Associate Partner

Francis Kao

“What excites me the most is to explore the frontier of technologies and social changes and to help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams.”

For Francis, dabbling in the venture capital industry is totally an accident, and he didn’t expect that accident could become a lifetime passion and undertaking.

When he decided to join Lightspeed in early 2020, Francis regarded the fund as a platform with partners and the culture that he wants to work with for the next 10 years. He focuses on investment opportunities in multiple sectors including enterprise software, medical technology, and digitalization of traditional industry.

“I really appreciate the teamwork and transparency at Lightspeed. Here people always try to help each other to be more successful,” Francis says.

Right after closing down his first coding school startup attempt, a Kellogg alumnus reached out to him and offered an opportunity to join DCM Ventures. Since then, Francis has been totally hooked on VC investing.

Prior to joining Lightspeed, Francis also worked as Investment Director atChina’sinternet giant Alibaba Group for 3 years. While working with Alibaba, Francis led the group’s efforts in innovative technology investment and e-commerce business strategy investments.

With 8 years of venture capital experience and 10 years of industry experience, Francis is always open to bold new ideas and ready to exam those by numbers and facts. That resulted in an acute sense and good judgment in his investments.

“Actually my previous experience of being an entrepreneur endows a capability to be more understanding and empathic to the entrepreneurs. I always try to think from their point of view and see how I can better help them,” Francis says.

Born into a business family, Francis knows running a business is always a tough job when he was still a little boy. He learned from his parents and grandparents to be patient and persistent, some good qualities that accompanied his career.

Francis holds a B.A. in International Business Management from National TaiwanUniversity and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management of NorthwesternUniversity.

In his leisure time, Francisloveslistening to podcasts on science and economic topics while working out, or doing household chores. He thinks the hobby helps him a lot to happily learn more know-hows for the VC investment. Francis believes bigger and stronger team together in the next few years will bringLightspeed to a new level of achievements