Really ask yourself if this is what you want to do. Because another misconception of being a VC is all fun that we choose to take startup pitches, and then say yes or no. And that's our job. That is not the job of a VC, especially a general partner, or someone that's founding a firm, it will be the hardest thing you've ever done in your life. -Herston Powers
Herston is a Co-founder and Managing Partner at 1982 Ventures. As one of the most active fintech investors in Southeast Asia, he has led and executed notable investments across Southeast Asia and South Asia. Prior to founding 1982 Ventures, he was a Principal at tryb Group in Singapore and created and executed their early stage investment strategy.
Before entering the private equity and venture capital industry, Herston was a banker at The Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon) with nearly a decade of global financial services experience. He spent 5 years in Hong Kong covering the China market and built their advisory platform for Asian clients.He has advised unlisted, pre-IPO and listed companies on capital markets, IPOs and US listings. Herston began his career in New York where he focused on connecting international companies with institutional investors. Herston has an Executive MBA from INSEAD and Master of Economics from Hunter College in New York City.
Jeremy Au: (00:29)
Hey Herston. Really excited for this. You’re someone active in early stage investing across Southeast Asia with some great investments already out of the starting gate. So I'd love for you to introduce yourself.
Herston Powers: (00:41)
Sure, I'm really happy to be on. It's an honor to speak with you on the Brave podcast. I'm Herston Powers. I'm the co-founder and Managing Partner of 1982 Ventures here in Singapore. We're an early stage VC fund, focused on Fintech across Southeast Asia. And today, we're the most active FinTech investor in Southeast Asia. I've been in Asia for over a decade, I've lived and worked here Hong Kong, China, India, and then for the last seven years here in Singapore. So prior to launching 1982 is at another fund here in Singapore was on the investments and operations team. And then before that, I was a banker at Bank New York Mellon mainly focused on helping Asian companies listed on York Stock Exchange, and NASDAQ. But I started my career in New York doing macro economic research and capital markets advisory for international companies. And I'm originally from Texas. So that's a little bit about me, I've got two kids, and a Superwoman spouse that helps me with everything else.
Jeremy Au: (01:48)
Amazing. So what brought you to Southeast Asia?
Herston Powers: (01:52)
So it's a bit of a long story. I was in Hong Kong, mainly focused on Chinese companies, many of the tech companies that have listed in New York, either New York Stock Exchange, or NASDAQ. And that market was fairly mature from getting these companies IPO ready, to getting them listed through IPOs. The next market we saw in my career was India, where a lot of the similar business models, say the Alibaba of India or things like that. So then I started going to spending a lot of time in India. Might call it an NRI, some of your colleagues might know what that means. But in the other corner, my eye could see that there was a real open opportunity for Southeast Asia. And this was about 10 years ago, where the same types of companies with less regulatory hurdles were being built in Indonesia and Singapore. And from a listing perspective, the US made a lot of sense. So the bank that I was with, they sent me to Singapore to launch that business. And funny enough, I started doing more work with the local VC ecosystem and private equity firms just because there hadn't been real tech exits back then in Southeast Asia at that time, it was a lot of education. And I just fell in love with the region. And then I actually fell in love with the role on the other side of the table. And that's how I got to Southeast Asia and how I got into venture capital as well.
Jeremy Au: (03:34)
How did you get into venture capital? Because, obviously, institutional banking is very different, from venture capital. So walk me through that.
Herston Powers: (03:45)
To be honest, I didn't know I wanted to get into venture capital. I knew that I wanted to be closer to entrepreneurs and founders. And in my mind, that meant that I was probably looking at a more private equity or late stage role, especially with my background with later stage and pre IPO companies and I wanted to move towards to being an operator, when I first started really thinking about it. And the more I got to work with VCs, many of the VCs of Southeast Asian, a lot of my friends that were managing funds in India, I just realized that there was something special about that role, but it's still hadn't crystallized itself, in my mind. But then I had the opportunity to do a later stage fund that was focused on FinTech in Southeast Asia. And that's when I started getting deeper in the ecosystem. And learning about the potential opportunities here. And what became apparent fairly quickly is that mid market buyouts for FinTech in Southeast Asia, this market wasn't ready. It's too young. That investment strategy was not fit for purpose for Southeast Asia at that time, and maybe not even now. So my partner and I started digging into the early stage opportunity. And that's when it became crystal clear that this was the right time, and the right place to launch a very early stage strategy that was focused on FinTech and it took a lot of testing with the market to see if that product exclusively focused on FinTech in Southeast Asia. If the market was ready for there were investors that wanted to back that strategy. And once we had a good indication that one there was a gap in the market for this strategy, two there were investors that were ready to back to fund managers that were focused on this, then it became crystal clear that was going to be my career, it was to launch 1982. And to be a true venture capitalists.
