BRAVE: First Southeast Asian Woman to Swim The English Channel, China Tech Giant Expansion, Indonesia Infrastructure Bottlenecks & Political Refugee Journey

December 2023

· Newsletter,VC and Angels,Founder,Start-up,Southeast Asia

As everyone winds down for the holiday season, we are excited to share the inspiring story of the first Southeast Asian woman who swam across the English Channel, the $30M acquisition of Tech in Asia, Singapore and Indonesia startup layoffs and the complexities behind Indonesia and Vietnam’s local infrastructure. We also successfully hosted our third Phoenix offsite, our pro bono support for startup founders transitioning into the next stage of their professional careers. If you know a founder who is winding down or departing their startup, ask them to register for the next offsite here.

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Regional News & Deep Dives

Popular Interviews

Community News

Congratulations to Raunak Mehta and the whole Igloo team for raising US$36M in a pre-series C funding round led by Eurazeo. Listen to his insights on disrupting the insurance space and challenging tech’s status quo.

Shao-Ning Huang, Founder & Chief Angel at AngelCentral joins Antler as a venture partner to support in driving strategic investments in the region. Learn more about her perspective on angel investor economics & women founder and investor representation.

Dr. Hon Weng Chong was in The Deep Dive for Cortical Lab's partnership with Verses AI on energy-efficient, neuron-silicon fusion technologies. Check out Dr. Hon Weng’s podcast explaining the importance of founder mental health.

​​Bhavik Vashi, APAC Managing Director of Carta, was featured by Finews Asia for the company’s partnership with Endowus to enhance shareholder experiences and ESOP management. Hear his insights on the impending commoditization of cloud computing and building a successful B2B SaaS product.

Vikram Bharati, Founder of Draper Startup House, was featured by Deccan Chronicle for launching Hyderabad's largest co-living co-working space. Check out his podcast on building one million businesses and immigrant mentality.

Congratulations to Joel Leong and the whole Aspire team for being named as one of the top 10 startups in Singapore for harnessing artificial intelligence and attracting top talent. Check out his podcast on relational mindfulness and serial founder lessons.


Jeremy joined Grace Sai (Unravel Carbon) and Ajay Bulusu ( on Hubspot’s Asia Growth Forecast by Hubspot to discuss the transition from founder-led sales to forming an effective sales team, focusing on product-market fit, team design, and founder involvement in sales strategies. Their learnings were also featured by Backscoop.

Best Read

Steve Blank's "Even the Smartest VCs Sometimes Get it Wrong – Bill Gurley and Regulated Markets" is a reminder that incumbents often have the upper hand in regulated markets. We need to understand the nuances of rent-seeking and regulatory capture, develop a solid lobbying strategy from the get-go, and choose VCs savvy in navigating the waters. Mastering the regulatory game can create a formidable moat for your business. This is increasingly well-understood in America, but still opaque across Southeast Asia’s 6 major markets with very different legislative and market structures.


“What makes life worth living? No child asks itself that question. To children life is self-evident. Life goes without saying: whether it is good or bad makes no difference. This is because children don’t see the world, don’t observe the world, don’t contemplate the world, but are so deeply immersed in the world that they don’t distinguish between it and their own selves.” - Karl Ove Knausgard

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Stay Brave!

Jeremy Au