On the outside, China’s answer to Silicon Valley doesn’t look the part: It’s a crowded mass of electronics malls, fast-food joints and office buildings in northwest Beijing, bisected by congested highways.
Ron Conway, a financier known for his early investments in technology companies such as Google Inc., is leading a Silicon Valley effort to curb gun violence by investing in technologies such as firearm locks and better school security.
Even as some venture-capital firms have become skittish after the disappointing initial public offerings of Facebook, Groupon Inc. and Zynga Inc., a number of hedge funds, private-equity firms and other asset-management firms are pouring money into closely held startups.
Venture-capital firms are taking stiff measures to survive a tough fundraising environment and lackluster returns, including gutting their partnerships, slashing their fund sizes and refocusing their investment areas.
Raising money for start-ups is relatively easy in Silicon Valley these days. But longtime entrepreneurs and venture capitalists say it is still nowhere near as simple as it was in 1999 and 2000, when a cash flood fueled the dot-com bubble.