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SuperReturn Emerging Markets
24-26 June, 2024
Hotel OkuraAmsterdam

Thomas Tsao
Co-Founder & Chairperson at Gobi Partners


Thomas G. Tsao is a venture capital investor and co-founder of Asia-focused venture capital firm, Gobi Partners.

He has over 30 years of experience in venture capital, operations, fund management and investment banking. Over the last 20 years, Thomas has actively helped entrepreneurs build companies and create value. He has invested in over 300 startups, guided over 40 exits and had nine portfolio companies achieve unicorn status.

Thomas co-founded Gobi Partners in 2002, where he became a first-round investor in Airwallex, Dianwoda, Teambition, Tuniu, UR, and WaveOptics and was named to the Forbes list of China’s Top VCs from 2013 - 2017. Tom helps lead the team that manages the Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund and AEF GBA Fund, which have invested in companies like AutoX, DayDayCook, GoGoX, OneDegree, Prenetics, Sandbox VR and WeLab.

In 2015, Thomas relocated to Kuala Lumpur where he set up several funds with MAVCAP, Malaysia’s largest VC firm. Through this move, Thomas had a direct hand in shaping Southeast Asia’s vibrant startup scene by investing in local leaders such as Aerodyne, Carsome, CloudEats, Deliveree, EasyParcel, Finnomena, iStore iSend, Julo, Kumu, and PolicyStreet. In 2016, Tom launched the firm’s TaqwaTech vertical which focuses on innovation in the global Muslim economy. Notable startups include Abhi, Bitsmedia (which operates Muslim Pro and Qalbox), Durioo, Fasset and Umrahme.

Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Thomas graduated from Harvard University with a BA in Economics. He is a Board Director for Endeavor Malaysia and a committee member of the Malaysia Co-Investment Fund at the Securities Commission Malaysia.

Being an ardent supporter of education for all, he founded SEO China in 2006, a non-profit organisation, which has provided hundreds of internships for underserved college students. He also serves as Chair of the U.S. Presidential Scholars Foundation, which cultivates, connects, and celebrates U.S. Presidential Scholars, encompassing 161 of the nation’s top high school seniors who are selected annually and honoured by the White House.

Agenda Sessions

  • Making money in the Middle East and Pakistan