Jeremy Au: (06:12)
What's interesting is that you chose to not only do it in early stage, but also decide on FinTech as a thesis and specialization from an early stage. What goes into deciding what niche or specialization after strategy that you want to approach in founding a VC fund?
Herston Powers: (06:30)
I would say it's similar to any entrepreneur, and it's almost a Founder Market Fit type of framework, then you need to think about, there are many opportunities in Southeast Asia. But with that said, I might not be the right fund manager for some of those opportunities. So if it's extremely technical, deep tech, I'm probably not going to win the deals or earn the trust of founders, because of my background, but my partner and I had a very strong expertise and experience in financial services, and fintech itself, we had the credibility with founders in the region, and with investors to say, this team under East Asian tech better than anyone else, and I hope that doesn't sound arrogant, it's just that I know that that's something that I'm passionate about, that I can get deep into. And that if there was an opportunity for 1982, and myself to win, to be the best performing fund, I would have to focus on our strengths, which were our FinTech background, expertise, and network.
Jeremy Au: (07:44)
That's interesting, because you say something like you're founder of a VC fund, and you want to play to your strengths. And most founders don't necessarily think of VC fund founders as founders, could you share what you think is similar, and what you think is different from being a founder of a tech startup, versus being a founder of VC fund?
Herston Powers: (08:05)
There are many similarities, even on the face of it. But when you're watching it as a firm, you're really genuine, starting from zero. So one, you're building a firm, and you're doing all of the necessary things that are going to allow you to start acquiring customers, which are investors. And then the other side of your stakeholders are your partners or clients as well, which are founders. So it's really building a platform that can deliver some financial returns and strategic value for your investors. And obviously, be a partner for the founders that you're backing to make sure that they're able to achieve their goals and hit milestones. So one thing I can say, that's quite similar is that, my partner and I didn't take a salary for a very long time launching 1982 Ventures, we invested a lot of our own personal capital, just to get this off the ground, even before we have to do our GP commit. We've already put a lot of money, time, resources, opportunity costs, to launch 1982, for us, it's all in bet. Like I said, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be a part of the best market in the world, in our view, Southeast Asia, at the key time when FinTech will be driving most of the financial returns from venture capital in this region. So it's really an all in bet from our perspective, there's no plan B. And when founders get to know us, they appreciate that. Wait a minute. 1982 Our founders, you guys work just as hard if not harder than us, trying to push us to different milestones and that's not pushing them to grow faster. It's like how can we help you achieve your goal? How can we get you to that tier one investor for Series A, and we're working nonstop and this is literally all we do. So one milestone that I can also share and many founders will also relate to, I hope is, I remember two times feeling proud out, so to speak. One is when our logo went on our door, just seeing our logo on the door. It's something just clicked, it felt real, even though we had been working months to do this. The second milestone that I'll share is in the last two weeks, we made our first full time hire. And it's more emotional, I thought it means that we're actually building a firm that I hope will outlast us. And those are the types of things that I believe founders care about. They believe that we're in this game together. And that we've obviously got a lot of skin in the game as well. So their success is definitely aligned with our success as well.
Jeremy Au: (11:13)
You said something interesting, which you believe that Fintech is going to drive the majority of returns across Southeast Asia. And now that's a contrarian point of view. Because there's so many journalists, VCs that are looking at all the different stages, in fact, and fintech may be 10, 20 30% of the portfolio. But you're saying something very different, which is it would drive the majority of it. So I'd love to hear your thesis on this.
