Meet Alumni Ventures’ Blockchain Fund Investing Team
August 27, 2021 | Scott Murphy
Alumni Ventures’ new Blockchain Fund will offer a portfolio of ~20-30 promising, venture-backed companies innovating in areas like decentralized finance (DeFi), Metaverse, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and more. The fund is actively managed by three experienced investment professionals, including Managing Partner Ray Wu and Principals Jack Statza and Sophia Zhao. In this video, our team introduces themselves and discusses how they source and evaluate blockchain opportunities.
About the Team
Ray is a seasoned venture capitalist with over 20 years of investing experience across a wide range of industries and geographies. Before joining Alumni Ventures, Ray was a partner and adviser at several global venture funds focusing on investment opportunities across the U.S. and Asia Pacific. Earlier, he spent more than 10 years in the corporate venture space: He worked at HP — where he served as the managing director for the tech giant’s venture arm, responsible for startup technology evaluation, new business incubation, VC relationships, and minority investments — and earlier at Cisco Systems, holding several senior positions leading investment, M&A, internal incubation, and global consulting. Previously, Ray was a managing partner of a leading Internet consulting firm working with Fortune 1000 companies across North America. He earned a dual MBA degree from the University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University.
Jack brings deep-tech venture investing expertise across sectors and stages to his work at Alumni Ventures. He was previously an early-stage investor at Allstate Strategic Ventures, the venture capital arm of Allstate Insurance Company, primarily focusing on AI/ML, Blockchain, and Enterprise SaaS. Before Allstate, Jack worked in investment banking at Lazard and at Livingstone in Chicago, executing M&A transactions for technology clients. He was also a consultant at the Northern Trust Company, where he gained a deep understanding of the financial markets that blockchain is beginning to disrupt. Jack has been deeply involved in the blockchain space ever since he first mined Bitcoin in 2010 and is a personal crypto investor in many altcoin projects. He has an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and he is a CFA charterholder.
Sophia dived into the exciting world of Crypto in 2017 when she joined Galaxy Digital’s advisory team, supporting a portfolio of blockchain startup clients with fund-raising, investor relations, and ICO preparation. She continued building her crypto deal flow and book of investor contacts during her tenure at Huobi US and Crypto.com’s exchange, working with institutional clients such as crypto hedge funds, high frequency traders on market-making, and volume trading initiatives. Sophia comes from a background of business development and corporate development, having worked with CXOs and Entrepreneurs on their financing and business strategies. She’s a mentor with Yale’s Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking, as well as an active participant in startup communities such as Techstars, 500 Startups, and Plug and Play. She holds a BBA from Simon Fraser University, an MBA from University of British Columbia, and an MAM from Yale School of Management.