26 – 100 in alphabetical order: Lisa Miao, ByteDance
Lisa Miao has been an investment director at China-headquartered digital media company ByteDance since November 2017.
The digital media company – which is known for its news aggregation app Toutiao with 120 million daily active users and its video-sharing app TikTok, also known as Douyin, with 500 million monthly active users – counts telecoms group SoftBank as one of its backers.
SoftBank, along with growth equity firm General Atlantic and investment firms KKR and Primavera Capital Group, invested $3bn in ByteDance in October last year and the company was subsequently valued at $75bn.
After that, it was speculated that ByteDance might launch an initial public offering; however, in December 2018, it set up an RMB10bn ($1.44bn) corporate venture capital fund instead. The company provided RMB2bn – 20% of the capital – while the rest would come from external investors, such as government-owned investment banks and funds, and the unit would target artificial intelligence and media content.
Although the company has not invested as frequently as other large China-based tech corporates, its in-house investment team has backed a few portfolio companies previously, mainly in the digital media space both within China and abroad.
In China, ByteDance has invested in media app developers with a focus on animation, automobiles and finance as well as advertising agencies.
In late 2016, ByteDance led a $25m round for India-based media aggregation app developer Dailyhunt and supplied $50m of series B round for video streaming service Live.me in November 2017, before leading a $200m round for China-based online education provider 17zuoye in March 2018.
ByteDance is also an active buyer of startups. In February 2017, it acquired US-based short-form video app Flipagram for an undisclosed amount. In November the same year, it acquired US-based social video app developer Musical.ly, which was merged with TikTok, for about $1bn and France-based news app provider News Republic for $86.6m.
In March this year, ByteDance Ventures acquired China-based online game developer Mokun Technology, after its app TikTok launched its first in-app game called Music Jumping Ball. Later in the same month, it showed further interest in the gaming industry by acquiring a 45.19% stake in another China-based game studio Shanghe Internet Technology, which had created numerous mobile games.
In the same month, its app TikTok also acquired US-based location-driven animation app developer GeoGif’s assets, whose location-based technologies would soon be implemented in the former.
Before joining ByteDance, Miao had spent two years as an investor at Tencent Investment, China-headquartered internet group Tencent’s corporate venturing department. Before that, she spent the summers of 2013 and 2014 as an associate at venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield &Byers and Sequoia Capital and at financial services firm Morgan Stanley while completing her MBA at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School between 2013 and 2015.
She started her career as an analyst at management consultant McKinsey from 2009 to 2011 before joining pharmaceutical firm Novartis as a manager of strategy and business development between 2012 and 2013.
Miao holds a bachelor’s degree in microelectronics from Fudan University.