coffee. According to Tianyan information, the second largest shareholder of never coffee is Beijing Challenger Technology Co., Ltd., with a shareholding ratio of 20%.
Little known is that Beijing Challenger Technology Co., Ltd. (namely “Challenger capital”) has a deep relationship with Yuanqi forest. Tang Binsen, the founder of Yuanqi forest, is also the legal person of Challenger capital, and is the largest shareholder of the company, holding 78.75% of the shares.
Before founding Yuanqi forest, Tang Binsen founded Challenger capital in 2014. This serial entrepreneur became an angel investor after financial freedom. He once said: “after 10 years of hardship, I found that the first thing to make a fortune is to be able to choose”. He chose to focus on the consumer industry and invested in many consumer brands.
Tang Binsen, founder of Yuanqi forest
All along, the forest of Qi has been regarded as the leader of the Internet plus drink. This phenomenal bottled beverage has experienced a valuation surge from 0 to several billion in three years – in October 2019, with the investment of institutions such as Gaorong capital, the valuation of Yuanqi forest jumped to 4 billion. In the next nine months, the value of Yuanqi forest rose by 10 billion.
In addition to the iconic category of “bubble water”, Yuanqi forest, through its own R & D center, has continuously launched more market-oriented categories, including burning tea, milk tea, pet muscle collagen water, functional drinks, etc. in August this year, Yuanqi forest also launched a new coffee taking iron milk tea, which began to approach the ready to drink coffee market.
It is reported that never coffee, invested by Challenger capital, is an original coffee brand, taking black coffee as the starting point, and its products include iced black coffee, iced lime coffee, Iced Latte, etc. In addition, never coffee also sells gourmet coffee, coffee beans and coffee related products. Although Challenger capital invested in the company as early as 2017, the ultimate beneficiary may still be Yuanqi forest, combined with the radical approach of Yuanqi forest in expanding categories.
Founder of Yuanqi forest,
Holding a secret VC, holding 2 billion yuan
Before the rise of Yuanqi forest, Tang Binsen was already building a consumer empire through investment.
Investors in the consumer sector have been paying attention to an investment institution: Challenger capital, a VC firm established in 2014, currently manages three RMB funds with a capital scale of 2 billion yuan, and has set foot in the fields of consumption, entertainment and games, enterprise services, etc.
“This organization is not the same as others. It pays special attention to the linkage with enterprises. After investment, it is very, very heavy.” An investor in the field of consumption once introduced this to the investment community. More importantly, Tang Binsen, the founder of Challenger capital, is not only a continuous entrepreneur, but also a brand like Yuanqi forest, which can be called the most insightful investor in consumption.
According to Tianyan survey, Challenger capital has invested nearly 170 enterprises abroad, covering consumption, enterprise services, entertainment, games and other fields. Among them, Challenger capital has launched a number of consumer brands, including Ramen theory, panda brewing, Wang xiaohalogen, Wang spicy hot and sour noodles, etc.
In fact, both Tang Binsen and Challenger capital can grasp the trend of consumer brands in advance, and they can find the later “Star” brands at a very early stage.
In 2015, when panda brewing was still an unknown new brand, Tang Binsen, who had publicly expressed his aversion to “four yuan water beer”, chose to invest. He believed: “the gap between Chinese and American people’s lives does not come from high-tech, but from consumer goods. What improves people’s lives is a product with higher quality than ordinary industrial wine, such as craft beer. There are many excellent craft beer companies in the United States, while China lacks local brands. ” Then, craft beer ushered in a wave of explosion.
In addition to angel investors and VC, Tang Binsen and Challenger capital also started LP. According to Tianyan information, Tang Binsen is the executive director and legal person of “Gongqingcheng Xingchuang investment”, which currently manages four funds.
Tang Binsen, 38
It took four years to achieve a 14 billion valuation
This post-80s entrepreneur can be called a “hot money harvester”.
In December 1982, Tang Binsen was born in Hefei, Anhui Province. As a child, he was very interested in business and never stopped “tossing and turning” in this respect. Tang Binsen’s first business was in high school. In the era of rampant pirated tapes, Tang Bingsen was reading books and reselling tapes. Although he didn’t make much money, he also planted seeds for later business.
At the age of 22, Tang Binsen went overseas to win the highest prize in the international programming competition and won a prize of 25000 euros, becoming the first Chinese to win a gold medal in the history of the competition. With the fund of nearly 250000 yuan, Tang Binsen started his first business in his life on campus. In 2005, the Internet penetration was not deep, and Tang Binsen’s Internet psychological testing products once ranked first in this field.
After struggling for two years, the company gradually fell silent. For eight months, he couldn’t pay his salary. At this time, Tang Binsen had to think about changing direction. “We really can’t help it. We tried the game when we were too poor. Thanks to the fact that we couldn’t, otherwise we would die in this psychological testing industry.”
In 2008, Tang Binsen officially founded the social game company zhimingtong, which won the first place in the popular Renren “creative programming” competition with “character signature”, which attracted the attention of Chen Yizhou. Subsequently, the “happy farm” launched by Tang Binsen and his smart star team officially came out, becoming the web page dominating the ups and downs of the Internet, the earliest national game, and even spread to more than 20 countries around the world, affecting 500 million people overseas.
So far, Tang Binsen’s entrepreneurial road has completely opened up the situation. In 2012, zhimingtong recorded 600 million yuan of revenue and 76 million yuan of net profit by virtue of the popular game empire war, and won the investment of Tencent and Innovation workshop. Li Kaifu once commented on Tang Binsen and said: “he is the most potential entrepreneur I have ever met. He may become the next Ma Huateng.”
Two years later, zhimingtong online mobile game “the dispute between kings” ranked first in China’s mobile game income list. This year, zhimingtong, which originally planned to be an independent IPO, sold it to Chinese media at a premium of 28 times, and Tang Binsen successfully withdrew 1 billion yuan.
With 1 billion capital in hand, Tang Binsen’s vision is no longer limited to game entrepreneurship, and even turned to be an angel investor. He believes that investment should discover secrets that others cannot discover. What is a secret? It’s a law that can really be repeated. On the basis of this theory, Tang Binsen has invested in a cotton, Jishiduo and other brands, involved in brewing beer, textiles and other industries.
Compared with these, what really makes Tang Binsen famous is the rise of “black horse” energy forest. “We dare to spend 1.8 billion on advertising when we generate 2 billion revenue, and do brand exposure in New York, London, Moscow and other central cities.” Tang Binsen believes that the outstanding results in the game field at that time mainly attributed to the “from high to low” playing method. And this kind of play is also used in the battle of breaking through Yuanqi forest.
At present, the scene of the original investment institutions rushing for tea is staged in Yuanhe forest. In just four years, Yuanqi forest has achieved an estimated value of 14 billion yuan from zero. It can be seen everywhere in supermarkets and convenience stores in large and medium-sized cities.
From games to new consumption, from entrepreneurs to investors, Tang Binsen has worked hard for ten years to understand a truth: it is too important to choose the right path. In his view, entrepreneurship should pay attention to following the trend and “zero budget” to do great things. “The truly powerful entrepreneurs should seek the general trend of the times, rather than rely on their own bullies. When you start a business, you should think about the times. “
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