More than half of 2022, there is no new outlet, and metauniverse and Web3 are in hot and controversial parallel

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Source:Original by shenrancaijing

By Wang Min

Editor Xiang Xiaoyuan

Original title: more than half of 2022, no new air outlet

In the middle of 2022, the wind stopped.

In the first half of the year, the pace of the entire investment market slowed down significantly, and the investment amount in the first quarter decreased by nearly half year-on-year. According to relevant data of Zero2IPO Research Center, 2155 investments occurred in China's equity investment market in the first quarter of 2022, a year-on-year decrease of 27.5%; The disclosed investment amount was RMB 1968.822 billion, a year-on-year decrease of 47.1%.

In the past six months, the complex international environment, the global economy full of uncertainty, and the repeated epidemics in Beijing, Shanghai and other places have made the institutional fund-raising environment worse and the activity decreased significantly. Many investors have been on the sidelines for a long time and have become more and more cautious. Although the market did not experience the collective contraction of large-scale tracks such as online education and community group buying last year, the overall trend was not good, and even new outlets did not emerge.

After the cold of new consumption last year, investors focused on two major directions, representing the next generation Internet and the future Web3 and metauniverse sectors, as well as the carbon neutral and hard technology sectors with obvious policies and capital dividends. Among them, the valuation of related companies in the field of Web3 and new energy increased significantly in the first half of the year.

In the cold winter of the market, whether these directions are the real future or the short-term foam is still uncertain, but this is one of the few growth directions in the current market.

Carbon neutralization and hard technology: the only tuyere left

New energy: "not investing in new energy now is like not buying a house 20 years ago."

"Not investing in new energy now is like not buying a house 20 years ago." recently, economist Ren Zeping's words have been widely spread. In his opinion, at present, new energy related industries are the most promising and explosive fields of China's economy in the future. 

"Hard technology is one of the few booming industries this year," hard technology investor linjialiang also told shenran. "In the first half of this year, especially some new energy projects developed at a faster pace."

Unlike some racetrack investors who actively slowed down their investment pace due to economic environment and policy factors, a new energy investor pointed out that the agency wanted to speed up the progress, butAffected by the epidemic situation, we had to slow down the pace.

For example, Zhang Hong, an investor in the new energy field in Beijing, said, "for many projects, it is impossible to finally make investment decisions without going to the site to make adjustments." In the first half of the year, affected by the epidemic, he missed two projects that had been followed for a long time.

With the influx of capital, the valuations of some new energy projects have gone up。 A hard technology investor mentioned that an insignificant small new energy company, just after mass production, would be valued at $2billion at first, "it's really crazy".

In the sub sectors of the new energy sector, in the secondary market, wind power, photovoltaic and lithium batteries all rose sharply in the A-share related sectors in this June.In the primary market, energy storage and hydrogen energy are the focus in the first half of this year.

As an important supporting link for the development of new energy such as photovoltaic and wind power, the energy storage industry has become the focus of energy transformation and the only way to achieve "double carbon". According to the prediction of Everbright Securities, China's energy storage investment market will reach 0.45 trillion yuan by 2025, and increase to about 1.30 trillion yuan by 2030. According to linjialiang, some companies in the energy storage field can achieve several times of annual revenue growth.

Specifically, among the current main energy storage methods, electrochemical energy storage has the widest application range and the greatest development potential. At this stage, lithium batteries are mainly used, and it has entered the stage of large-scale commercial application.

According to the data of Zero2IPO Research Center, from 2016 to the first quarter of 2022, the number of investment cases in China's clean energy sector was mainly concentrated in new energy power generation and energy storage, accounting for 38% and 34% respectively; Among the investments in the energy storage field, the lithium battery investment is the most active, accounting for 75.9% of the total investment cases in the energy storage field.

Hydrogen energy, as another focus of attention, is related to the medium and long term plan for the development of hydrogen energy industry (2021-2035) released in March this year. This means that hydrogen energy has risen to the strategic position of national energy.

The industry side also knows that hydrogen energy is still a long way from large-scale industrial implementation. "The cost of hydrogen energy storage and transportation is too high," Zhang Hong pointed out, but this does not affect the high attention of the market.

Semiconductor chip: no reduction in heat, but valuation callback

With the continuous policy support, the domestic substitution in the field of semiconductor chips has accelerated in the past two years. According to the relevant reports of Zero2IPO research, in the equity investment market in the first quarter of 2022, the semiconductor and electronic equipment industry was the industry with the highest amount of investment, reaching 44.802 billion yuan, nearly 10billion yuan higher than the 35.303 billion yuan in the IT field, the second largest industry.

