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独家|昕容对话Plug and Play CEO Saeed Amidi:中国在无人驾驶领域会成为世界第一

2019-04-15 18:20:15  来源:中国金融商报     编辑:翟晓燕

硅谷孵化器的故事很多与PaloAlto大学路165号相关。

大学路165号是一幢三层小楼,被称为“TheLuckyBuilding”(“锦鲤楼”),因为入住过早期的Google、Paypal、Danger和Logitech被列入硅谷创投圈知名景点。

Google搬离大学路165号时的合影

大学路165号的财产拥有者是伊朗兄弟RahimAmidi和SaeedAmidi,他们先后投资了Paypal、Danger、LendingClub、Dropbox等租客。收获颇丰的他们于2006年买下位于Sunnyvale的飞利浦研发中心,成立PlugandPlay,正式开始了孵化+投资+企业创新的生态。已经成为硅谷孵化器标杆的PlugandPlay于2015年进驻中国,目前已经累计投资、孵化超过300家中国创业公司。

中国投资圈一直普遍认为孵化器不是赚钱的好生意,而硅谷孵化器来到中国市场多半“水土不服”。而正在一步步深耕中国市场的PlugandPlay以怎样独到的孵化和投资能力来构建中国和全球的科技创新生态,近日容言创新传媒创始人谷昕容在硅谷Plug and Play总部采访了其全球CEO Saeed Amidi。

视频:

我们愿意花10年陪伴“深科技”公司成为“独角兽”

Grace:Inwhichstageofthestartupsyouusuallyinvestthem?

谷昕容:你们通常投资什么阶段的初创企业?

Saeed:We generally like to start investing in pre-seed, seed and A round. So that is sort of like our sweet spot. But occasionally if they be like the industry like supply chain and logistic or insurance, we may participate in the later stage company as well. But our sweet spot is seed and A round.

Saeed:我们一般喜欢在种子期、种子之前或者是A轮开始投资,这个阶段是我们投资的“甜点期”。但是如果是供应链、物流或保险这样的行业,我们也可能会在比较后期的阶段进入。但是总的来说,我们的“甜点”是种子期到A轮。

Grace:Howlongwillyouaccompanythemtogo?

谷昕容:那你们会陪伴这些创业企业走多久?

Saeed:You know, one of our great start-ups is called Soundhound. We invested in the company 11 years ago when they were only three people. And recently they became a unicorn, over a billion dollar.

Saeed:我们孵化出了一家非常了不起的初创公司Soundhound。我们是在11年前投资了这家公司,当时他们只有三个人,最近他们变成了“独角兽”,估值超过10亿美元。

Saeed:So no matter what you do, I believe in a good technology startup takes some time, at least five years, and in this case, ten years did.

Saeed:无论你做什么,我相信一个好的技术性初创公司需要一段时间,至少五年,成长壮大,而这一家是十年。

Saeed:Soundhound I believe is the best voice recognition software in the world with the semantic search behind it. So I think it's so much better than Siri or Alexa of amazon. It is the most incredible technology for voice recognition and search. We feel in fact, I believe it's announced that Mercedes is using Soundhound for command inside the car.

Saeed:我认为Soundhound是目前世界上最好的语音识别软件,它的技术是语义搜索。我认为它比亚马逊的Alexa和苹果的Siri都要好用得多。这是最令人难以置信的语音识别和搜索技术。梅赛德斯应该已经宣布将Soundhound应用在车内指挥系统。

Saeed:So we feel the human machine interface will change from the touch to voice in the future.

我认为未来人机交互会从触摸式完全变为语音交互。

Grace:Howlong?

谷昕容:何时?

Saeed:I think it is now. Like for example, Siri doesn't work very well, but I try to dictate my emails in this phone and Alexa at homes, everybody tries to use voice command. And I really think if it becomes really high quality, and that would be especially if you're driving, that would be the ideal interface between the human and the car.

