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
- Shiyan Koh, Managing Partner of Hustle Fund, discusses Biofourmis’ second layoff & Flash Coffee’s shutdown of their Singapore market, Singapore Press Holdings’ $30M acquisition of Tech In Asia and what it means for media companies, and reflections on bad vs. great conferences.
- Valerie Vu, Founding Partner of Ansible Ventures, explains Intel's cancellation and resumption of a planned $1B Vietnam investment due to infrastructure and power supply challenges, and regional differences in FDI flow between the country’s north and south.
- Gita Sjahrir, Head of Investment at BNI Ventures, discussed Indonesia’s TikTok Shop ban and the challenges of localizing cloud kitchens, leading to the Indonesia market exit of GrabKitchen, Rebel Foods and DishServe.
- Jeremy and Adriel Yong, Head of Investments at Ascend Angels, discussed the investment thesis behind Southeast Asia’s agritech value chain and nuances of livestock vs. crop-based agriculture.
- Jeremy shares about three lessons from turning 36 (mindset, health and peeling an orange), and the three things he learned from Anthony Bourdain’s biography "Lost In Paradise" (success inflection, private failure and relationships).
- Li Ling Yung: First Southeast Asian Woman to Swim The English Channel, 13 Hours & 34km of Sea Tides & Childhood Journey: Li Ling recounts her long swim across the English Channel across inspiration, preparation, swim and recovery. She also shares her involvement with Splash Foundation, highlighting its mission to teach swimming to underserved communities.
- Fengru Lin: TurtleTree Milk Precision Fermentation, Biotech Cofounder Serendipity & Balancing Commercial and Scientific Decisions: Fengru shares her serendipitous encounter with Max Rye and their decision to co-found TurtleTree's mission to pioneer biotech milk. They are targeting high-value proteins like lactoferrin to achieve commercialization and FDA GRAS certification.
- John Aguilar: Philippines Business Reality TV, Methods to Greatness & Failure before "The Final Pitch": John shares his journey from early failures in Philippine TV production to creating the business reality show "The Final Pitch." He emphasizes how he has evolved in his approach to long-term achievement and mastery.
- Jianggan Li: China Tech Giant Expansion, Entering Southeast Asia & Venture Building Lessons: Jianggan explores the historical evolution, tactical decisions and leadership styles of Chinese tech giants in his book “Seeing the Unseen: Behind Chinese Tech Giants' Global Venturing”.
- Alina Truhina: Climate Change Reality, Political Refugee Journey & Navigating ESG: Alina shares about how her personal journey as a political refugee impacts how she views the world. She advocates for founders to be realistic about the trade-offs to climate change mitigation, and how to genuinely incorporate ESG and UN Sustainable Development Goals into their businesses.
- Ryan Manafe: McKinsey to Founder, Indonesia Infrastructure Bottlenecks & Hub-and-Spoke Business Model: Ryan sheds light on Indonesia's supply chain challenges, especially in rural areas, and the critical function of intermediaries. He founded Dagangan to enhance rural commerce through a hub-and-spoke model, aiming for effective distribution across local markets.
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.
We’d like to congratulate Derek Handley and Aera VC for successfully raising $50 million climate fund. Listen to his perspective on sustainability investing fundamentals and handling difficult VC-founder conversations.
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 (Nextbillion.ai) 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.
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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