While attracting numerous gold, there has also been a foam in the semiconductor field.As early as 2021, the seizing of high-quality projects in the semiconductor field has been very fierce, and the early financing amount of the industry is basically hundreds of millions of yuan. Some people believe that it had become the hardest hit area of the foam at that time.

Zhang Hong focused on new energy and new materials this year because he saw that in semiconductor projects, it is often the leading stars and large institutions that participate. "These large institutions have raised the valuation of the project to a particularly high level and divided up their shares." His organization began to worry about whether the valuation of the primary and secondary markets of the semiconductor sector was seriously upside down, and whether it could get a reasonable return in the end. Therefore, he was very cautious about investing in the semiconductor field.

"Last year, the market had too high expectations for the semiconductor field, and this year is somewhat lower than last year." Lin Jialiang pointed out that since the beginning of this year, the valuation of some semiconductor projects in the primary market has been loosened, and the growth rate of valuation has slowed down significantly.

Part of the reason for the conservative valuation is that the growth rate of the global semiconductor market has declined. According to the data recently released by the world semiconductor association, the growth rate of the semiconductor market is expected to be less than 15% in 2022, down about 10% compared with the growth rate of the previous year, while the growth rate will further slow down in 2023, which is expected to be 5%. The decline in demand in the mobile phone and other terminal markets has also led to overcapacity in the semiconductor field, resulting in a "trend of cutting orders".

The correction in the secondary market is also part of the reason.In the A-share market, semiconductor projects have broken and their valuations have shrunk one after another。 In April, four of the five semiconductor companies with IPOs broke, of which the first day of listing of Vijay Chuangxin fell by 36%, and the market value evaporated by nearly 10 billion yuan. A large number of semiconductor companies, including Aojie technology and Guoxin technology, still suffered long-term losses after listing. Since November 2021, the domestic A-share semiconductor sector has continued to decline. By the end of April this year, the sector index had fallen by more than 30%.

Although the semiconductor industry received the most funds in the first quarter, the financing amount has declined compared with last year. According to the relevant reports of Zero2IPO research, during the first quarter, the financing volume of the semiconductor and electronic equipment industry increased by 11.8% year-on-year, while the amount decreased by 19% year-on-year. In addition, the number of investment and M & A events at the industrial end of the semiconductor field is also increasing, and the head institutions are expanding their industrial lines in the form of M & A to establish advantages.

In the context of global growth slowdown, domestic substitution in the semiconductor field is still of great concern in China. After all, the improvement of the overall localization rate of China's semiconductor equipment industry is still in its infancy. After the false fire of investment fades, the market can return to the law of rational development.

Metauniverse and Web3: hot and controversial

Yuancosmos: it's not time to bury your head in paving the road

In the second half of last year, the concept of the meta universe burst into flames, but it was after the public realized that the meta universe could not be realized overnight that the heat fell.

however,The enthusiasm of the industrial and investment sides for metauniverse has not decreased significantly。 In the virtual human, social networking, vr/ar and other fields related to the meta universe, there are many large companies.

Since the beginning of this year, virtual digital people have become the darling of the investment community. In the first month, they raised nearly 100 funds, with a total amount of more than 400million yuan. ByteDance, Tencent and other Internet companies and entertainment companies have deployed virtual digital people and released digital people products.

Although there is no technical innovation in the vr/ar field, it does not affect the industry's optimism in this field. Some people think that ByteDance has growth potential in the future. One is tiktok, and the other is the business unit of VR device Pico. LuoYongHao also publicly stated recently that the direction of starting a business again is ar, saying that AR is the next generation computing platform.

Metauniverse social apps are constantly incubated. First, the gel went online and then quickly went off the shelf. The Party Island under byte, which is regarded as a meta universe social product by the outside world, is also under internal test. In June, Yingke company, the former "first share of live broadcast", was renamed "yingcosmos" and will comprehensively transform its business to yuancosmos.

For the distant metauniverse,Investors pay close attention to technological innovation in the field of infrastructure construction。 Wang Sheng, partner of inno angel fund, has been focusing on metauniverse in the past year, especially on relevant infrastructure projects.

