双语阅读:4000万投资回报120亿,这个女投资人怎么做到的?

4000万美元投资快手,如今回报120亿美元,这个女人是怎么做到的?

翻译:涂博士

(彭博社)-在2014年,随着短视频应用“快手”开始腾飞,宿华和他的联合创始人开始寻找资金以扩大规模,他们很快得到了风险投资人卢蓉(Ruby Lu)的投资意向。卢蓉(Ruby Lu)早在宿华他们还是工程师的时候就非常认可他们,从前还给他们提供过有关业务方面的反馈。

据知情人士说,当时卢蓉(Ruby Lu)给快手的投资提议输给了另一家报价更高的大型风险投资公司,但她拒绝认输,继续游说宿华和他的团队。 卢蓉(Ruby Lu)说她能提供比金钱更多的东西,她会亲自参与到项目里面来,还会让他们得到DCM风投的合伙人的支持。最后虽然卢蓉(Ruby Lu)的出价比对手低,但她还是赢下了对快手的投资。

上周五,快手科技在香港上市交易,这是自优步技术公司(Uber Technologies Inc.)在2019年上市以来最大的互联网公司上市(首次公开募股交易)。不管按任何标准衡量,卢蓉(Ruby Lu)的投资都是犹如本垒打一般的成功:快手股价在上市的三天后翻了三倍,当初DCM向快手投入的大约4000万美元现在的市值约为140亿美元。

在多年以来的首次接受采访中,现年50岁的卢蓉(Ruby Lu)说:“从无到有创建一家公司是要有方法论的。”她的策略之一是寻找像宿华这样的有才华的工程师,但这些创业者也需要拥有正确的战略思维方式。 “你必须忍受比平常人更多的苦。”

在中国风险投资界的前沿出现了一群非常杰出的女性投资者,卢蓉(Ruby Lu)就是这个群体中的一员。在2019年,她成立了自己的风投公司奇创投(Atypical Ventures),该公司旨在利用美国机构投资者的资金来培养中国的下一代技术明星。

这个新公司是卢蓉(Ruby Lu)人生的下一站。她在中美两国之间桥梁上的人生始于当年一对美国夫妇邀请她来马里兰州留学,这对美国夫妇不仅让她来美国后和他们住在一起,还支付了她的大学教育费用。后来卢蓉(Ruby Lu)在互联网泡沫最疯狂的时候进入了高盛集团的投资银行,从事企业上市IPO(首次公开募股)的工作,再后来又转向了对初创企业的投资工作。

风险投资公司“创新工场”(Sinovation Ventures)的首席执行官李开复认识卢蓉(Ruby Lu)很多年了,他说卢蓉(Ruby Lu)“对中国风险投资界来说是一支非常正面的力量,不管你是赢是输,她都会帮你。”

这所有的一切都始于1989年,在中国东南港口城市厦门长大的卢蓉(Ruby Lu)当时在街上遇到了弗雷德(Fred)和弗吉尼亚·鲍什(Virginia Pausch)夫妇。这对夫妇在当地做英语外教,他们对卢蓉(Ruby Lu)特别欣赏,邀请她来美国上学并住他们家里。卢蓉(Ruby Lu)的父母同意了她出国,但前提是她要把当时出国需要办理的30多份各种证明文件和批准手续自己搞定。在她一个人把所有的出国手续搞定后,她母亲在她的内衣里面缝了200美元,以备她一旦在美国遇到不测要逃跑时,身上还有钱用。

这对美国夫妻的女儿塔米·鲍什(Tammy Pausch)说:“一个人搞定出国手续这件事可能别人都做不到,但对于Ruby来说,几乎没有事情是不可能的。”

来到这个美国家庭后,卢蓉(Ruby Lu)又有了新的“兄弟”兰迪·鲍什(Randy Pausch)。兰迪·鲍什(Randy Pausch)后来成为了计算机科学教授,以他的“最后一课”的演讲而闻名。兰迪·鲍什(Randy Pausch)经常说自己赢得了“父母彩票”,也就是说自己比别人更幸运有一个好出身。

