Highland expands China team with two Intel recruits

Highland Capital Partners has hired technology specialists and former Intel Capital senior executives John Hsin and Kuantai Yeh, just five months after Intel launched its second China fund.

US venture firm Highland Capital Partners has expanded its investment team in Shanghai with the hire of John Hsin and Kuantai Yeh as managing directors. The two will join Chuan Thor, a partner at the firm.

Hsin and Yeh were previously with Intel Capital China, the venture arm of the semiconductor giant, where they focused on investments in the internet, media and technology sectors. At Intel, they were involved in investments in cluding 51.com, Incesoft, LuckyPai and Yeepay.

Prior to joining Intel, Hsin was an Asia-based partner at Crystal Ventures, a venture capital firm based in North America and Asia. He was one of the founding employees of Rebound Int’l, a business-to-business exchange for excess inventory in international trades. He has also been an investment manager at venture firm Walden International. Prior to that, he was an investment banker at Morgan Stanley in New York and Hong Kong.

Yeh was a Hong Kong-based investment banker at Credit Suisse First Boston before joining Intel China Capital. At CSFB, he led the non-Japan Asia technology investment banking business for local technology companies. Prior to that, he worked at Cypress Semiconductors in various engineering roles.

The departures of Yeh and Hsin come barely five months after Intel Capital China launched its second China-focused technology fund, a $500 million (€352 million) vehicle to invest in local Chinese companies active in the media, technology, telecommunications, wireless broadband and clean technology sectors.

Highland Capital has been making direct investments in China since 2006. Its portfolio includes investments in UUSee, an internet TV and interactive broadcasting service operator; Qihoo, a search solution provider for internet and mobile platforms; and NetenSec, an internet security provider.

Established in 1988, Highland invests in seed, early and growth stage companies in the consumer, healthcare, consumer, digital media and IT sectors. The firm manages assets of about $3 billion across eight funds.