NEW YORK (The Deal) -- Fueled by the anticipated initial public offering of Alibaba Group Holding, a renewed wave of investor interest has swept into U.S.-registered Chinese companies.
Such companies have raised $4.43 billion in 35 private-investment-in-public-equity transactions this year, compared to $276.8 million in 13 PIPEs last year, according to PrivateRaise, The Deal's data service that tracks the PIPE market. Those figures exclude transactions that raised less than $1 million.
"Everything ultimately comes back to Alibaba," said Peter Fuhrman, CEO of China First Capital, a private equity firm in Shenzhen, China.
Alibaba's imminent IPO has increased investor awareness that all things related to Internet shopping in China could be a "money-spinner," Fuhrman said in an e-mail.
"Pretty much all the China IPOs in US this past 12 months have been internet-related. Now comes the Daddy of them all," he wrote. "This perception of a boom of titanic proportions in online shopping in China is well-founded. The challenge for US investors is whether the companies that have gone public, with exception of Alibaba and to a lesser extent Jingdong will be able to scale up and make real money over time in China."
JD.com (JD) , which is also known as Jingdong, raised $1.78 billion in its IPO in May.
The Internet in China is oligopolistic, Fuhrman said, with most of the spoils divided between search engine provider Baidu (BIDU) , Alibaba and portal operator Tencent Holdings, known collectively as "BAT."