Saeed:这已经实现了。Siri确实不太好用,但我已经在努力在苹果手机上用它听写邮件,在家会使用Alexa,事实上大家正在用更多的语音指令。我认为语音识别一定会变得越来越准确,特别是你在开车的时候,人与车之间最理想的交互应该是语音。

Grace:IfindsomeventurecapitalsinChinaarelesspatientininvestingstartupsinveryearlystageandthenacoompanyingthemtogoalongjourney;insteadtheywanttheirmoneybackearlier.Howcanyoubesocommitedtothislong-terminvestment?

谷昕容:我发现中国市场上一些风险投资机构比较急功近利,他们并没有那么多的耐心投资到很早期的初创公司,并且陪伴他们走过一段很长的创业之路。你们怎么做到如此长期的风险投资?

Saeed:In particular, if you are doing deep technology, maybe AI, maybe like especially for a software for B2B businesses, it takes 5-10 years to build a big company.

Saeed:如果你做的是“深科技”,像人工智能,或者是给企业客户做软件,那么至少需要5-10年成为一家大公司。

Saeed:But sometimes like in the consumer internet companies or Apps, quite frankly, it can go viral and you could have 50 million users really fast. But that doesn't mean it is a great company. You know, for example, Soundhound similar to Shazam has a consumer song recognition company. And in fact I think they are incredible presume they have more than hundreds of millions users. But that doesn't make it great company. I think the great company is the voice recognition software that can power a telco can power an automotive company like Mercedes.

Saeed:但如果你做的是面向互联网消费者的应用产品,它可能会很快变得非常流行,很快拥有5000万用户,但这并不意味着它就是一家伟大的公司。例如,有一家和Soundhound类似用语音识别技术做歌曲识别的公司叫做Shazam(音乐雷达),难以置信它现在已经有超过数亿的用户,但我并不认为它就是一家伟大的公司。我认为伟大的公司是创造语音识别软件,可以给电信公司赋能,可以给梅赛德斯这样的汽车公司赋能。

Saeed:So sometimes in B2C business, you can grow really fast and have it exit in five years or less, but usually is and exit to sell the company to Google, Intel, Cisco, but really not a big IPO.

Saeed:所以有时候在B2C的业务中,公司可以快速成长,投资人有可能在五年或更短的时间内退出,但通常是因为被谷歌、英特尔、思科这样的大企业成功收购而退出,并不是因为创业公司自己IPO上市。

对于初创企业,应用场景比钱更重要

Grace:IknowPlugandPlaydoeslotsofmatch-upworkforstartupsandlargecorporates.Howdidyoufindthisbusiness?

谷昕容:我知道PlugandPlay帮助很多初创公司和大企业对接,你们是怎么开始做这项业务的?

Saeed:Yes, in fact, like everything in life sometimes is a chance.

Saeed:事实上,很多事情的发生都是一种偶然。

Saeed:So when we had many startups here in our headquarters in Plug and Play, that being introduced startups to investors to help them grow. Like, for example, Lending Club, I remember I introduced it to Norwest and Canyon Partner, primarily for investment. And that was going great. Then we realized more than money the startups need customers. If we can introduce the startup to potential banks, insurance companies and they will license the technology, and it is more important than money. So we embarked in what we call corporate innovation, corporate digital transformation, about six years ago. We have had great interest, the large multinational companies from China like Wanda Group, Country Garden. In the US we have big organizations like Ford and Coca-Colacoming here to emerge themselves into new technology that can help them serve their clients better.

Saeed:在PlugandPlay孵化器这幢楼里,我们经常为初创公司举办很多活动,把他们介绍给投资人来帮助他们成长。例如,当初我把LendingClub介绍给了Norwest和CanyonPartner,主要是投资,当然这对LendingClub帮助非常大。但是渐渐地我们发现,对于初创企业来说,相比钱他们更加需要的是客户。如果把这些初创公司介绍给银行、保险公司,并且大公司可以特许使用创业公司的技术,那相比钱对他们的帮助会更大。因此,从六年前开始,我们就开始了这项企业创新,或者叫企业数字化转型的服务。在中国,我们已经和万达集团、碧桂园这样的大型跨国企业合作。在美国,也有像福特、可口可乐这样的大型企业来到硅谷PlugandPlay寻找和应用适合的新技术来更好的服务他们的客户。

Saeed:So it was an accident, but now we really focus on it.

