Daisy Cai, a founding partner of Chinese growth-stage technological innovation fund Gaocheng Capital, has recently joined SoftBank Vision Fund as a partner after the $100-billion fund is expected to book a trillion-yen loss in 2019 due to the dire performance of its tech bets.
Cai, who also goes by her Chinese name Cai Wei, co-founded Gaocheng Capital with former Hillhouse partner Hong Jing in March 2018 and worked with the Beijing-based private equity firm to primarily look for investment opportunities in technological innovation and corporate services.
The investment veteran has roughly ten years of experience in investment and fund management, leading investments into companies like the now Nasdaq-listed e-commerce enabler Baozun, Hong Kong-listed online auto-finance platform Yixin Group, New York-based Dynamic Yields, which was acquired by McDonald’s Corp in March 2019, and Tuhu, a Chinese online platform for automobile services and products.
Prior to Gaocheng Capital, Cai served as the managing partner at Baidu Capital and Baidu Ventures – the investment vehicles of Chinese dominant search engine Baidu – responsible for the technology, media & telecom (TMT) sector.
Cai also worked as a China-focused partner at Boston-based growth private equity firm TA Associates, after five years as an executive director at Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong.
Her departure comes as Gaocheng Capital reached the final close of its debut fund, Gaocheng Fund I LP, at over $300 million in late March with support from university endowments, sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and other limited partners (LPs) worldwide.
SoftBank Vision Fund, created by Japan’s SoftBank in May 2017 to transform itself from a telecom-centred conglomerate into a global investment powerhouse, has started to rope in specialists to charge its efforts in China as early as 2018 with the board of Eric Chen, managing director of global technology fund Silver Lake, and Arthur Zhang, former managing director at Beijing-based ZhenFund, among others.
SoftBank flagged a loss of 1.8 trillion yen ($17 billion) at the fund for 2019 to March 2020, after the company founder Masayoshi Son’s “intuitive” bet on American shared workspaces operator WeWork turned sour.
The conglomerate announced in July 2019 a plan to launch a second Vision Fund to raise $108 billion from investors like Microsoft and Apple to invest in technology startups.