SEAVI Advent Private Equity today announced that they have sold their stake in SinoFriends Inc. (the “Company”), which holds a stake in Zhenai.com to a U.S. dollar fund.
Founded in 2005 by Dr. Li Song, an investment banker-turned internet entrepreneur, Zhenai serves over 140 million registered members through its various online and mobile services, and is the largest internet dating & matchmaking service provider in China by revenue and profit, with expected 2017 revenue of more than RMB1.6 billion (US$240 million) and net profit of more than RMB200 million (US$30 million). In addition to its popular self-served web & mobile dating service platform, the Company operates 57 matchmaking centers in 37 cities throughout the country as of November 2017 for its VIP members.
SEAVI Advent Private Equity first invested in SinoFriends in 2006, during the Company’s series B fundraising. Since the initial investment, Zhenai has been growing and profitable: for the period from 2012 to 2016, CAGR of revenue was 24% and the gross profit margin in 2016 was 53.9%.
Although the investment period has exceeded 10 years, SEAVI Advent Private Equity’s extensive and hands-on participation in the Company during this period has yielded a 6.5x gross return (IRR 25%) on the investment cost.
Through this investment, SEAVI Advent Private Equity was able to partner with SinoFriends’ strong management team to develop Zhenai into China’s top internet dating & matchmaking service provider by both revenue and profit. Key to this growth has been SEAVI’s extensive value-adding throughout the investment period, including but not limited to bringing additional investor networks, active board participation, advising on mergers & acquisitions and so forth. SEAVI has also been instrumental in seeing through SinoFriends’ evolving business model and identifying key areas of growth.