Tech writer John Shinal spoke to LightInTheBox CEO Alan Guo regarding the status of tech investment from established tech firms.
As more innovative tech companies are founded overseas, it’s a good bet that — all else being equal — they will take a growing share of global tech markets away from U.S. rivals.
That became clear to me when I spoke by phone this week with Alan Guo, a former Google product manager who’s now the CEO of Beijing-based LightInTheBox.
I was speaking to Guo — who also worked for Amazon.com and Microsoft, and received his MBA from Stanford — because his company this year chose a foreign listing on the New York Stock Exchange, rather than one in Hong Kong or Shanghai. That means U.S. investors can make money off the company’s growing revenue, which rose 72% last year to $200 million.
“We chose the NYSE because we have a lot of customers there (in the U.S.) and because there are a lot of tech investors there,” says Guo, who co-founded LightInTheBox in 2007.
Tech investors like growth, so even though buying IPO shares is among the riskiest kind of investing and LightInTheBox posted a net loss last year, its shares have climbed more than 80% since their debut in early June. Last week, its market cap rose to more than $900 million.
The company, which sells mostly made-to-order apparel, home decor and electronic accessories, gets more than half its revenue and its fastest growth from Europe, thanks in large part to Russia, where “the Internet is booming,” Guo says.
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