Herston Powers: (11:48)
Sure. It's pretty clear, in our view, that the last 10 years in Southeast Asia have been dominated by E commerce, ride hailing, online travel, online gaming. And those are very successful businesses that have grown and we're finally over the last two years have seen that culminate in exits and IPOs. So it's a fantastic starting point for this region. But the fact is, is that compared to nearly every other market in the world, whether it's developed markets like the US and Europe, emerging markets, massive like China and India, and even markets like Brazil, and Africa, FinTech, in Southeast Asia lags way behind. Only in the last two and a half years have we started to see FinTech unicorns being born in Southeast Asia. So imagine, you look at Brazil, which is a great market, but again, not as attractive as Southeast Asia, already has a FinTech listed on the New York Stock Exchange. That's where we're coming from as a base. Now let's take a look at what we call the drivers of Southeast Asia and why they impact FinTech probably more so than the other regions, or we believe that FinTech has more room to run compared to a lot of the other sectors and it's the right time. So we've got this massive population, which is not one region. But again, let's just start from there. We've got multiple markets that have over 100 million population, it's a good start, we have about 65%, of the middle class in Indonesia, over the next 10 years. 65% of population will become middle class and represent that middle class in Indonesia. All of these, let's call it macro drivers, the young population on the demographic side, the ability for people to access the internet, the high levels of digitization, the digital economy growing at pace, all of this is a perfect foundation for FinTech to start, basically allowing financial services to keep up, because financial services have not kept up with this region. We have all of these incredible drivers, everybody becoming part of this internet population. But financial services still is not servicing half of the population with bank accounts. Most people don't have a credit or even debit card in most of the markets. And then access to financing for individuals and SMEs is some of the worst in the world. So you've got this opportunity to really extend the reach of financial services through technology and we believe Fintech over the next 2, 3, 5 and even 10 years, will be the the main value driver for this ecosystem. Another thing to mention, if you look and obviously there's been some hits on multiples across the world, but generally the most valued VC backed companies and every other region, Fintech is going to be there. In Southeast Asia we're just really starting from that perspective.
Jeremy Au: (14:53)
That's really interesting, because you're talking about hits as well. And so there's been a lot of pushback and point of view that FinTech has been overhyped. It was built at a time of cheap debt, high multiples and high burn rate, which has caused a lot of FinTech companies to not only say shrink, but also frankly, implode right over the past year and probably the year to come as well. So how do you balance that macro trend versus what you're seeing in Southeast Asia?
Herston Powers: (15:27)
Southeast Asia is completely different. It might sound trite to say that, but the valuations here never ran up similar to the way that they did in the US. So there wasn't really anywhere to fall, we're still waiting for the size of opportunities and exits of match what we see in the other markets, that is matched to the size of the opportunity in Southeast Asia. So when I look at the failure rate of fintechs, it's actually probably more likely lower than some of the other segments that received. Let's call it hot funding, obviously, quick commerce, quick groceries, they're dying every week. That's cash burning. As a FinTech, you cannot burn cash, you're a regulated entity, and you have to be more prudent. And if you're not behaving that way, you don't deserve to exist in our view anyways. So fintechs are built a bit different than, say, your typical ecommerce startup, where trouble sets in, is when you have folks that may think that, let's add digital lending to this model, lending is one of the most difficult things to do. And that's why people are so conservative. It's a very sophisticated thing that's been around for 1000s of years, but you can't just start giving loans over a phone and say, while we've got this special magic, credit scoring, that's not how things work, you have to be an expert operator in that space to build a business that one, is sustainable. And two, stand up to the scrutiny of regulations. So I'd push back on that, the sense that we've seen many FinTech blow ups, mainly we've seen on sustainable businesses blow up, where we get from a multiple compression standpoint, I think that's a bigger question, is that will the quote unquote smart money from the US the major multistage funds, the strategics, that are, over the last three years have become a bit more serious about Southeast Asia, with their home markets imploding? Will they one run away from Southeast Asia? Be the definition of tourist capital? Or will they double down and see that the diversification aspect of having chips in Southeast Asia just makes more sense, because I can tell you, when our investors are global, and when they see our financial reports, were a breath of fresh air compared to their portfolio in Europe or the portfolio and in the US. So to us, it's still very clear, and there's still a lot of room to run in this space.