Saeed:所以最初是偶然,但是我们现在非常专注在做这件事。

Grace:Butthisrequiresquitedifferentexpertise,ononehand,toprovideservicesforlargecorporations,andontheotherhand,toinvestinsoearlystartups,andthereexistsverybiggapbetweenthem,sohowdoyoumanagethis?

谷昕容:但是为大企业提供服务和投资初创公司需要不同的专业技能,而且他们之间可能存在巨大的鸿沟,你们是如何成功地应对?

Saeed:Yes, so in fact you pointed out a really good point, becauseeven though our investment scenario is focused on early startups, I would say usually less than ten million dollar valuation, usually less than ten people. But our corporate partners consider a 50 or 100people technology company as a startup or a hundred people technology company as a startup, it used to be that they all bought product from SAP, Oracle, and IBM.

Saeed:是的,你指出了一个很重要的问题。我们的投资集中在非常早期的初创企业,他们通常估值低于1000万美元,团队在10人以内。但是我们的大企业合作伙伴眼里的创业公司是至少有50人或者100人的的技术公司。过去他们都是从SAP、Oracle、IBM这样的企业购买技术类产品。

Saeed:But these days the technology is moving so fast that 40% of the technology purchases are from startups less than five years old. So if you want to be at the breaking point at the tip of new technology and services, you have to work with entrepreneurs, you have to work with startups.

Saeed:但如今,科技发展如此之快,40%的技术采购都已经是来自创业不足5年的初创企业。因此,如果你想处于新技术和新服务的尖端,你必须与创业者和初创企业合作。

Saeed:So we do work with really early stage companies, but we work with mid-stage companies and quite frankly, late-stage companies, because that's the kind of companies or corporations would like to work with. And again using Soundhound as an example, Mercedes has been looking at them for 2-3 years, but when they started working together, Soundhound was already 6,7 years old.

Saeed:所以我们确实与早期的公司合作,但是我们同时也和中期的或者是比较后期的创业公司合作,因为这是我们的大企业合作伙伴想要合作的公司类型。再次以Soundhound为例,梅赛德斯此前观察了2-3年的时间,当他们真正开始合作时,Soundhound已经做了6-7年了。

Saeed:So sometimes if you want to have a critical product or service, you need to make sure that technology and startup is very well established.

Saeed:因此,有时如果你想要一个关键的产品或服务,你需要确保这项技术和这家创业公司已经证明是比较成熟的了。

AI对医疗和移动出行的颠覆最值得投资

Grace:Sowhichthespecificsectoryouseewillbethemostexciting?

谷昕容:在哪些具体的投资领域会令你最兴奋?

Saeed:So where I am concentrating is like financial services, maybe banking, insurance, and asset management. I feel we have a long way to go to totally digitalize and give the clients what they need in sort of banking, insurance and asset management.

Saeed:我的一个重点关注领域是金融服务业,银行、保险和资产管理。我认为在这些金融服务领域要实现完全数字化,还有一段很长的路要走。

Saeed:And then I also very much feel a healthcare will go through incredible revolution combining medicine with behavior through total solution.

Saeed:此外,医疗保健业将经历一场不可思议的革命,我们期待将诊断、医药和人们的行为结合起来的全面解决方案的出现。

Saeed:I feel United States needs to take 50% cost out of healthcare between the provider and payer. There is a lot of inefficiencies in the middle.

Saeed:美国医疗服务的提供者和购买者之间存在大量无效性,至少有50%的成本可以被节省。

Saeed:Also I'm super excited about connected car, electric car, autonomous car.

Saeed:同时,我对智能网联汽车、电动汽车、自动驾驶汽车也非常感兴趣。

Grace:Haveyouinvestedautonomouscars?

