Founding and Managing Partner, Investor, Director
Hong Kong, China
Neil Shen (沈南鹏) is the director and founding and managing partner of Sequoia Capital China, as well as one of the most successful venture capitalists in the world. He reached the top of Forbes’ Midas List in 2018 and 2019 and was also named by the publication as one of the Greatest Living Business Minds in 2017.
“You have to totally change your mindset when you are a venture investor,” Neil explained to The Financial Times. “When you do private equity, you have so many reference points. The companies are basically static. In buyout investments, globally, you just improve the operating efficiency, put on a lot of borrowed money and you could make money. VCs in China can’t do that. The situation is much more dynamic. It is all about giving small and fast fish money so they can compete successfully with bigger, slower fish.”
Over the past few years, Sequoia has topped the venture capital ranks worldwide. Neil’s investment decisions have been credited for the firm’s success in China, propelling the fund to international acclaim.
“From day one, Sequoia had the right model,” Joe Tsai, vice chairman of Alibabi said in an interview with The Information. “They picked Neil—who is able to identify founders and products that work in China—and gave him full autonomy.”
Neil serves as the director of the China Entrepreneur Forum (CEF) and the vice chairman of VC Funds Committee of Asset Management Association of China. He is also the board chairman of Yale Leadership Center in China and a trustee of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, his alma maters.
Before joining Seqouia, he was a successful entrepreneur, co-founding travel site Ctrip.com, and also worked as an investment banker at Deutsche Bank Hong Kong, Chemical Bank, Lehman Brothers, and Citibank.Tags: Asia, Investment and Funding, Sequoia, VC