About Contributor

Rui Ma

Rui Ma is a Venture Partner covering Greater China for 500 Startups, a hybrid startup accelerator and global seed fund which has invested in a few Bitcoin-related startups, such as BTC Jam. She owns a few bitcoins, and is always interested in learning about disruptive new technologies. She is fully bilingual and bicultural and would write a lot more about the real China if she had the time. Please follow her at @ruima on Twitter or add her @missruima on WeChat.
Any info on funding that the app had received?

Commented 4 days ago on

Ctrip buys train ticket app Suanya for US$16M
Hi there,Other than the very basic trends of everything online, everything mobile, and everything on-demand, I'm not really sure what to say :). However, I see a few differences between how the US developed vs. China that might be more applicable to India (however I'm just guessing, I've never been to India).Lower trust between consumers and brands means that to go truly big, offline advertising (and heavy offline advertising and promotions) are necessary to get users to trust an online brand. Awareness has to be built in traditional rather than purely digital media channels and so acquisition methods are different (as well as costs!). This also applies to customer service.Due to more whitespace in productivity software and other IT infrastructure/tools, companies might find themselves building more featuresets/functionality than a US company delivering the same experience, because there aren't existing solutions to latch on/plug into. But companies can also potentially become a lot bigger, if they can manage to do this properly.Due to lower labor costs, the aforementioned reliance on offline acquisition channels, the existence of dozens of million-plus population cities (versus the far less dense US), and the good luck of having watched it unfold elsewhere (US or China), geographic expansion of familiar business models will be a lot quicker than in the West. The density really helps make expansions a reasonable proposition, if one additional office reaches millions versus just a few hundred thousand as often in the West.Would love to hear others' thoughts!!

Commented 4 days ago on

I’m Rui Ma, Partner for Greater China at 500 Startups. AMA!
Hi Ivan,1) I did not know what I wanted to do while in college, and so ended up in banking (as many of my peers did) just due to sheer ignorance. All I knew was I didn't want to be in engineering. I think that there are a lot more quantitative positions available in finance now (actually a huge adopter of software solutions due to the mathematical nature of the work) and so the increase in engineering/math graduates makes a lot of sense. I am not sure where you are trying to go with this question ... :)2) I definitely believe in the ability of technology to better society (I just wiki'ed technicism) because in a broad sense innovation gives us a better quality of life, mostly by saving us time, and making us better, faster, stronger beyond simple evolution! :) I'd like to know if you have a differing opinion ... !

Commented 4 days ago on

I’m Rui Ma, Partner for Greater China at 500 Startups. AMA!
I think this question is very product specific -- if you have something that is very much tied to everyday (especially offline) life and local institutions, such as say, food delivery, or even online banking, you are definitely better off by trying to figure out your local problem first, because there is almost no way to build a universal solution and you can only hope that future markets have enough overlapping similarities with your home one so as to give you a leg up on a local competitor that starts later than you. If it is something like a better selfie app that has low infrastructure and cultural barriers to overcome, go global from the get go.

Commented 4 days ago on

I’m Rui Ma, Partner for Greater China at 500 Startups. AMA!
Sorry for the late reply, I could not get this page to load on my computer for some reason. Thanks China internet. We don't have any social companies, unless you count 9GAG out of Hong Kong and PicCollage out of Taiwan which are both globally facing and are category leaders. For ecommerce we have Shopline out of Hong Kong, which is still early days yet, but growing quickly.Depending on what you mean by social, it is a very competitive market in mainland China. For example, the rise of Secret spawned I don't know how many clones. I think the main difficulties are good customer acquisition and retention strategies, same as in any other geography. For the rest of the region, because they are such smaller markets, you can build a winner, but the scale is unclear. I am not so learned on this sector, so sorry for the vagueness. The same goes with ecommerce in that I think that both of these are extremely difficult to compete in, unless you have a clear advantage. For ecommerce vendors, I personally care about proprietary suppliers, and secondarily, branding, in addition to profitable economics. For ecommerce infrastructure, that is a space that requires a lot of local knowledge, so having prior experience in the sector is highly recommended.

Commented 4 days ago on

I’m Rui Ma, Partner for Greater China at 500 Startups. AMA!
I think so. Many Chinese tech companies (telco equipment, consumer electronics) already are global. I believe you are specifically referring to internet and/or mobile internet companies, but depending on what you mean by global, many Chinese companies already have significant presence outside of China. I think you are probably referring to having a significant portion of the North American or even U.S. market, which yes, few companies seem to have entered successfully. There are many reasons for this, but I think it is too early to say that they will fail. I think it is only a matter of time!

Commented 6 days ago on

I’m Rui Ma, Partner for Greater China at 500 Startups. AMA!
pankaj at 500 dot co

Commented 6 days ago on

I’m Rui Ma, Partner for Greater China at 500 Startups. AMA!
Hi Mit,I'm afraid I am not qualified to answer this question because I am not familiar with either Ireland nor Singapore. My colleague Khailee Ng (of the awesome hair) would have better insight!As for entrepreneurs who seek seed funding, this also varies a lot depending on geography, but basically fundraising is generally a very difficult process, especially if it is your first time, and so expect to have to allocate a significant amount of time to it. However, getting your story straight for investors should also help you recruit key employees and partners/customers, as you will be able to sell your company and vision that much better ... or that should be the idea anyway!

Commented 6 days ago on

I’m Rui Ma, Partner for Greater China at 500 Startups. AMA!
James ... clearly by looking at the deals on www.seedinvest.com ...

Commented 6 days ago on

I’m Rui Ma, Partner for Greater China at 500 Startups. AMA!
I'm not really sure what you mean here. We do not help people start a business, but once it is post-prototype or launch, we will consider making an investment.

Commented 6 days ago on

I’m Rui Ma, Partner for Greater China at 500 Startups. AMA!
No it is not, but as mentioned, proficiency isn't terribly difficult to come by or to screen for. Truly bilingual and bicultural talent is difficult to find anywhere :)

Commented 4 weeks ago on

These startups chose to build their tech teams in Taiwan. Should you?