谷昕容:你们投资无人驾驶了吗?

Saeed:Absolutely. We have a I would say the largest innovation platform in the world for mobility and IOT here in stood guard. We have incredible set up for the last three years and now in Beijing, Shanghai, and Tokyo. So again we feel that wake up call to the automotive industry has been done by Tesla, butthere are a lot of newcomers like Nio, like Volvo, like all the German car companies that are rushing to electrify their cars and rushing to do autonomous cars. And I feel no way back. It is really gonna happen and it's gonna happen big.

Saeed:当然。我们拥有世界上最大的移动出行和物联网创新平台。在过去的三年里,我们在北京、上海和东京都建立了非常棒的平台。特斯拉为汽车行业的革命吹起号角,但也有很多像蔚来汽车这样的新来者,还有像沃尔沃和其他一些老牌汽车企业,他们都在尝试做电动汽车、无人驾驶汽车。我想这个趋势再也无法逆转了,这场革命一定会发生,而且是非常巨大的变革。

硅谷仍然是世界上最具有创新力的地方

Grace:Therearesomecommentsonpress,inparticularfromanEconomistarticlelastyear,sayingthatentrepreuneursandventurecapitalistsareleavingSiliconValleyasitsinfluenceisdiminishing,it’sbecomingincreasinglyexpensive,thetechnologycentersarediversifyingintheworldsotheSiliconValleyisnottheepicenteroftechnologyanylonger.Doyoufeelthesimilarcase?

谷昕容:从去年开始,我注意到媒体上开始有一些这样的说法,他们认为硅谷已经开始衰落,硅谷作为世界前沿技术创新创业中心的地位在下降,很多投资人和创业者在逃离硅谷,因为他们觉得硅谷太贵了,你的感受也是这样吗?

Saeed:You know Silicon Valley I still think is the best place on earth for a startup, but it is expensive, it is hard to find great engineers and keep them, but something that I feel Silicon Valley has that no other place on earth has till now is I feeling 2019 we will have 10,000 new multimillionaires as Uber and lyft go to public.

Saeed:我认为硅谷仍然是世界上最适合创业的地方,但它很昂贵,很难找到优秀的工程师并留住他们,但我觉得到目前为止还没有其他地方能够和硅谷相比,我觉得2019年我们将有10,000名新的百万富翁,因为优步和Lyft将上市。

Saeed:So here you have the ideas on entrepreneurs, but you have the Google alums, the Facebook alums, the Twitter alums that if your idea is good, they can help to mentor you. They can become your advisor or your angel. So you know I feel there is gonna be great startups born out of China. They have credible infrastructure, money, and commitment. I think there will be startups out of Paris, Berlin and Munich. But I still think this as long as I would live next twenty years, Silicon Valley will be the best place on earth.

Saeed:在这里你有创业的想法,你有谷歌的校友,Facebook的校友,Twitter的校友,如果你的创意很棒,他们可以帮助指导你。他们可以成为你的顾问、导师或是天使投资人。我觉得中国会有伟大的初创公司。他们有可靠的基础环境、资金支持和创业者的坚持。我想巴黎、柏林和慕尼黑都会有初创企业。但我仍然认为,只要我能继续活二十年,我会看到硅谷仍将是世界上最好的创业之地。

Grace:But there is also another debate that Googleandsome other giant companies have already had the dominance of technology innovation and they provide very high pay. So it will be too expensive for startups to attract enough talent.

谷昕容:但是也有人说,谷歌、苹果这样的公司已经非常具有垄断性、他们掌握了最尖端的技术和最优秀的人才,给他们提供最优厚的薪水和待遇,所以很多创业公司很难和他们竞争,也很难吸引到足够的高端人才。

Saeed:Yes, absolutely I agree with that. But if I may use the examples of Google and Facebook, I would say Facebook is a great platform with Mark Zuckerberg building it in Boston first and then bring it here in California.