卢蓉(Ruby Lu)刚到美国的时候英语很差,上课也听不懂。因此,弗雷德·鲍什(Fred Pausch)为她买了一个录音机,这样她可以上课录音,下课后用它在家复习课程。卢蓉(Ruby Lu)在巴尔的摩县的马里兰大学以经济学班级第一名的成绩毕业,然后在约翰·霍普金斯大学(Johns Hopkins University)攻读国际研究学的硕士学位。

1996年卢蓉(Ruby Lu)得到了一份在高盛投资银行的工作。她先是在香港上班,工作就是帮助中国的国有企业上市,后来她又回到美国工作。当时eBay在美国的首次上市让她迷上了技术,对技术的痴迷让她跳槽到了位于加利福尼亚州门洛帕克的高盛技术部门。她说:“在那之后,再也没有回头路了。”

卢蓉(Ruby Lu)于2003年离开高盛,加入由戴维·赵(David Chao)和狄克森·多尔(Dixon Doll)创立的硅谷风险投资公司DCM Ventures。在DCM她与人共同创立了DCM的中国业务,目的就是抓住那些她称之为“利用时间和地理差别来套利”的机会,也就是把那些在硅谷已经证明成功的创意在中国再复制一遍。现在中国的科技巨头诸如阿里巴巴和腾讯之类在当时仍处于起步阶段。卢蓉(Ruby Lu)在DCM做的一些顶级投资都遵循了这种模式,例如投资了具有亚马逊风格的电子商务网站当当网和在线汽车经销商易车网。

但是她最成功的投资案例和那些复制硅谷创意的投资案例完全不同。快手和它的竞争对手抖音都是首先起源于中国的成功创意,然后才走向全球。这两家公司都有以下特点:首先是这两家公司都成立不到十年,然后是在这两家公司率先推出了实时流和小视频格式后,世界上各个公司如Facebook和YouTube也开始采用这种格式。

卢蓉(Ruby Lu)在宿华创建快手这个短视频应用程序之前就关注了他。早在宿华为百度(中国的主流搜索引擎公司)开发基于人工智能AI的广告推荐系统时,他们就成了朋友。宿华离开百度后,卢蓉(Ruby Lu)毫不犹豫地支持他去创业。宿华的第一个创业项目是一个二手商品在线集市,这个项目失败了,然后他的第二个创业项目是快手,当时快手的员工人数还不到15人,公司的收入为零。

在2016年离开DCM之前,卢蓉(Ruby Lu)一直是快手的董事会成员。在她离开之后,DCM这家风险投资公司又对快手进行了更多的投资,但这个高回报的投资在很大程度上还是要归功于她对快手的早期下注。 DCM现在拥有快手7.6%的股份,是投资快手的首个也是最大的国际风险投资商。中国的风投公司五源资本(5Y Capital,之前称为Morningside Venture Capital)投入了约2.04亿美元,在周二收盘时的价值约为260亿美元。

卢蓉(Ruby Lu)在谈到人际关系的重要性时说,你需要了解“市场上那些顶尖的技术公司,以及那些顶尖的工程师。 我投资的许多企业家都是这样来的,当他们想离开原来上班的公司自己创业时,我就会和他们说我给你投钱。”

在另一家风险投资公司短暂工作之后,卢蓉(Ruby Lu)于2019年9月成立了风险投资公司奇创投(Atypical Ventures)。这个名字源于她的信念,即企业家必须与常人有所不同,要准备度过艰难的时刻,并在把企业做大的漫长道路上不断地自我挑战。奇创投从美国养老基金,捐赠基金和亿万富翁家庭那里筹集了第一期基金2亿美元。

