Contrary to its name, 500 Startups has invested in over 1800 startups since its inception in 2010. With an investment strategy that emphasizes little bets, the venture capital firm and startup accelerator has made investments in companies in over 60 countries including Credit Karma, Twilio, GrabTaxi, Talkdesk, and Udemy.

Founding Partner Dave McClure was in Beijing for this year’s Global Mobile Internet Conference where he spoke about cross-border investment, creating great companies, and investment trends in Silicon Valley. While there, TechNode got a chance to catch up with him to talk about how he got into angel investing, his unique mix of marketing and engineering, as well as future prospects for 500 Startups in China.

I’ve been in Silicon Valley for close to 30 years and got to know some people who were angel investors and VCs in the business. I hung out with Josh Kopelman at First Round and Brad Feld and Fred Wilson and some other folks. When I was at PayPal, from 2001 to 2004, Reed Hoffman was investing in a lot of companies, so I was kind of trying to follow in their footsteps, even though I had a little bit less of a checkbook to work with. I started doing investing around 2004, I had gotten a little bit of money back from the PayPal IPO and started using that to do angel investments. I did that for about 4 years, on the side kind of as a hobby. Even before that, I had been doing some advising and consulting for startups so I was already pretty interested in that topic.

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

What you get

Full access to all premium content and our full archives

Members'-only newsletters

Preferential access and discounts to all TechNode events

Direct access to the TechNode newsroom

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

John Artman

John Artman is the Editor in Chief for TechNode, the leading English information source for news and insight into China’s tech and startups, and co-host of the China Tech Talk podcast, a regular discussion...