April 2021: Capital Advantage in SE Asia, Nick Nash & VC 2021 Strategies

April 2021 Newsletter

· Newsletter

Welcome to our first monthly newsletter with real talk on Southeast Asia’s future, tech and rising stars. Short, sweet and to the point every month with high value-add content only.

Big Think: Capital Advantage as Economic Moat

1. Founders and VCs have been increasingly discussing using capital to snowball an economic moat advantage over competitors in Southeast Asia. This theme has ranged from Grab & Softbank, to Udaan & Zilingo and now to Ajaib’s $90M Series A & Carro’s $90M Series B. Click here to read my analysis on how capital momentum plays out for regional founders and VCs.

Podcast Learnings

2. Nick Nash on Generational Lessons, World's Greatest Injustices, and Curiosity as Growth Hack: He’s known for raising the huge $384M in his debut fund at Asia Partners to solve the region’s highly problematic Series C and D gap. Nick goes deeper into his family roots, and how his friendship with Forrest Li as Stanford MBAs turned into General Atlantic’s first ASEAN investment into then-Garena and eventually Nick joining Sea Group as Group President through Shopee’s launch and NYSE IPO. Hang out with your business school friends more!

3. Brent Liang on Co-Founding with Justin Kan, Weekly Moonshots, and Vulnerability in Leadership: Brent’s story of overcoming multiple startup failures to eventually co-found The Quest with Justin Kan, YC partner and Twitch founder, is inspiring. He has accomplished a lot in a relatively short career, and is a rising star to watch over the next 20 years. He did all this from Australia, so expect more incredible founder stories to emerge from APAC working remotely with US cofounders.

4. Chris Sirisereepaph on SE Asia VC Dynamics, Thought Leadership Via Investment Thesis & Sharing Your Secret Sauce: Chris is one of the most thoughtful VC partners in Southeast Asia. His POV on how VCs succeed in the region, thesis on information asymmetry and how it compares vs. Silicon Valley shaped some recent thinking on good-faith VCs, founder quasi-unions (e.g. YC) and deal term trends.

5. Eddy Chan on Indonesia-Only VC, SEA Turtles & Doing Less Better: Eddy energetically shares about why his “Indonesia-Only” strategy is going to outperform for startup and VC outcomes. This is a really solid thesis (out of 7 strategies for SE Asia. Click here for the other 6 approaches). Intudo’s approach to dominating Tier 1 university Indonesia “sea turtle” talent is solid execution on the play that great founders drive great outcomes, and that early nurturing is important to get into undiscovered/ underpriced deals.

6. Ashwin Purushottam on Market Launchers vs General Managers, Launch to Profitability and Collaborating with Regulators: Market launchers are not GMs. GMs are not market launchers. Hire, incentivize and manage accordingly. Also, regulators have been the core obstacle for bringing blitzscaling to Southeast Asia. Ashwin shares his experience from Beam and Deliveroo on how to deal with all of this.

Worthy Reads

7. Monk's Hill Ventures with a landscape report of startup founder and operator compensation data across Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam


Feel free to reply to this email about whether you like this newsletter and how could I improve. You can also email suggestions for guests that I should interview!

Thanks to Chia Jeng Yang, Frederick Daso, John-Simon Purcell, Terence Fong, Ricky Willianto, Cheng Zishuang and all the club members for helping edit!


Jeremy Au