Saeed:是的,我完全同意。但如果我可以使用谷歌和Facebook的例子,我会说Facebook是一个伟大的平台,马克·扎克伯格在波士顿建立它,然后把它带到加利福尼亚。

Saeed:But he recruited incredible talent from Google who have had this fast growth before. Because it's not easy to grow really fast, build a great product, build a great business. And that has been done more here than anywhere else in the world. Jokingly I say Plug and Play is between Apple and Google and ten minutes away from Facebook, two minutes away from LinkedIn. So this knowledge and this ecosystem, even though I think China is catching up really fast still I think this is the best place on earth.

Saeed:但他从谷歌招聘了不可思议的人才,这些人才在过去曾有过非常快速的增长。因为创造一个伟大的产品,建立一个伟大的企业,让它快速发展壮大,这真的是非常难的事情。但在硅谷发生这样事情比世界上任何地方都多。PlugandPlay位于在苹果和谷歌之间,距离Facebook10分钟,距离LinkedIn2分钟。所以这个知识和创业生态我始终认为是世界上最好的。

Grace:Haveyouseenanydifferenceforthestartupsandentrepreneursinthepasttwentyyears?

谷昕容:今天的创业者和20年前有什么不同?

Saeed:And I think in the past when you wanted to build the company, it took you a long time to set up the infrastructures, the servers, and the business plan. But right now we have cloud computing with what you can do so quickly. You could do have a rapid prototype or rapid prove of concept in three to six months with a lot less money.It might not be a complete product, but nowadays we feel it is the best time to be an entrepreneur. Then you have a lot of choices. You have places like Plug and Play you could go to clarify and crystallize your idea. And very fast we can evaluate with ten clients, if your product will solve their problem.

Saeed:如果你是一位创业者,过去你如果想建立一家公司,你要花费很长的时间建立基础网络设施、搭建服务器、写商业计划书。但是现在,云计算、云处理可帮助你很快开发自己的产品,你可以有很快的虚拟样机,可以用3-6个月的时间以更少的投资来快速验证你的概念可行性,当然这可能不是一个完整的产品。但我认为现在是最好的创业时代,创业者可以有很多选择,他们可以来PlugandPlay这样的孵化平台来使创意快速实施,我们可以很快帮助他们找到10家客户来评判他们的产品是否能够解决客户的实际问题。

Saeed:So no matter where you are as an entrepreneur, there is a lot of choices to make your idea/product be valued, funded, and hopefully to grow to a big company.

Saeed:所以,无论你身处何地,硅谷或是中国,你可以拥有很多选择为自己的创意和产品融资、验证,将他们培养成大的公司。

中国在无人驾驶领域会成为世界第一

Grace:WouldyoubeconfidentininvestinintheChinesemarketinthefollowing3-5years?

谷昕容:你如何看待中国未来3-5年的投资机遇?

Saeed:I believe like any fast developing economy, there is times that there will be little ups and downs, but the fundamentals in China are great, the population, the education, the growth. So of course there is going to be times that is more confident in investing in China, and little less few years, but overall, it’s one of the countries that we are incredibly bullish about.

Saeed:我相信,像任何一个快速发展的经济体一样,发展的过程中都会有一些起起落落,但中国的基本面是很好的,人口、教育、增长。因此,当然会有一些时候对在中国投资更有信心,而几年的时间也会少一些,但总的来说,这是我们非常看好的市场之一。

Saeed:And we feel, you know, especially in AI especially robotic, especially in delivery China similar to their 5G service can be faster than US and Europe. And quite frankly, I'mthe one that will bet that in electrification an autonomous car, China will be better than the US and Germany and Japan.

Saeed:而且我们认为,特别是在人工智能、机器人、5G服务方面,中国会比美国和欧洲发展更快。而且我坚信,在自动驾驶和电动汽车领域,中国会超过美国、德国和日本。

Grace:So you're saying that their competitive capability in high tech area is......

谷昕容:所以您是说中国在高科技领域的竞争力是……

Saeed:is unbelievable, phenomenal.

Saeed:是难以想象的,非凡的!

本文来源:容言财经

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