ALIBABA. Didi Chuxing. Xiaomi. These are some of China's most successful tech firms, and also the companies that renowned venture investor Jenny Lee took bets on in their early days.
Ms Lee is the only female managing partner at GGV Capital, a global venture capital firm that focuses on seed to growth investments across the sectors of consumer/new retail, social/digital & Internet, enterprise/cloud and frontier tech. The firm manages US$6.2 billion in capital across 13 funds and has backed 52 "unicorns" - startups that have passed US$1 billion in valuation.
After joining GGV in 2005, Ms Lee's hard work and knack for spotting champions earned her accolades several times since 2014 in the Forbes Global 100 VC Midas list, ranking as the #1 woman and #10 overall in 2015. In 2016, she was recognised by The New York Times and CB Insights among the top 100 venture capital investors worldwide.
In 2018, she was ranked 87 in the Forbes World's 100 Most Powerful Women list.
Venture investing can be both a science and an art. Ms Lee told BT in December: "The science is understanding the company, the product, the business model. Some of that is technical or quantitative. 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 consumer 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 of the future at a public interactive forum on March 25, organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times. Called "Cutting Edge," the series showcases thought leaders from around the world in various fields and features audience participation.
The forum takes place every quarter and is sponsored by GuocoLand, and moderated by Straits Times associate editor Vikram Khanna. Ms Lee will be the second personality to be featured in the Cutting Edge series, after Howard Yu, a renowned expert on innovation and corporate disruption.
The Cutting Edge forum with Jenny Lee will be held at the Sofitel Singapore City Centre Hotel, Wallich Ballroom, Level 5 on Monday, March 25 at 10.30 am. Registration starts at 10am and refreshments are provided.
- Limited tickets are available at S$85 per person. SPH subscribers enjoy a 20% discount with the promotion code SPHSUB2019. The discount will be reflected on the payment page. Register at cuttingedge.sphevents.com.sg by March 20, 2019.