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Why I’m joining DCM Ventures

October 1, 2014 Leave a comment

Venture-Capital

When I was 22 years old, I had a unique opportunity to move to Hong Kong with my investment firm to help grow their Asia presence. Prior to that, I had not spent much time in the region, other than a few short months as an US exchange student – which was eye-opening but also cut short due to the SARS epidemic. I absolutely loved my time in Asia – traveling from Japan down to Australia and developing my global perspective. When I moved back to the US for business school, I always thought my career would be in Asia. Instead, I met my now husband, Nate, and ended up in San Francisco where I transitioned away from finance and jumped into entrepreneurship.

When I started ChoicePass, I was humbled by how hard being an entrepreneur really is. I did not realize how little I knew about technology and starting a company. I was also humbled by the talented employees I managed to convince to join me on our quest to solve a big problem, and the amazing advisors and investors who appeared to be infinitely wise. Through a ton of hard work, seizing opportunities and sheer determination, we grew our company to several hundred customers, raised funding from great investors, and started getting the attention of the tech press. When we approached Salesforce for a partnership with Rypple, those talks ended with an acquisition – although earlier than expected – was nonetheless very exciting for my team because of the tremendous growth of Salesforce and the strategic fit in our shared vision to disrupt the HR SaaS space.

As I approached my two year mark at Salesforce, I was seriously considering my next start-up – a natural move for an acquired founder. Unlike many founders, I had an amazing time at the parent company, helping to build the Work.com business from 0 to over 1,000 enterprise customers and learning from some of the brightest and most experience execs in enterprise software. I learned a ton, particularly around areas where I was inexperienced: sales, marketing, scaling products for the largest segment of enterprise. These were the areas where Salesforce really shines.

I met the DCM Ventures team nearly a year ago. I remember because Jason Krikorian and I met right before I left for Burning Man ’13. Their model really impressed me. Despite being under the radar in many respects, I believe they are the only firm with a strong presence across the world’s 3 largest technology markets: US, China, and Japan. They operate as a single team with a single partnership – a stark contract to the segregated, franchise model that many Silicon Valley VCs employ. As I spent more time with the team, I realized there was a tremendous opportunity to truly help companies expand globally. And DCM has proven they can do this better than most. Many of their US companies have expanded in Asia thanks to DCM’s connections and operational involvement. Many of their China-based companies have formed partnerships and expanded to the US. Several of them – including VIPShop (NYSE: VIPS) and 58.com (NYSE: WUBA) have gone public in the US at multi-billion dollar valuations.

I am a strong believer that good venture investors work for their companies and support them through ups and down. As an entrepreneur and product guy, I am excited to be helping companies solve the hardest problems. Sitting down and white boarding product strategies and go to market plans is what gets me excited. Product and Sales are two of the most important aspects of any start up. I hope that I can help my companies succeed in both. And with DCM, I’ll also get to added benefit of a global mindset.

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