奇创投(Atypical)将投资集中在少数几家初创公司(到目前为止只有5家)中,并将自己的角色定位为企业家的支持者。卢蓉(Ruby Lu)说她给自己定的规矩是在收到她投的企业家的信息后必须在三个小时内回复,她还经常在凌晨接到他们的紧急电话。
那些与卢蓉(Ruby Lu)合作过的公司创始人都说她为人很正直,直言不讳,并且追求成功。

在开始阅读英文原文之前,请先复习下列核心词汇​:

spot - v. 看见,注意到,发现
promising - adj. 有希望的
proposal - n. 建议书,意向书
trump - v. 出王牌赢(牌),赢,胜过
venture - n. (尤指有风险的)企业,商业
concede - v. 承认,让与,让步
engagement - n. 约定,接触,订婚
yardstick - n. 衡量标准,准绳
home run - n. 本垒打,巨大成功
talented - adj. 有才能的,天才的
strategy - n. 策略,规划,战略
mindset - n. 观念模式,思维倾向
venture capital - n. 风险资本
pivot - v. (使)在枢轴上旋转(或转动)
pivot into - 转向
startup - n. 初创企业
prompt - v. 促使,导致,鼓励
arbitrage - n. 套购,套利
concentrate - v. 集中(注意力),使…集中
gratification - n. 满足,快感,喜悦

entrepreneur - n. 企业家
integrity - n. 诚实正直,完整,完好
straight-talking - 直言不讳

在复习了以上词汇后,请将下面的英文原文一口气读完,不要在中途停下来去查那些不认识的单词。有了上面的核心单词打底,你完全可以将整篇文章读完并且理解里面的大致意思。记住,你只要做到大致明白就可以了。

阅读能力和阅读量成正比,要提高阅读量,必须是大量的泛读,如果要对每个不懂的单词都去查字典,那么就不可能通过大量的泛读来提高你的阅读量。

这篇英语原文是《涂博士原版听读写辅导课》直播班上用来训练学员快速阅读的文章之一。能够快速阅读各个领域的原版文章并找出文中的核心内容,是真正学好英语的最最基础的技能之一,另一个最最基础的技能就是听得懂原版的广播。有了这两个最最基础的技能打底,学员就可以利用好网上大量的原版英语文章和听力资源,不出国就可以把自己沉浸在英语的环境当中。在建立起强大的语感之后,口语和写作能力都会自然成长起来。

如果你对某篇泛读文章特别喜欢,可以在泛读一遍以后再慢慢地精读。如果在精读的过程中对某些句子不是太明白需要讲解,或者你希望以后多看到哪方面的双语阅读,欢迎直接联系涂博士。

How One Woman Turned a $40 Million Kuaishou Bet Into $12 Billion

Zheping Huang, Coco Liu and Peter Elstrom

(Bloomberg) -- In 2014, as their video app Kuaishou began to take off, Su Hua and his co-founders started looking for money to expand. They quickly got a proposal from Ruby Lu, a venture investor who had spotted them earlier as promising engineers and given them feedback on previous businesses.

But Lu's proposal was trumped by a larger venture firm with a much higher offer, according to people familiar with the matter. She refused to concede. Lu pitched Su and his team that she would give them more than money, offering her personal engagement and the support of her partners at DCM Ventures. She won, even with a lower offer.

On Friday, Kuaishou Technology started trading in Hong Kong after the biggest initial share sale for an internet company since Uber Technologies Inc. in 2019. By any yardstick, Lu's investment has been a home run: the roughly $40 million that DCM put into Kuaishou is now worth about $14 billion after the stock more than tripled over its first three days.

"There is a methodology in building a company from scratch," said Lu, 50, in her first interview in years. Part of her strategy is to identify talented engineers like Su, but they also need to have the right strategy and mindset. "You have to endure more pain than the usual person."

Lu belongs to an unusual group of female investors who have risen to the forefront of China's venture capital world. In 2019, she started her own firm, Atypical Ventures, which seeks to groom China's next generation of tech darlings using finance from U.S. institutional investors.

