David Zhang co-founded Matrix Partners China with the belief that being based in China is critical to successfully investing in young, entrepreneurial companies in the region. “International investors who visit China every now and then cannot have a local perspective, and they are too slow to react to the local opportunities,” he says.
In 2004, David noticed LCD screens popping up on office buildings near where he lived. He did some investigating and discovered the source of the screens: Focus Media. He reached out to the company’s founder, Jason Jiang, and after confirming that the company’s fundamentals were strong, David invested in the company. “Timing is very important,” says David. “If I didn’t see the product from the Chinese consumer’s perspective, I would have missed the opportunity to invest in such a great company.”
David studied in the United States, graduating with a masters degree in biotechnology from Northwestern University. After earning a bachelors degree in clinical science with a minor in chemistry from California State University, San Francisco, David spent three years working in the Department of Urology and Department of Neurology at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center at UCSF. While at UCSF, David conducted genetic and bioinformatic research with the goal of identifying genes for cancers and autoimmune diseases. There, he was able to hone his skills in biological research and computer programming.
After earning his M.S., David joined Salomon Smith Barney, where he was responsible for analyzing, structuring and marketing companies in the Internet, software and semiconductor sectors. David then moved onto ABN AMRO Capital, where he was a senior venture associate responsible for developing and executing acquisition strategies for life sciences, information technology, and Internet companies.
David joined WI Harper in 2001 as an associate in the San Francisco office and moved back to China in 2002, where he eventually became the managing director of the Beijing office for WI Harper. In that role, he oversaw the firm’s investments, portfolio management and operations in life sciences and technology in China. He invested in a number of leading companies, including Focus Media. He also invested in Celestry and DivX, both of which have had successful exits. While at WI Harper, David was also responsible for other investments including iKang, 3g.cn, Maxthon and Mapbar.
As a Founding Managing Partner of Matrix Partners China, he is responsible for investments and operations, including investing in a number of leading companies, such as Bona Films (NASDAQ: BONA), 21ViaNet (NASDAQ: VNET), Edan Instruments (SZ: 300206), Cheetah (NYSE: CMCM), Career International, Umeng, Liebo, Momo (NASDAQ: MOMO), and others.
Assistant: Yvonne Xiao
Wali international (Xiaomi)
Umeng Technology Limited
ZUI Inc. (Zuimei APP)
ABN AMRO Capital, Senior Venture Associate
Salomon Smith Barney, Analyst
UCSF High Throughput Genotyping
Project for muscular sclerosis, Department of Neurology, Research Associate
California State University, San Francisco, B.S. in biology
World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders 2008