Emerging Manager Spotlight: Sophie Liao of Oyster Ventures

“I know I look young, I’m Asian American, first-generation, female — I never expected an easy route at all.”

Theron McCollough
10 min readDec 13, 2022

Key takeaways:

  1. Use your background to build an unfair advantage in your investing niche.
  2. Hire slowly and make sure to surround yourself with the right people.
  3. Venture takes great patience. Be in this for the right reason and it will show.

In 2016, Sophie Liao launched Oyster Ventures, an early stage fund with a global vision investing in exceptional new-frontier technology. Now on its third fund, Oyster is the earliest venture firm focused on infrastructure that makes investing in private assets as easy as public investments.

Sophie started her career in media at CCTV & The Travel Channel, producing documentaries and hosting a travel show, before launching US-China joint ventures. She later honed her VC skills at Rothenberg Ventures and DFJ Dragon.

Sophie Liao, founder & GP of Oyster Ventures

“I knew it was going to be tough. I know I look young, I’m Asian…



Theron McCollough

Managing Director at Citizens Private Bank | VC/Tech; past Managing Director with First Republic,@SVB_Financial. founder, investor, limited partner, and banker