LA Venture: Technology Crossover Ventures’ David Zhang On His Approach to Investing

Minnie Ingersoll
Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of $100M+ Shift.com, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google. Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to L.A. after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California. In her space time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.
LA Venture: Technology Crossover Ventures’ David Zhang On His Approach to Investing
courtesy of David Zhang

On this episode of the LA Venture podcast, Technology Crossover Venture (TCV) Partner David Zhang discusses his approach to investing.


TCV is a venture capital firm that invests in seed-stage, early-stage, later-stage and growth-stage companies. The multibillion dollar fund is known for its investments in technology giants including Netflix, Airbnb, Peloton, Spotify and Facebook.

“Going public is the start for us,” Zhang said. “Ninety percent of the time we're buying or we're purchasing a bigger stake in the company when it's going public. So, where most traditional venture capital firms will see going public as this sort of, ‘I'm getting out of here’ event, that's sort of like the beginning of the dance for us.”

Zhang is a long-time veteran of the VC world. He has invested in companies including rental and booking services platform Airbnb, expense management services Brex and online payment platform Klarna.

“One of the things that I personally enjoy about private investing is that there is this true long term alignment,” Zhang said. “Both from an investor and company perspective and also there's a relationship element that sort of compounds over time, whereas public market investing is definitely less so.”

In 2019, TCV invested in fintech companies like Brazilian digital banking company Nubank. Zhang said the app has now expanded into Mexico and Colombia.

Zhang said that replicating what's working well in one geography can be difficult, especially in regards to fintech companies.

“There is this element of, you have to account for consumer behavior, cultural norms,” Zhang said. “But you need to very well understand the lay of the land of regulation and infrastructure. Cultural differences tend to necessitate a different product.”

Zhang has been involved with the Nubank boardand is also on the board of the financial advisory and trading platform Wealthsimple.

“I think the function of the board is to allow a CEO and a management team to achieve their full potential,” Zhang said. “We like to think of ourselves as a trusted adviser. I think a lot of what we do also is, or a big part of the value proposition is having consistency in the themes and the values in the messages that we send to companies.”

Zhang said that the qualities of a good trusted advisor is someone who is “calm” and “balanced.”

While Zhang agreed that VC is still a small percentage of all investable capital in the world, he is convinced that, “in our world (venture capital), it's large. It's huge and it makes sense because, in my view, it’s the most exciting place to be, it's where most of the value in dollars should and will shift over time.”

dot.LA Reporter Decerry Donato contributed to this post.

Click the link above to hear the full episode, and subscribe to LA Venture on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

This podcast is produced by L.A. Venture. The views and opinions expressed in the show are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of dot.LA or its newsroom.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

How Women’s Purchasing Power Is Creating a New Wave of Economic Opportunities In Sports

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

How Women’s Purchasing Power Is Creating a New Wave of Economic Opportunities In Sports
Samson Amore

According to a Forbes report last April, both the viewership and dollars behind women’s sports at a collegiate and professional level are growing.

Read moreShow less
https://twitter.com/samsonamore
samsonamore@dot.la
LA Tech Week Day 5: Social Highlights
Evan Xie

L.A. Tech Week has brought venture capitalists, founders and entrepreneurs from around the world to the California coast. With so many tech nerds in one place, it's easy to laugh, joke and reminisce about the future of tech in SoCal.

Here's what people are saying about the fifth day of L.A. Tech Week on social:

Read moreShow less

LA Tech Week: Six LA-Based Greentech Startups to Know

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

LA Tech Week: Six LA-Based Greentech Startups to Know
Samson Amore

At Lowercarbon Capital’s LA Tech Week event Thursday, the synergy between the region’s aerospace industry and greentech startups was clear.

The event sponsored by Lowercarbon, Climate Draft (and the defunct Silicon Valley Bank’s Climate Technology & Sustainability team) brought together a handful of local startups in Hawthorne not far from LAX, and many of the companies shared DNA with arguably the region’s most famous tech resident: SpaceX.

Read moreShow less
https://twitter.com/samsonamore
samsonamore@dot.la
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
Trending