Welcome Jason Costa, Denise Peng, and Semil Shah to the GGV Capital Family
As venture capitalists, we are privileged to meet many smart people from all over the world, and there are few lucky instances when things just click. When that happens, we stay in touch, looking for ways to work together. We are delighted to share that Denise Peng and Semil Shah have joined GGV as Venture Partners, and that Jason Costa has joined us as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence. Each is a unique fit for GGV and we can’t wait to work with them more closely.
Denise is the former Chief Operating Officer for Qunar (NASDAQ: QUNR), a GGV portfolio company that recently merged with Ctrip to form a $20 billion travel giant in China. GGV has a long history of investing in the travel and transportation sectors, and Denise’s start-up and operating experience will be immediately helpful to GGV’s portfolio companies such as AirBnB, Tujia, Grab, and HotelTonight. We had an opportunity to work closely with Denise when Qunar went public on the NASDAQ, and then through the merger with Ctrip, and were impressed with her leadership and understanding of the global landscape. Denise will be based in our Beijing office, and more about her role as a venture partner can be found here.
Semil is someone the partners of GGV have known for many years, sharing our passion for early stage investing through his efforts with Haystack Fund. His background as both an investor and operator with start-up experience has afforded him the chance to work with the next wave of globally-minded founders. We have a tremendous amount of respect for the way Semil has built the Haystack family of funds, and look forward to supporting him as he carves his unique path as an investor. Just as founders and investors in our ecosystem have been inspired by Semil, we benefit from his counsel and collaborative attitude in exchanging ideas in sectors where we share common interests. Read more from Semil’s blog.
We met Jason several years ago during his tenure at Twitter and followed his move to Pinterest where he was recently a Product Manager. Earlier in his career, he caught the cross border bug while working in Beijing for Google, and shares our vision that the time is right for cross border start-ups to break out. We look for people who value and make long-lasting connections and are focused on being a good partner to both entrepreneurs and the GGV team — for years, we have seen Jason do all of these things well. As an EIR with us, Jason will work with portfolio companies and source new ones, particularly in the areas of e-commerce, social media, and mobile. His own story about joining GGV as an EIR is here.
As part of sharing good news, it’s also important to highlight the work of certain members of our team — in this case venture partner Kheng Nam Lee has been instrumental in moving portfolio company Heptagon from Switzerland to Singapore. It was a complex move and Kheng managed it handily.
Since our first fund nearly 20 years ago, GGV has been driven by the belief that the opportunity for investing across the U.S. and Chinese markets would be massive. We have strong multi-level relationships with the leading Internet companies in China, including Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent and Xiaomi and we’ve had the privilege of investing in some of the world’s most iconic Internet brands from Alibaba to AirBnB. Our focus now is on finding and helping founders build the next wave of global franchises. Apple’s recent investment in Didi, followed by Didi’s acquisition of UberChina, AirBnB’s plans to expand to China, Wish leveraging a Chinese-based supply chain, and the explosive success of musical.ly, a social network created in China for U.S. teenagers, are early examples of the potential we see — and share with our newest team members.