It was the next step in a life spent as a bridge between the two countries, which started when an American couple invited her to live with them in Maryland and ended up paying for her undergraduate education. Then came a stint working on IPOs at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s investment bank at the height of the dot-com bubble, and later a pivot into startup investing.

She's "such a positive force for the Chinese venture community," said Kai-Fu Lee, chief executive officer of venture-capital firm Sinovation Ventures, who has known Lu for years. "She will help you when you're winning, she will help you when you're losing."

It all started in 1989, when Lu bumped into Fred and Virginia Pausch on the streets of Xiamen, the southeastern Chinese port city where she grew up. The couple, in town to help with English language instruction, took a liking to her, inviting her to live with them and study in the U.S. Lu's parents gave permission -- provided the teenager herself collect more than 30 approvals needed to travel overseas. When she succeeded, her mother sewed $200 into her underwear in case she needed to escape.

"It would have been impossible for anyone else," said Tammy Pausch, the daughter of the couple. "With Ruby almost nothing is impossible."

Her new "brother" in the U.S. was Randy Pausch, who went on to become a computer-science professor famous for his "Last Lecture." He often said he won the "parent lottery."

Lu's English was poor when she arrived and she understood little in her classes. So Fred Pausch got her a tape recorder she could use to review lectures at home. She finished top of her class in economics at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, then did a master's in international studies at Johns Hopkins University.

She got a job in Goldman's investment bank in 1996, first working from Hong Kong to help China's state-owned companies go public and later moving to the U.S. It was eBay Inc.'s IPO that hooked her on technology, prompting her to change her focus and relocate to Goldman's tech division in Menlo Park, California. "After that there was no return," she said.

Lu left Goldman in 2003 to join DCM Ventures, the Silicon Valley firm set up by David Chao and Dixon Doll. There, she co-founded DCM's China business to capture what she calls "time and geographic arbitrage," in which ideas that had worked in Silicon Valley were adopted in China. At that time, Chinese tech giants like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. were still in their early years. Some of Lu's top investments at DCM followed this pattern, such as the Amazon-style e-commerce site Dangdang and the online car dealer Bitauto.

But her biggest success is a very different story. Kuaishou, like its rival TikTok owned by ByteDance Ltd., is a Chinese idea that's gone global. The two outfits -- both started less than a decade ago -- pioneered the live-streaming and bite-sized video format that's since been adopted around the world by the likes of Facebook Inc. and YouTube.
Kuaishou's Su was on her radar long before he built the short-video app. They became friendly while Su was developing an AI-based ad recommendation system for Chinese search leader Baidu Inc. After Su left Baidu, Lu didn't hesitate to back his ventures, first an online bazaar for second-hand goods -- which didn't come to fruition -- and then Kuaishou, which at the time had fewer than 15 people and zero revenue.

Lu sat on the board until she left DCM in 2016, and the venture firm subsequently invested more in Kuaishou, but the high return is largely thanks to her early bet. DCM, which now holds a 7.6% stake in Kuaishou, is its first and largest international venture investor. China's 5Y Capital, which was previously called Morningside Venture Capital, put in about $204 million that was worth about $26 billion as of Tuesday's close.

You need to know "the top technology players, the best engineers in town," Lu said on the importance of personal relationships. "Many of the entrepreneurs I backed, when they wanted to leave their company, I would say I will give you money."

Lu set up Atypical Ventures in September 2019 after a brief spell at another venture capital firm. The name stems from her belief that entrepreneurs must be different from the norm, ready to go through tough times and delay gratification on the long road to building a big business. Its first fund raised $200 million from U.S. pension funds, endowments and billionaire families.

Atypical makes concentrated bets in a small number of startups -- so far just five -- and sees its role as supporting entrepreneurs. Lu said she has a personal rule of replying to messages from entrepreneurs within three hours, and often takes emergency calls from them in the early hours.

Company founders who've worked with her say she's high in integrity, straight-talking and driven to succeed.

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