Thomas G. Tsao co-founded Gobi Partners in 2002. With over US$1.1 billion in AUM, Gobi has raised 11 funds to date, invested in over 200 startups, and grown to nine offices across China, Japan, Hong Kong and ASEAN. Gobi’s regional platform supports entrepreneurs from the early to growth stages in the innovation and technology sectors. In China, Tom and his partners were first-round investors into Airwallex, Brite Semiconductor (strategic investment from SMIC), Camera360, Dianwoda (acquired by Cainiao), Kr Space, Madhouse (acquired by BlueFocus), Opzoon (acquired by Harbin Gong Da), Teambition (acquired by Alibaba), Tuniu (NASDAQ:TOUR), UR (acquired by HLA) and Yoyi Digital. He was named to the Forbes List of “China’s Top VCs” from 2013-2015 and 2017.
For two years, Tom served as the CEO of DMG (acquired by VisionChina), the largest operator of passenger information systems and digital media networks inside China’s subways. At DMG, Tom was the executive producer for the company’s award-winning A Sunny Day, Dancing Without You, and A Starry Night programs, the world’s first series of subway soap operas sponsored respectively by Starbucks, Nine West and the MDA of Singapore.
Tom leads the team that manages the Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund, which has invested into companies like DayDayCook, GoGoVan and WeLab. Tom also helped build out Gobi’s investment team in Southeast Asia, which has invested in over 50 companies including Carsome, CiB (acquired by AsiaSoft), DeClout (SGX:5UZ), Hermo (acquired by iStyle), and Mainspring (strategic investment from ByteDance). Tom is now building Gobi’s TaqwaTech investment practice focused on innovative startups serving Muslim communities.
Tom graduated from Harvard with a B.A. in Economics and was the inspiration for Seinfeld’s Movie Phone episode. In 2006, he founded SEO China, a non-profit organization, which has provided more than 180 internships for underserved college students. He also serves as Chairman of the Presidential Scholars Foundation, which cultivates, connects and celebrates U.S. Presidential Scholars (161 of the nation’s top high school seniors who are selected annually and honored by the White House).