"Talking about the realization of the meta universe now is equivalent to the construction of Disney before the roads have been repaired and the water and electricity have not been connected." Wang Sheng pointed out that the infrastructure construction of the meta universe is still in a very early stage. Take virtual digital for example. On the one hand, the production cost of 3D animation is very high and the cycle is long; On the other hand, the 3D images of digital people, which should have been immersive, are still mostly presented in the form of short videos.

He believes that the following directions should be focused on in the construction of the meta universe, including the construction of computing power to support the massive computing needs of the meta universe; Artificial intelligence technologies such as AI perception algorithm to strengthen the virtual real connection; The construction of 3D graphics and related production tools to build a virtual digital space.

"In the next three to five years, the meta universe must first be upgraded at the infrastructure level. Only on the basis of continuous improvement of infrastructure construction can there be rich content ecology." Wang Sheng said.

Web3: the meta universe is not coming yet, and "next generation Internet" is taking the lead?

In 2022, when the concept of meta universe is relatively "convergent" and the industry and investment sides are busy paving the way, Web3 has become the hottest and most controversial outlet in the venture capital circle.

Web3 is based on blockchain and emphasizes decentralization. Compared with the static one-way reading of information in the Web1.0 era, users in the Web2.0 era can read and write information and participate in interaction. In the Web3.0 era, users can read and write information and have data ownership.

In Wang Sheng's view, compared with the meta universe, Web3 is the innovation of productivity, and Web3 is the innovation of production relations. On the basis of the gradual maturity of the underlying technology of the blockchain, how to build an economic system and accelerate the implementation of applications is the focus of exploring the Web3 field.

To some extent, the reason why Web3 is popular is that it is a new field of rapid "wealth creation" in the eyes of some investment institutions。 Overseas, more and more companies have brought investors ten times or one hundred times high returns because of the ten times or one hundred times increase in valuation.

Since last year, venture capital institutions such as a16z and paradigm have established billions of dollars of Web3 funds. In June this year, Sequoia Capital launched two new funds with a total scale of $2.85 billion to expand investment in Web3. According to incomplete statistics, it has invested in nearly 20 Web3 companies in the first four months of this year alone.

Unicorns also appear one after another in the Web3 field. In April, Web3 security company certik announced that it had completed the B3 round of financing of US $88million, and the post investment valuation reached US $2billion (about RMB 12billion). In May, Babel finance, a cryptographic financial service provider, completed round B financing of USD 80million, with a valuation of USD 2billion.

Stepn, a "move to earn" Web3 game, also announced that its valuation exceeded US $1billion less than half a year after its launch in November last year, and the circulation market value of platform tokens exceeded US $20billion at the highest.

An investor mentioned to shenran that, unlike the traditional primary market investment, some Web3 projects are invested by issuing tokens. After unlocking, the institution can exit quickly, with a shorter locking period and better liquidity. "Compared with the distant meta universe, the attractive thing about Web3 is that it can be quickly realized and profitable".

However,The other side of high yield is high riskThe token token mechanism is the catalyst for Web3 ecological development. In a large, complex, fast-growing and lack of supervision field, if the token mechanism is not perfect, it may lead to disastrous consequences and bring huge losses to investors and ordinary users.

Recently, the price of bitcoin, the world's largest cryptocurrency by market value, has also plunged due to factors such as the Federal Reserve's interest rate hike and Luna's thunderstorm. In the early morning of June 19, bitcoin once fell below $18000, the lowest since the end of 2020.

In addition, the risks of Web3 applications cannot be ignored. Take stepn as an example. After it released the announcement of checking mainland users in late May, the token price continued to plummet, once falling by 40%.

So far,Web3 is still controversial in ChinaSome people believe that Web3 cannot be defined solely by blockchain technology. Moreover, the circulation of cryptocurrency is subject to compliance restrictions in China. Therefore, when dollar funds flocked to Web3, many traditional VC companies were still skeptical.

However, investors have a consensus that the learning and attention to Web3 should not be left behind.

New consumption, TMT: fever abatement, diversion

New consumption: from excessive to cooling

"If the new consumer investment in the second half of last year is a cooling down of the market, the situation in the first half of this year can be described as sad," said consumer investor chenminghui. According to his observation, since the beginning of this year, many funds have directly cut down the consumption group, and many investors who watch consumption around them have either transferred to other directions or lost their jobs.

Since 2018, chenminghui has paid attention to the consumption field. It can be said that chenminghui has witnessed the whole cycle of new consumption from going into the wind to returning to rationality.

