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Paul Hsiao, Partner

Paul Hsiao is a General Partner and founding managing member of Canvas Ventures. His active Canvas investments include Everwise, Fluxx Labs, Roofstock, Thrive Global, Transfix, and Zola. Prior to Canvas, Paul was a partner at New Enterprise Associates (NEA), where he led an early-stage investment in Houzz, as well as, had the privilege of helping eight companies go public on the NYSE or NASDAQ and seventeen companies with successful M&A exits during his 10-year tenure with the firm.

Paul was an entrepreneur before he became an investor. He founded Mazu Networks, a venture-backed startup and pioneer in network security that was built from technology developed at MIT. The company was acquired by Riverbed Technologies and today provides enterprise IT organizations with the ability to manage, secure and optimize their business services. Paul began his career working in product development at Medtronic, and leading market entry strategy for China at McKinsey & Company.

Paul holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BSc in Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering from MIT.

In the News

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In the News

Thrive Global Raises $30 Million in Series B Funding to Scale Its Behavior Change Corporate and Media Platform Around the World

Thrive Global, the behavior change media and technology company founded by Arianna Huffington in November 2016, has raised $30 million in its Series B funding round to dramatically accelerate its technology and product growth and scale its impact around the world.
November 29, 2017 | BusinessWire/by admin

Venture Capital Micro Funds on Pace for Record Year

Venture capital's old guard is under pressure by smaller, specialized competitors that are increasingly creating the first institutional relationships with entrepreneurs. "The early stage market ($15 million or less) is changing rapidly," said Paul Hsiao, co-founder and general partner at venture capital manager Canvas Ventures, which raised its first fund in 2013. "New names will rise to threaten the top five to 10 ​ (venture capital firms)."
October 16, 2017 | Pensions & Investments/by Ching Wu

Paul Hsiao Comments on Q3 2017 Venture Investment Numbers

The numbers show that deals keep getting bigger, but fewer companies are getting a piece of the pie. That’s because investors are chasing big names like Uber and Airbnb, hoping for a massive payout, said Paul Hsiao, co-founder and General Partner of Canvas Ventures. New York-based WeWork, for example, closed a massive $3 billion round in August, and that alone accounted for 17 percent of the quarter’s overall investment into U.S. VC-backed companies, according to the Venture Monitor report. “The gaps are widening,” Hsiao said. “The perceived winners are just getting more capital than ever.”
October 10, 2017 | The Mercury News/by admin

Zola Shakes Up The $19 Billion Wedding Gift Industry

The market for wedding gifts is enormous, at $19 billion, and has run pretty much the same way – to the frustration of both those who give gifts and those who get them – for years. Zola CEO Shan-Lyn Ma, 40, and her cofounder Nobu Nakaguchi, the company’s chief design officer, launched their company as an answer to that frustration.
September 26, 2017 | Forbes/by admin

How Shan-Lyn Ma, Wedding Registry Founder, Spends Her Sundays

When many of her friends were getting married, Shan-Lyn Ma grew frustrated at the online wedding shopping process, so she decided to start Zola in an attempt to reinvent the traditional china-and-silverware registry process.
September 22, 2017 | The New York Times/by admin

Paul Hsiao Moderates the “The Future of AI Panel” at Mobile World Congress America

As the world transitions from manual, human controlled processes to an automated world, Artificial Intelligence has become a fundamental element of the transformation.
September 12, 2017/by admin

Hustle scores $8M to kill telemarketing with personalized texts

The potential to revolutionize both grassroots activism and corporate sales has won Hustle a new $8 million Series A led by existing investor Social Capital, whose founder Chamath Palihapitiya sits on Hustle’s board. That brings Hustle to over $11 million in funding to take the lessons it learned as Bernie Sanders’ texting tool for the 2016 presidential election and bring it to all kinds of organizations.
August 2, 2017 | TechCrunch/by admin

Transfix keeps on truckin’, with $42 million in fresh funding

Transfix, which now employs 110 people, just closed on $42 million in Series C funding led by previous backer New Enterprise Associates, with participation from unnamed strategic investors with “strong ties to the retail and logistics world,” says the company.
July 11, 2017 | TechCrunch/by admin

Top 25 Tech Companies to Watch

Zola is named a “Top-25 Tech Company to Watch.”
June 15, 2017 | The Wall Street Journal/by admin

Zola Moves to Take Over Wed-Tech

There is a lot of ugly, wonky, barely-usable wedding planning technology out there, from the seating charts and guest lists, to RSVP software, checklists and vendor management tools. There's a reason few modern tech startups have managed to penetrate the $70 billion wedding industry. It's something Shan-Lyn Ma has understood well since co-founding Zola, a “wed-tech” startup, in 2013.
April 18, 2017 | Fortune/by admin

Zola CEO Joins "40 Under 40" List

Friends' wedding registries frustrated Shan-Lyn Ma, who would bounce among wish lists on retailers' websites, thinking the items weren't meaningful to the couples. She envisioned a better way. With Nobu Nakaguchi, director of Gilt Groupe, and Kevin Ryan, its founder, she started Zola, an online wedding registry and marketplace.
March 29, 2017 | Crain's New York/by Ching Wu

Foundations Use Fluxx to Manage More than $12B in Grants, and Counting

March 8, 2017 | Press Release/by Ching Wu
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Artificial intelligence, mobile, marketplace, enterprise SaaS, education, real estate, gaming


  • MIT, BSc
  • Harvard Business School, MBA

Past Investments

  • Houzz
  • Gaikai
  • Boingo
  • Elance-oDesk
  • SayMedia
  • 42Floors
  • All past investment made while serving as partner at NEA