Sarah is Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Beyond The Billion (BTB), launched as The Billion Dollar Fund for Women, the world's first and largest global consortium of 100+ venture capital funds and limited partner investors that have now pledged to and are actively deploying beyond US$1Bn to be invested into women-founded companies. Today, she works with both general partners and limited partner investors to diversify their portfolio through venture as a returns strategy—via systems change work, special initiatives/vehicles. In under two years, over $638 million has been deployed into close to 800 female-founded companies across the globe, with 11 recognized as unicorns. Notable unicorns invested by our partner funds: Canva, Airwallex, WeLab, ClassPass, Everlywell, Maven Clinic, FIGS, Spring Health, Guild Education, Insider, The RealReal.
Previously, she pioneered a corporate venture capital spin-out within $13Bn Asian conglomerate, investing into later-stage biotechnology companies.
Sarah sits on multiple boards including 131 & counting, a bipartisan effort to fete the unprecedented number of women serving in the House and Senate, to encourage more women to run for office in the United States; and Lean In Malaysia, which she co-founded, recognized as the voice of credibility for professional women issues in Malaysia, boasting beyond 7,000 women within the network, bringing more women back into the workforce, accelerating women in leadership.
Based in Washington DC, Sarah Chen is a seasoned and compelling media personality with hundreds of global engagements under her belt. From delivering inspiring keynotes to moderating high-profile C-level executives - Sarah brings energy, depth, charisma and class to any room she enters. From Vienna to the United Nations, Sarah is relied upon to provide perspective on investing in women, venture capital, scaling startups and executive leadership. She is also an active media commentator, having been featured on Fortune, Forbes, Bloomberg, Der Spiegel et al.
Recently, Sarah launched #BillionDollarMoves - a show & podcast that is celebrated for bringing the best of US-Asia: featuring the top founders, funders and execs to empower & equip next generation leaders to rise to their full potential.
In my capacity as Advisor to Sime Darby’s ventures team, I’ve had the pleasure to work closely with Sarah who drives a lot of the investments work in the team. Sarah continues to impress me with her positive and professional attitude and approach in her work, with demonstrated in-depth, practical knowledge of the business. She is a rare combination of an analytical, strategic mind with a true talent for negotiation and stakeholder management. Representing a strategic investor, Sarah goes to extra mile whether it’s in working in the investee companies in business development or project financing work. It is without a doubt that Sarah will be an asset to any organization she works with.
Upon first meeting Sarah, you are immediately struck by her energy, ambition, and wit. Quickly you discover that there is far more substance than you expected and find yourself working hard to keep up with her. I had the pleasure of getting to know Sarah in 2014 when Sime Darby was evaluating a significant investment in my company. As the deal progressed, her contributions to the deal increased greatly and we ultimately closed a $30 million investment. Since then, I’ve come to learn that Sarah possesses the rare attribute of having an entrepreneur-like ability to see big picture concepts while at the same time having a lawyer-like attention to detail. She proves to be equally valuable in document review and strategic planning. Sarah also has a tireless work ethic, amazing people skills and an outstanding professional demeanor.
I have no doubt that Sarah is destined for great things and will enjoy seeing her conquer whatever she chooses to face in life, professionally and otherwise.
Sarah is a force to be reckoned with. We worked together on a strategy to bring innovation to a large corporate, back when engagement by the corporate with startups was still very nascent. I saw first hand, Sarah’s strategic thinking combined with excellent execution ability, her deep diligence in evaluating investments combined with top relationship management – which frankly, is a profile hard to come by. She is one that is able to look at a problem set, maneuver any framework, manage stakeholders, and come to a solution that everyone around the table can then back. She is a leader, and I’m confident, will do great things.
Aiza Azreen Ahmad
While I’ve only known Sarah Chen for a short period of time, very quickly I knew this was the kind of young leader I wanted to spend more time with and support as I saw her dive head first to work at addressing access to capital, building a diverse and inclusive future via venture capital, at a global scale. Few have approached the problem in the way The Billion Dollar Fund for Women, and now Beyond The Billion has: a top-down approach, catalyzing capital at scale that will benefit thousands of female founders including women of color in the years to come, and importantly building strategically for enduring change via the fund managers and the wider industry. I am particularly impressed by the DecaBillion+ initiative which I am part of, where she and her team have brought together Chief Investment Officers of some of the largest and most influential foundations and endowments including Rockefeller, Kresge and W.K.K. Kellogg with the aim of mobilizing capital by enlisting the support of institutional and private investors. While catalyzing $1 billion was already an audacious goal, I am excited for what else she will achieve.