In 2019, the trumpet of new consumption sounded. New brands such as perfect diary, vitality forest and three and a half tons relied on the Internet traffic, and their sales soared. Capital rushed to rush for new consumption.

By the first half of 2021, the investment and financing of new consumption will make great progress and become the hottest track in the industry. According to the data of zeniu, the number of consumer investment and financing reached 333 in the first half of 2021, with a total financing amount of more than 50billion yuan, higher than the total financing amount in 2020.

However, since July and August in the second half of last year, the number and scale of financing in the primary market began to decline significantly。 In 2022, it was even colder. According to incomplete statistics of blue shark consumption, 71 investment and financing events were announced in the new consumption field in April 2022, a decrease of 27.6% month on month compared with 98 events in March; Compared with 128 cases half a year ago (November 2021), it is reduced by 44.5%.

Behind the cooling of the primary market is the sharp decline in the share price and market value of new consumer brands in the secondary market. Since its listing, the share price of Naixue tea once plummeted by more than 75%. As of June 21, the share price of paopaomate was still lower than the issue price, and the market value of MARUMI shares had evaporated by more than 20billion yuan compared with the highest share price.

The secondary market does not pay the bill, and the operation of new consumer enterprises has also encountered difficulties. Since the beginning of the year, the declining trend of layoffs, store closures and continuous losses in the new consumption field has intensified.

The valuation foam began to burst after investors found that the project growth could not match their expectations”, chenminghui pointed out. In fact, since the second half of 2021, practitioners have gradually understood that new consumer brands have fallen into the dilemma of play failure, and the use of Internet traffic has achieved explosive growth. When the flow dividend ebbs, brands lacking sustainable growth momentum will fall into a growth dilemma.

Now, chenminghui's organization still insists on looking at consumption, but it is more restrained and rational. "The projects we have invested in recently are all minor innovations under the relatively mature market demand, which may not be very 'sexy', but are relatively stable and visible growth and income," he said. "The basic plate of China's consumer market is still there. Every year, there will still be 35 segments of the competition. What we need to do is to seize these heads.".

TMT: high growth no longer, investors change careers

When people in the industry talk about the rise of new consumption outlets, they always need the turn of TMT investors in 2019.

TMT comes from the integration of technology, media and communication. However, in the past decade, the popularity of mobile Internet has also made the word TMT synonymous with the direction of the Internet.

However, TMT now encounters periodic challenges. In 2019, the US dollar fund will be full of funds and is looking for the next outlet. In the mobile Internet era, the market Matthew effect is obvious, and the valuation of a leading company can rise 100 times a year.

However, since 2019, investors have found that there are few such opportunities in the market, and the cases of byte, pinduoduo and meituan are difficult to replicate. In 2019, Li Kaifu, the founder of innovation factory, pointed out that the dividend of mobile Internet is gradually disappearing, and investors should seize the next growth point driven by technology.

Since the third quarter of last year, the amount of investment and financing in China's Internet sector has been declining, especially during the first quarter of 2022. According to the relevant reports of the Institute, in the first quarter of 2022, the amount of Internet investment and financing in China was US $3.51 billion, a month on month decrease of 42.6% and a year-on-year decrease of 76.7%.

The decline in investment in TMT is closely related to the situation of leading Internet companies。 An investment bank practitioner said that since last July, the TMT business of investment banks has pressed the pause button and entered a cold winter. The rapid development of the market once led to an endless stream of monopolies, excessive competition and other behaviors. In the past year, the regulatory authorities have also made great efforts to rectify at the level of anti-monopoly and against the disorderly expansion of capital. The closure of the listing channel also led to more TMT investors to adjust their direction.

Previously, some investors switched to new consumption, but in the second half of last year, after the investment logic in the Internet field was cold in the new consumption field, they began to try to turn to hard technology. However, the threshold for hard technology investment is high, and investors with industrial background have more advantages. Many TMT investors who lack industrial background look for opportunities for new exports with yuanuniverse and Web3.

But in short, in the field of investment, the myth of making wealth in the mobile Internet era has disappeared.

"As long as you stand on the tuyere, pigs can fly". In the golden age of Internet development in the first two decades of the 21st century, capital has created one tuyere after another. In 2022, the Internet industry has entered a downward turning point. In addition to the instability of the economic environment, both investors and entrepreneurs need to be more cautious.

*The pictures in the title and the pictures in the text are from visual China. At the request of the interviewee, Zhang Hong and chenminghui are pseudonyms in the text.

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