- Alibaba Local Services
- Soul Machines
How would you describe your career path so far?
I am fortunate have a combined educational background in regional studies and finance, and I pursued a banking career in Asia. I am originally from Taiwan, and covering banking clients in the semiconductor industry brought me closer to my cultural roots, as well as exposing me to technology and innovation. I later broadened my coverage to consumer Internet in Asia. That's when I first started to work with SoftBank Group, prior to moving to SoftBank Investment Advisers.
I love having the ability to work as a true partner with founders.
What keeps you excited as your work evolves?
I love having the ability to work as a true partner with founders. Over the years, I've seen the nature of these relationships evolve, having worked on investments across the life stages of target companies.
In companies that are more established, the founders are attracted by both the quantum of capital Vision Fund brings and our long-term partnership. They want to understand what the relationship is going to be like. So when they look at us, they're asking extremely important questions. It makes the whole process very meaningful.
What do you look for in founders?
The founders we work with tend to be simultaneously bold and humble, which is an unusual combination. We work with late-stage companies, so these are people who have already built something really impressive. That doesn't happen by being timid! But they're also very honest about their own challenges. I think that's the difference between a merely talented founder and one who builds something truly great.
What do founders get out of working with the Vision Fund?
We have a truly global ecosystem of companies. I most recently experienced the power of our network when, even before closing the investment, we were able to identify a number of potential value-creation initiatives with multiple companies in the portfolio. It was rewarding to identify immediate collaboration opportunities and facilitate the interactions between the companies.
Why is global reach so important right now?
From the beginning we made it clear that we're not looking at small, single-geography niche players. The companies we work with appreciate that. They know that if you're not looking at innovation on a global scale you're going to miss the next big opportunity. Think about it this way: the vast majority of our current and potential portfolio companies are fueled by data. If you have a global perspective and you’re tracking innovation around the world, you can support a leapfrogging effect through technology transfer.