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Wharton FinTech

Chris McCann & Edith Yeung of Race Capital — Why Now is the Best Time to Invest in VC!

Miguel Armaza interviews Edith Yeung and Chris McCann, General partners of Race Capital, a Venture Capital fund looking for market-transforming companies.

In this interview, Edith and Chris talk about their background, investing strategy, and even explore the Chinese fintech ecosystem.

Edith Yeung and Chris McCann, along with two other partners, officially launched Race Capital in May of 2020. Starting a VC in the middle of COVID might sound crazy, but Chris actually tells us this is probably one of the best possible times to focus on VC investing, ”a lot of the events that we see today will literally change the trajectory of not just the United States, but really the world for over the next decade. And we really believe that the worst time is really the best time to be investing, especially in the early stage private market side.”

Remote Pitching

Although it has been over half a year since the pandemic sent us working remotely, Edith recognizes we are still learning the best practices to communicate over video. But after having a founder conduct a pitch over zoom while driving on the freeway (and fearing for their safety), Edith decided to put together a blog post aimed at helping entrepreneurs fundraise remotely — How to Pitch Your Startup via Zoom.

Getting your point across over a zoom screen can be challenging and it is easy to let your guard down. Edith stresses the importance of overcommunicating and taking control of the conversation. Founders need to be even more expressive than usual and make sure they verbalize everything. Not just on zoom, but over email and every other form of communication that makes sense. Most investors are not used to doing their job remotely and it is hard for them to pull the trigger on multimillion-dollar investments over videoconferencing. Which is why entrepreneurs need to give them confidence through very clear communication.

Fintech Investing

Edith and Chris are big believers in the future of Fintech. They are particularly excited about the growth of embedded finance and are paying particular attention to fintech infrastructure. It’s worth remembering there’s a whole host of plumbing that actually makes fintech work and these are the kind of things they are focusing on, “it’s far less about the applications and much more about the infrastructure. This also includes a lot of the tangential services around it. (…) if you’re going to see the rise of embedded FinTech, you’re going to need a whole host of infrastructure to make this work.”

Fintech in China

Originally from Hong Kong, Edith has been traveling between the US and Greater China for a long time and she is also the author of the China Internet Report, an annual research paper covering the latest trends and topics from the region. When it comes to Fintech, Edith explains that, unlike other industries, none of the Chinese innovations in fintech come from copying western companies. In fact, China FinTech is not a disruption story, but instead, giants like Tencent and AliPay were launched out of necessity.

The country has gone from less than three million people with credit cards 20 years ago, to an estimated 750 million credit cards issued in 2019. What used to be a very primitive financial system led to the creation of highly innovative digital financial players and Chinese fintech shows no signs of slowing down, in Edith’s own words ”If anybody wants to see the future of FinTech, just go to China!”.

Edith Yeung

Edith Yeung is a general partner at Race Capital and author and creator of the China Internet Report, an annual report on China technology trends widely popular among investors and corporate executives and Silicon.news — weekly briefing on Silicon Valley funding, merger, and acquisition news.

Chris McCann

Chris McCann is a general partner at Race Capital, entrepreneur, and community builder. Prior, Chris founded and led the community program at Greylock Partners, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm with $3.5 billion under management which led investments in Facebook, LinkedIn, Dropbox, and Coinbase, among others. Chris has an angel portfolio of over twenty investments within the fintech and blockchain verticals including: Binance ($2.8B market cap), Solana (valued at $250M), among others.

Race Capital

Race Capital invests, builds, and partners with exceptional founders building market-transforming companies. We work side by side with our founders as early as possible, every step of the way. We have successfully built our own companies from small to big, from nothing to IPO, and we want to help you to do the same.

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We are FinTech thought leaders connecting innovators, academics, and investors with the ideas and products that are reinventing global financial services.

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Miguel Armaza

Miguel Armaza

🎙Co-President/Podcast Host @WhartonFintech. Fintech investor @ Gilgamesh. 📚MBA/MA Candidate @Wharton/@LauderInstitute. Author of Fintech Leaders Newsletter✍️

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