GCI Capital Founder and CEO Larry Liu is a young entrepreneur serving as a bridge between Canadian and Asian companies and marketplaces.
Founded in 2014, GCI thrived with its robust growth investments in startups across Canada, especially in cities such as Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Waterloo, as well as in the Atlantic provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
“Providing funds to companies is not enough. We are not like other venture capitals,” said Liu, who attributes GCI’s success to its ability to choose companies that are right for its portfolio and guide them correctly after investment.
Apart from the typical venture capital investments, GCI connects Canadian companies to the Chinese market through its extensive network and its knowledge of local culture and the business environment in China.
In fewer than five years, with 20 companies in its portfolio and six exited companies, the venture capital company has expanded to China and the U.S. via a second fund that has helped some companies penetrate foreign markets.
Conversely, GCI also handpicks successful Asian marketplace business models and introduces them to North America.
“We have helped companies in the food delivery, powerbank sharing and fintech sectors. We have also introduced an online marketplace for high–quality, affordable goods," Liu said.
For GCI Capital, helping its portfolio companies find success is important.
“We want to go beyond requirements and to take a hands-on approach during intensive work with the companies,” said Liu, who travels regularly to China to visit his team and further strengthen his network there.
Although a young venture capital, GCI has built quite a reputation for having narrowed the gap between Canada and China and forging a partnership with Zhejiang province’s Innovation Center. While the partnership encourages Canadian companies to invest in Zhejiang, it also allows Chinese companies to access GCI’s expertise as they expand to North America.