Sequoia joins Chinese VCs in SINA deal

The $180m financing will broaden the corporate governance of the Chinese online information giant.

A company that has a major holding in China’s SINA Corporation has completed a $180 million investment from several venture capital firms, including CITIC Capital, FountainVest Partners and Sequoia Capital China.

SINA is one of the largest providers of web-based services to the Chinese-speaking market. It is publicly traded on the NASDAQ.

CITIC Capital and FountainVest are among the most prominent Chinese venture capital firms. Silicon Valley-based VC veteran Sequoia also operates investment platforms in China, India and Israel. Members of SINA management also contributed to the financing.

The investment will broaden the corporate governance of the company that now is the largest shareholder in SINA. New-Wave Investment Holdings is controlled by SINA founder, president and CEO Charles Chao. Members of SINA management are also shareholders in New-Wave.
The deal “marks a historical moment at SINA”, said Chao in a statement. “For the first time since its IPO in 2000, the largest shareholder of SINA is a SINA management-controlled entity. I am delighted that all key members of SINA’s management have contributed to the private equity financing, even though participation was purely voluntary.
Each venture capital investor will have the right to nominate one director of New Wave’s board, which previously had only Chao as a director.

SINA is sometimes called the Yahoo of China. It controls popular online businesses focused on online news, mobile content, games, search and online shopping.