You may or may not be familiar with the record-breaking investor and pioneer who, while not making any trailblazing revolutions during her tenure on Wall Street, but a woman who continues to innovate and expand markets in China, consistently standing in the upper echelon of the business sector. “It was so exciting,” discussed Fang, recalling her first encounter with a travel company when she felt wholeheartedly reinvigorated by the business. “With startups, it is like all of them are innovative ideas and you don’t know if they are right or wrong … it just keeps your mind going.”
Anna Fang, who oversees a high-profile Chinese angel investment fund, is always on the prowl for transformative change. A central female in the realm of business and investments, she was named to Forbes' Midas List of the World's Top Tech Investors in 2019 at the age of 36. She is well known as a top early-stage tech investor in China, having been named one of China's Top 10 Early-stage Investors by Zero2IPO and one of China's 40 under 40 venture capital investors. Anna says she made the oversight of not thinking hard enough about what she truly wanted to do when she came to the ZhenFund following stints at J.P. Morgan in New York and GE China. She has learned as an early-stage investor that it must be about the originator rather than the idea.
As the founder and managing partner of ZhenFund, a Chinese early-stage venture capital firm specializing in consumer internet and technology-enabled businesses, she oversees ZhenFund's investments, portfolio management, and operations, and was pivotal in the firm's investments in unicorns including RED (XiaoHongShu), Perfect Diary, Mia, Yitu, Horizon Robotics, and NiceTuan (ShiHuiTuan). Fang, as CEO of the early-stage venture fund, is responsible for a portfolio of approximately 600 startups. A successful investment, though, renders Fang, who joined ZhenFund in 2011, more circumspect about her next move. Startups in corporate services, consumer upgrading, e-commerce, and finance received the majority of funding within the sphere of active investment institutions in indexes of early-stage Chinese investors. Fang's prior job experience contributes to her intellectual capacity at large. As an investment banking analyst—a sphere in which she orchestrated the buying and selling of companies or bringing them to IPO—Fang was consistently working with large figures, so her scale, meter, and eye for assessments were always set relatively high.
But Anna Fang was not always interested in investing, nor was she always successful. Her husband and father are both investors, and credit a large part to her family as to why she imagined it would be dull. She chose to take the chance after talking with several friends, and angel investing, she soon realized, pooled both her passions for business and helping people. Since then, her ambition has enabled her to pursue her passion while also making mistakes, perfectly encapsulating the investment industry. Once, she mentions a founder wanted to give them all $2 million just to lose so they could learn!
"I think I am going to continue to have not-so-successful investments," she said once, in an interview with China Daily, "Because that is the business model of my industry. Even with the best entrepreneur, it’s only a 50-50 (chance) that it will work out." Anna Fang is at the confluence of perhaps one of the world's most critically growing sectors. She has overseen over 100 seed index stage investments in the TMT and education industries since joining ZhenFund in 2011. Her accomplishments are noteworthy, aggressive, and consistently demonstrate her natural tendency. I think by now we can all acknowledge that it's probably worth our time when Anna glimpses into the looking glass.