Born in China, Cindy Bi immigrated to the U.S. when she was 20 to study civil engineering. She later founded and sold a hardware business while juggling a full-time software job at Accenture.
“I’ve always worked very hard,” she said. “I love efficiency.”
When she moved to Silicon Valley in 2010, she tapped into the venture community by convincing her employer to let her invest in tech startups through an evergreen fund. Since 2019, Bi invested more than $400k of her personal capital in 10 startups and six VC funds, including Gumroad founder Sahil Lavingia’s new Rolling Fund.
“I see Sahil as a very strong ally who takes pride in working in the public to inspire and help others,” she said.
With more than 100 investments in her past portfolio — including three unicorns — she’s taking her investing to the next level. This month she launched Rolling Fund - CapitalX, leveraging her network to raise more than $2M in two weeks from LPs across the globe.
“This is the VC version of the future of work,” said Bi, who managed a remote-only workforce for 10 years. “With Rolling Funds, micro LPs from all over the world now have access to invest in the next wave of underestimated innovators.”
Raise capital fast
Efficiency is at the heart of how Bi manages her Rolling Fund. She plans to invest $1.5M per quarter — with check sizes ranging from $100k to $500k — into seed and pre-seed companies across a range of software and hardware sectors.
“Without Rolling Funds, this wouldn’t be possible,” Bi said. “The ability to fundraise publicly is essential to my ability to raise capital quickly.” Whether considering a potential deal or a potential LP, Bi follows an approach of “high conviction, fast commit.”
Quickly recruit a diverse LP base
Bi said she’s intentional about recruiting a diverse LP base from across the world, using social media and the AngelList platform to find and vet candidates. For every potential investor she approaches, she gets three inbound queries from LPs interested to learn more about her fund, she said.
“They can be founders of self-funded or venture-backed companies, young professionals at tech startups, senior executives at big corporations, GPs at growth stage funds, or very driven and smart people with IRA accounts who know that venture is a long-term play,” she said. “By having this diverse LP base, I can gather the best practices and insights from different geographies to help founders in my portfolio.”
To add value to her LP base, Bi is generous about making introductions to companies, investors, founders, and others in her network, she said. She invests 80% of the fund’s management fees back into the fund with a minimum GP commit at $200k per year.
“With the AngelList team and the software platform behind me, I feel like there’s no way I can’t win,” Bi said. “I can grow my fund in a very high-resolution way. ”
Advice for beginning investors
For people interested to get into angel investing, Bi suggested following her approach.
“Once you feel this is what you love doing and you know you have a true edge, go for it, don’t hesitate,” she said. “Start with a solid foundation and learn as you go. With Rolling Funds, you can easily do it part-time.”