Another venture capitalist is leaving his old home to try something new. This time around, it’s DCM partner Kyle Louie, who became Bling Capital’s second general partner after almost eight years.
DCM has a long history. Notably, it is one of the first Sand Hill Road VC funds to have a significant presence in Asia, especially in China. The company has over $4 billion under management since 1996 and has invested in over 400 technology companies including Kuaishou, SoFi and Bill.com.
During his time at DCM, Louis has been involved in several US investments including DocSend, Tempo, TravelBank, Wrike and Lime, as well as public companies such as Hims & Hers, Shift and SoFi.
Louie’s move is the latest among high-profile fund managers. He noted a tendency to leave old “traditional” venture capital firms to start their own businesses or join new ones. The other day we saw Kathy Khan Andreessen leave Horowitz to start her own foundation. He just raised $1.5 billion for two crypto-focused funds. This month, Wesley Chan left Felicis to start a fund with Morgan Stanley tech banker Pega Ibrahimi, in which he was a partner.
He also noted that the number of long-term partners leaving existing companies for leadership positions has declined. For example, Sarah Cannon is leaving Index Ventures for Coatue, Katherine Boyle is leaving General Catalyst for a16z, and Ariel Zuckerberg is leaving Coatue for Long Journey Ventures.
This is not only an opportunity for Louie to partner with Bling Capital CEO Ben Ling, but also an opportunity to move from a company with a 26-year history to a company that is three and a half years old, giving him “a more shaping company that is more early stage of its development.
Louie and Ling have known each other for over 15 years as Ling has invested in Louie’s company, ChoicePass, and Ling has worked at Khosla Ventures. ChoicePass was later acquired by Salesforce and became part of Work.com.
“This is an opportunity to work with the founders early on,” Louis said. “Working for a company with two general partners is really exciting, as is Ben, who I’ve known for a very long time. It is important for these companies to stand out and talk about what makes them special. I saw it in the portfolio of Bling Capital, a strong operations-focused fund that forces companies to find product-to-market fit.”
Ling told gaming-updates that he had never looked for another normal partner before. When he founded Bling Capital in 2018, he decided to become a one-stop GP, partly to stand out and partly to make investment decisions faster.
The single route worked very well for Bling, who now has 18 unicorns in his investment portfolio, including Vice, Alemi, Tempo, Capchez and Wayho.
When Lin raised his first fund, he also reminded his limited partners that he intended to be single, but when he raised his second and third funds, he was more frequently asked if he wanted to let anyone in. Ling already had three clients, but he replied that he would do so if he found the right partner. And this time he says he did it to Louie.
“We complement each other in terms of skills and connections, so this was a great opportunity to recruit him,” Ling said. “Having a second GP gives us greater network coverage and the opportunity to see more investments and opportunities. Within network coverage, it also helps our portfolio companies connect with companies. Secondly, it gives us more time so that they can focus on one investment and I can focus on others, which also gives us huge opportunities. ,
In terms of networks, Louie has Salesforce, DCM, and HBS, while Ling has Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Khosla Ventures, which Ling says is a “good combination.”
Ling confirmed that Bling Capital’s focus has not changed — it will still look at consumers, marketing, fintech, SaaS, and consumer health — but it gives Bling the opportunity to gain more reach and more firepower.
Ling said: “Our main difference is that the product is market-appropriate and we have 100 people on our product board which includes LP product and development heads and when we invest they are all invested and our portfolio . The CEO has access to them. .” I
Asked why the founders want to have bling on their capital charts, Louis replied that two general partners with product and operations experience are rare. This is coupled with Bling’s reputation for working hard for the founders and inspiring them to succeed.
Moavia Aldib, co-founder and CEO of Tempo, knows Lui and Ling well and says both of them have been great partners with his company. While at Khosla, Ling played the early rounds at Tempo and participated in subsequent tours under Bling Capital’s Opportunity Fund. Ling also introduced Luis to Aldib, leading DCM to the Serie A tempo round.
“He will be interesting to work with,” Aldib said. “For me, they are the two most diligent investors. Kyle is like the third co-founder: he knew everything about the company and the industry. Some investors just sit 100 feet away and want to give advice, but Kyle isn’t like that. Ben does, too, especially how he helps early founders become CEOs, which is quite a difficult process. He spent a lot of time helping me through the process and fundraising. Both will be exciting in one company and it will be the hardest working company ever.”