Chasm Security: Facing the Technology Startup’s Dilemmas (A)

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Publication Date:
June 15, 2020

Industry:
Professional Services

Source:
China Europe International Business School

This case series describes the dilemmas encountered by Shenzhen Chasm Security Co., Ltd. (referred to as “Chasm Security”) in its three rounds of funding since its establishment in 2012. As a company with Internet security technology as its core asset, it has five co-founders from three regions. Given the political and economic context of the China-U.S. trade war and the sensitivity of the information security industry, this case series always generates vigorous and enthusiastic discussions. Case (A) focuses on the first two rounds of funding in mid-2016 and discusses various dilemmas faced by the founding team. First, should the equity split among the co-founders be based on instinct or logical rationale? Second, should the company’s shareholding structure be more concentrated or distributed? Third, should President Zhi Wang exercise his veto power? Crucially, the judgment on the last question encompasses three other dilemmas: (1) whether to insist on his rationale on market positioning, or swallow his opposition for the sake of maintaining relationships; (2) whether to gain a firm foothold in the Chinese market, or pursue a broad global presence; and (3) whether to chase a high valuation and wealth, or retain company control.

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Chasm Security: Facing the Technology Startup’s Dilemmas (A)

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