500 Startups Names A Chinese Partner As VCs Pack Its Demo Day

The place to be in Silicon Valley on Wednesday was 500 Startups’ latest demo day, judging by the number of venture capitalists who attended.

The busy affair drew partners from New Enterprise Associates, Canaan Partners, Onset Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Khosla Ventures and Emergence Capital Partners as a swarm of fresh-faced entrepreneurs laid out their business plans and asked for money.

Several of the 32 startups in the firm’s fifth accelerator class were well worth a close look. But more on that later. First, Founding Partner Dave McClure offered this news about his global expansion:

  • First, 500 Startups hired its first venture partner in China, Rui Ma. It is clear the organization is considering a Chinese accelerator, though no announcement was made.
  • 500 Startups also pointed out that its Latin American expansion is well under way. McClure said he has close to 50 investments so far in Mexico, Brazil and Peru.

As to the demo day startups, several stood out:

  • CompStak, an online market place for commercial real estate, collects data on office space pricing and has begun to sell that data. The company has raised more than a $1 million and is seeking new money to scale.
  • Chewse is a B2B market place that allows office managers to order in meals for meetings and events. It has approached big customers, such as Wells Fargo, and revenue is growing rapidly. The company has 85% of a $500,000 round spoken for.
  • BabyList is a baby products registry that works a bit like Pinterest. Parents identify what they need for their growing families. The company says $110,000 has been committed to $500,000 round.
  • Waygo is a smartphone translation app for international travelers that lets users hover their phone over foreign text and to know what is written. The company says it has raised $315,000 of a $500,000 round.
  • GazeMetric helps companies know when their brands appear in pictures on social media. The company is raising $750,000.
  • iDreamBooks aggregates book reviews from sources such as The New York Times. It has raised $500,000.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.