First Round: Social investment

However, perhaps it’s time to revise that view – now a GP has definitively shown that messing about on social media is actually good for business.

It happened in China, of all places. Those of you who, unlike First Round, are acquainted with parts of Asia that don’t have beaches will no doubt be familiar with SAIF Partners, a well-established local manager with offices in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai (and India, but that’s not relevant to this story).

Recently SAIF has fallen foul of the big regulatory backlash in China against all these dodgy RMB private equity funds that sprang up, most of which featured all sorts of dubious terms and some of which were set up with the express purpose of parting gullible retail investors from their cash. Following the inevitable outcry, the authorities have gone completely the other way; apparently the regulation is now so strict in some cities that even the respectable firms can’t get a license.

SAIF was having this very problem – until one of its executives whinged about it on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter. At this point, remarkably, the government sat up, took notice and agreed to renegotiate again.

Which just goes to show: next time you see your associates frittering away time on Twitter, don’t criticise: they’re probably doing it for your benefit.