Capvision is one of the larger expert networks globally, and the largest expert network based in China, domestically named Kaisheng Rongying. Capvision was founded in 2006 by former Bain & Company consultants. In April 2022, the company had 600+ employees and a network of 360 000+ expert advisors.
The company originally focused specifically on sourcing experts within China, but has since expanded globally. The bulk of Capvision's clients are still Chinese firms, although the firm has been successful in serving US-based firms researching Chinese markets. The firm had early success with serving international mutual funds, becoming a preferred partner for Chinese experts. It has since branched into other segments (e.g. corporates, private equity and hedge funds).
Capvision has offices in New York, Shanghai, Munich, Hong Kong, Osaka, and Beijing and offers not only expert calls, but also surveys, corporate access services, conferences, market research and HR services.
Capvision police raids
Late 2022, several Capvision offices in China were raided by the police. In May 2023, China's state broadcaster CCTV sent a 15-minute report featuring the crackdown on Capvision, accusing them of collaborating with overseas institutions to evade Chinese law and leak state secrets. Capvision was singled out as a "leading company", offering experts "high renumeration to illegally obtain various types of sensitive data" and "posing a major risk" to national security. In early October 2023, Chinese regulators said Capvision's "rectification" was completed, having improved their processes.
We discussed how companies manage expert network compliance post Capvision raids in a recent blog post.
In 2018, former managers founded the machine-driven expert network Linker Intel in Shanghai.
In 2019, former managers at the Japanese branch of Capvision founded Resory (fka GS Partners), an Osaka-based expert network.
Capvision IPO rumors
In the spring of 2020, Capvision did a series of equity transfers on terms that valued total company equity at RMB 2.3 Bn (~$320m). This valuation was approximately 5x sales and 21x EBITDA from FY2019.
Capvision is listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange, first mentioned in July 2021 at Sina.com. The listing was expected for Q3 2021, but went silent.
In February 2022, news portals confirmed that Capvision again filed for a Hong Kong IPO after 45% revenue growth in the last year. Capvision aims to raise $300 million, implying an estimated market value of $1.5-3 billion if it were to sell the typical 10-20% equity stake.
The company was featured in our expert network benchmarking from June-July 2018. Inex One identified Capvision as a regional champion in our review of the 2019 expert network market, and again in 2021. Regional champions have a particularly strong foothold in their respective regions, while typically also offering global services.