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Bob Xu, one of China's first and most successful angel investors

China · Dec 20, 2018· By Li Yuan

Known for his whimsical investment style, Xu has caught a number of unicorns

The 2018 Forbes Midas List, a ranking of the top 100 global tech investors, put Bob Xu (Xu Xiaoping) 24th. It was the third year in a row Xu, founding partner at ZhenFund, had made the list.

The profile photo shows a round-faced man grinning from ear to ear. One of China's first angel investors, Xu appears far younger than his 62 years.

His real-life personality doesn't betray his age either. Xu loves to laugh out loud and raise his voice until it is hoarse to stress his point. He is constantly making jokes. Wu Xiaobo, a Chinese financial writer, once noted of the former teacher, "If he were not an investor, he would be the most popular teacher because of his sense of humor."

Xu, who has 10 million followers on Weibo, has dubbed himself the second most famous investor in China after Kai-fu Lee. One episode of the Chinese version of Dragons' Den starring Xu had 10 million hits on Tencent's video platform alone. 

Ron Conway, the American angel investor dubbed the "Godfather of Silicon Valley," once said, "I like to say that I’m the Bob Xu of the U.S.A. China became a 'startup nation' in just a few years and Bob had a lot to do with that."

From 2011 to 2016, ZhenFund invested in over 300 startups, including the NASDAQ-listed and NYSE-listed, as well as unicorns such as Meicai, Xiaohongshu, VIPKID and OFO, among others.

Edited by Wendy Lovinger

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