Top venture investor to share tips on spotting winners

GGV Capital managing partner Jenny Lee will speak at the Cutting Edge forum here on March 25.
GGV Capital managing partner Jenny Lee will speak at the Cutting Edge forum here on March 25.

Venture investor Jenny Lee has a track record few could equal, given that she was smart enough to get in on the ground floor of online stars such as Alibaba, Didi Chuxing and Xiaomi.

Ms Lee, who is heading here later this month, is the only female managing partner at GGV Capital, a global venture capital firm that focuses on investments in consumer retail, digital, cloud and frontier tech.

The firm, which she joined in 2005, manages US$6.2 billion (S$8.4 billion) in capital and has backed 52 "unicorns" - start-ups that have passed US$1 billion in valuation.

Ms Lee's hard work and knack for spotting champions have earned her many accolades. The Forbes Global 100 VC Midas list ranked her the top woman in 2015 and 10th overall.

In 2016, The New York Times and CB Insights placed her among the top 100 venture capital investors worldwide, and last year she was ranked 87th in the Forbes World's 100 Most Powerful Women list.

Venture investing can be both a science and an art, as Ms Lee said last December: "The science is understanding the company, the product, the business model. You can look at numbers, although when it's very early there are no numbers to look at. But you can do a market study or research.

"But there is also the art of it. Everyone can go through a cookie-cutter template with the same information, and you may still come out with a different decision even if it's science-based."

Ms Lee will be sharing her thoughts on how she spots winners during a public interactive forum on March 25 organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times.

Called Cutting Edge, the forum series showcases thought leaders from around the world and features audience participation. It will also be videocast to a global audience.

The forum takes place every quarter and is sponsored by GuocoLand and moderated by Straits Times associate editor Vikram Khanna.

The forum with Ms Lee will be held at the Sofitel Singapore City Centre's Wallich ballroom on March 25 at 10.30am. Tickets are priced at $85 per person. Singapore Press Holdings subscribers enjoy a 20 per cent discount with the code SPHSUB2019. Register by March 20 at cuttingedge.sphevents.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 13, 2019, with the headline 'Top venture investor to share tips on spotting winners'. Print Edition | Subscribe