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Orion Zhao of Moka on Being a Sea Turtle Entrepreneur and SaaS in China

Season 1

Episode 29

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Interviewed by Glenn Solomon and Zara Zhang.

This is a cross-over episode between us and Founder Real Talk, which is a biweekly podcast hosted by GGV managing partner Glenn Solomon.

Glenn and Zara interview Orion Zhao (赵欧伦), the co-founder and CEO of Moka, a fast-growing HR SaaS startup in China. Moka helps companies increase the efficiency of their hiring process by providing a CRM software solution. It currently has hundreds of customers in China, including the likes of Xiaomi, Sougou, Burger King, and Levi’s. Moka has completed its Series A+ fundraising round and is a GGV portfolio company.

Orion is originally from China and graduated from Berkeley in 2013. He then spent close to two years working as a software engineer at Turo before returning to China in 2015 to start Moka with his co-founder Li Guoxing who is also a Chinese overseas returnee from Stanford.

Orion discussed the challenges he faced as a “sea turtle” (海归) entrepreneur, why his experience joining a business fraternity at Berkeley came in handy in China, how he manages employees who are older than him, and the status quo of China’s SaaS market.

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