CEO Tao Li on the APUS Global Mobile Internet Incubator
APUS Group held an event to celebrate six months’ cooperation with foreign and domestic startups at its Beijing-based Global Mobile Internet Incubator. CEO Li Tao explained the future of the incubator in incorporating technology startup innovations into a greater APUS ecosystem.
The Global Mobile Internet Incubator provides all-around support to Chinese companies looking to go abroad, and foreign companies entering the Chinese market. Tao Li describes the incubator as an “international bridge not only to help Chinese companies find the success we have had abroad, but also to attract foreign mobile Internet enterprises into China.” As a kind of technological and cultural crossroads, the incubator is aimed at longer-term investments in the future of connectivity.
The Global Mobile Internet Incubator wouldn’t just stop at investing in startups at a growth stage, though. CEO Tao Li hopes that it will eventually play a role in creating an APUS ecosystem of mutually complementary mobile internet products. At the event, Mr. Li noted that the incubator is “sharing our user market, even including our product, which, on the technology side, is providing a system of support.” In addition to financial, HR, marketing, registration, and all-around business support, the incubator makes use of the APUS User System and all of its 250 million users as an asset to startups. While the incubator currently provides technological support in the form of user data and innovation expertise to startups, cooperation on the tech side are intended to evolve into actually making the startups’ products part of the APUS User System.
APUS is currently invested in several mobile startups, such as U.K-based mobile video platform LoopMe, Indian mobile advertising firm InMobi, and Chinese virtual reality developer Fires VR. The APUS incubator, which only targets internet startups, is much more Silicon Valley-like [compared to other Chinese incubators] and has the potential to become one of the most professional accelerators of its kind,” said Pu Wang, China CEO of Plug and Play Ventures. While mobile software the direction the incubator is taking right now, CEO Tao Li hopes it will come to encompass many areas of IoT with the overall goal of connecting everything. “While we were in America, we visited a driverless car startup, these are the kind of investments which will be crucial assets for APUS to consider,” said Tao Li about his recent trip to the US. However, for now, the incubator remains concentrated on getting Chinese startups into developing markets, and getting other startups, such as those that might come from Silicon Valley, into China.
Founded in June 2014, APUS Group’s first product, the APUS User System, attracted more than 1 million users within the first week. The user base for the signature app, the APUS Launcher, climbed rapidly to 250 million in 15 months, while the APUS User System currently has around 510 million users globally.