Ranked by Forbes as one of the top venture capitalists in China, James joined Lightspeed as a global partner in 2008, after helping to build Google China from the ground up. While leading Google’s investment in the multinational tech company Baidu, he discovered a passion for early-stage technology investments.
“My experience with Google and, subsequently, working with startups has helped me develop a knack for judging a founder’s potential to create value,” James says. “I get excited about consumer Internet technology that creates a platform with low barrier to entry. For example, I made early-stage investments in Dianping, Ganji, and Rong360, all of which became large Internet platform companies.”
James has always had a passion for learning. As an elementary school kid, he read all the books that he could get his hands on at home. “My father, who’s a professor, would send me to other professors’ homes to get more,” he says. He went on to study physics, finishing a four year undergraduate program in three years, then earned a graduate degree in electrical engineering from Princeton.
“I’ve always wanted to explore new things, and that’s why now I am constantly looking out for new, emerging trends to inform my early-stage VC investments,” James says. “What keeps me excited is the intellectual stimulation of working with smart partners and solving problems that will have significant social or industry impact.”