We have an exciting announcement: Tsingyuan Ventures is rebranding to Foothill Ventures!
The reason for the rebrand is simple:
Tsingyuan had grown out of the Tsinghua Entrepreneur and Executive Club, and had focused on investing in the Chinese diaspora in North America. This strategy led to some huge wins (notably Zoom, Quanergy, Iterable, Plus and WeRide, which are all founded by this group of entrepreneurs).
However, as we’ve grown, we’ve increased our scope to include technical founders of many backgrounds — not just Chinese immigrants (although they still make up a large percentage of our founders). We still have a very high percentage of immigrant founders (more than 75% of our companies are founded by immigrants), and we remain inclined towards technical founders, but we wanted our name to better reflect who we are. Many entrepreneurs did not think to approach us, because they assumed that we were only interested in entrepreneurs with a China connection.
Why Foothill Ventures?
For those who have been to Los Altos/ Palo Alto (where we are based), you may know that we are looking out on the foothills from our office. We actually chose our name after a long firm-wide hiking trip* in Palo Alto’s Foothill Park, and together decided that “Foothill” represents our location, our ambition and our humility. We are looking to climb the mountain (along with our entrepreneurs), but the first step is just reaching the foothills, which is where we are at present. That’s a great place to start!
We actually made this decision over a year ago, when it was clear that our direction and ambitions were expanding well beyond our starting point. We were about to raise our next fund (“Tsingyuan Ventures Fund II”), and had targeted $70M, representing a healthy step-up from our previous $50M fund. We decided that it would be confusing to change our name right before the raise, and so decided to hold off until the raise was complete.
Well, one year later, we completed our raise (a significantly oversubscribed ~$100M), and the relevance of the name change has become more apparent than ever: we continue to diversify our founder mix, and continue to climb the mountain.
We thank everyone who has supported us along the journey from TEEC Angel Fund to Tsingyuan Ventures. We are looking forward to extending this legacy with Foothill Ventures.
*for more information about the process of our name change, here’s another fun blog post :)