Chinese ‘Princess’ turned entrepreneur Wendy Yu invests in fashion and tech ventures | Yu Capital by Wendy Yu

Wendy Yu might have been born with a silver spoon in her mouth, but she’s not a typical rich kid. Daughter of a mainland Chinese tycoon, Yu believes her professional achievements will in due course come to speak louder than her wealth.

“It’s important for me to have my own vision,” Yu says. “My work will eventually speak for [itself].”

Born in Zhejiang in eastern China, London-based Yu started her own investment firm, Yu Capital, last year, focusing on fashion and technology companies.

One particularly shrewd investment she made in recent times is in ride-sharing company Didi Chuxing, which made the headlines in May after securing US$1 billion in funding from Apple. Yu, who invested in Didi Chuxing in earlier funding rounds, expects a great return from the deal.

Good timing and risk management are crucial to investors, Yu believes. “Especially in the technology sector [where] the growth is exponential,” she adds.

“It’s very important that you invest with the right timing. But the earlier the stage, the riskier it is to invest. For me, I [consider] myself a value investor. I would only invest in a business when I think it’s at the right value, and at the right time.”

Yu’s investment style has been influenced by her father, who started his own business from scratch.

“Before I went to study in England, my father and I had a chat and he said he only wanted [to see] three qualities in me – to be a loving and caring person, to always fight for a better self, and not to be afraid of hardships,” Yu recalls. “Growing up, I always knew how hard my dad had fought for his business.”

Resilience is another virtue Yu says she has inherited from her father.

Apart from her entrepreneurial ventures, Yu is also an avid philanthropist. She has supported the likes of the British Fashion Council, and is this year’s vice-chairwoman of amfAR Hong Kong.

“I’m very interested in the fields of fashion, art and female empowerment, as well as children’s education,” Yu says.

Now a regular on the front row of fashion shows and a couture client, Yu’s passion for fashion started at an early age. “I loved playing with my Barbie dolls when I was a little girl,” she says.

“Victoria Beckham, Vera Wang and Diane von Furstenberg are all inspiring fashion designers for me.”

At 25 years of age, Yu says she still has a long way to go before she can claim to have achieved her lifetime goal.

“I want to invest in leading fashion, technology and lifestyle companies but also to expand my family business legacy,” Yu says. “Now it’s a well-known domestic brand but I [would] like it to have international recognition and to be a very strong brand internationally.”

Yu’s daily routine is helping her get closer to achieving her vision day by day.

“I’m a very goal-driven person,” she says. “I set three to six goals I want to achieve every day and I prioritise them.” VC