Jeremy Au: (18:31)
What's interesting is your point of view that it is not that easy to lend money, for example. So, everybody has a pitch deck saying they have an AI driven credit score. So how do you differentiate between good teams and bad teams? Because, they all have the same pitch deck. They're all going to lend money from somewhere, they're going to lend it better than everybody else. And there's a lot of loans to be given out. So that feels like the fundamental pitch out there for every FinTech, whatever opportunity is, whether it's in supply chain, but as far as direct to consumer, whereas in mortgages, so how do you differentiate between a strong team and a team that can deliver?
Herston Powers: (19:13)
All of the things that you said, there's some signals or nuances around, when we're getting to know founders and how they approach the market and how they see the market. Coming with a pitch to say there's a lot of loans to give, is a definite red flag to us. We want our platforms to be discerning, and to not just continue to go subprime and lower their standards to increase their book, that's not a sustainable business. We want to see operators that are focused on providing the best service, so that the best borrowers come to them as opposed to waiting too long with the traditional guys or going to loan sharks. So it's also the approach and you can tell a team or founders that actually have studied or worked in this space. So one, the, experience matters a lot. There's always novel things that outsiders can provide. But it's really that experience of having a book or building this business, whether it's in traditional finance or at another fintech. Those are the things that we look for but there's basically some nuance around how they approach the business, how they look at this, that lets us understand if this operator or founder truly understands the market segment and truly understands the ability to scale a book in a sustainable way.
Jeremy Au: (20:50)
What would you say are some myths or misconceptions that folks have for Southeast Asia fintech? I think you started touching on some of it. Which is, don't go off the subprime, do go off the prime, what are their misunderstandings can there be in a space?
Herston Powers: (21:04)
One, major misconception that we see is that these markets won't allow for exits. And that's being knocked on head every day, regardless of post IPO stock performance in this tough market, the opportunity set has grown so much larger for us as VCs, with the each successful tech listing from Southeast Asia, these companies that are really setting the groundwork for the next wave of IPOs and exits in Southeast Asia, and most of the returns from the VC sector have been delivered via M&A and trade sale, which we still think is going to be a big driver for returns for this ecosystem. But the fact that tech companies are successfully listing on the Indonesia stock exchange that US investors are now a bit more familiar with the Southeast Asian opportunity with companies like Grab and SEA being able to do a lot of education. I don't think people appreciate how ignorant a lot of US institutional investors are about Southeast Asia and the fact that now there's a light shining on this market as one of the most attractive markets developed or emerging. We are going to result in a supercycle, these exits that have happened are just going to fuel this ecosystem with better equipped founders, with more capital to deploy and more investors saying this region matters. And I can see a path to a very large exit.
Jeremy Au: (23:26)
I love the word supercycle, it feels inevitable. How does it go wrong? How does this supercycle go wrong? Alot of the assumptions that drive this point of view.
Herston Powers: (23:35)
Some risk from actually achieving the potential of this market? Is that what you're saying?
Jeremy Au: (23:48)
Herston Powers: (23:49)
I can't speak to everything. And I don't want to put too many words in other folk’s mouths, but at least for FinTech, regulation is a risk. And if regulators decide to potentially protect traditional businesses and banks from new entrants that could definitely hurt this ecosystem. In our view, we are very encouraged by the way that regulators have acted and conducting themselves. And currently, we see Singapore as a shining example of one of the most progressive financial regulators in the world. Everyone looks to our regulators here in Singapore to figure out what they should do. And they do a fantastic job of protecting the ecosystem, as well, in markets where financial inclusion is a big issue. We've been encouraged that despite pressure from incumbents, the regulators are still pushing for digitization of financial services, and working with the startup community and Fintech’s to figure out what are the right policies, how do we create sandboxes that will allow more people to participate in the financial services ecosystem. So while this is always a risk, especially if there are bad actors that put a stain on, say the crypto industry or consumer lending we need to make sure that the actors that are doing the right thing, that are actually providing value to their customers, that are actually bringing millions of people into the financial services ecosystem, we're shining a light for them and, and also making sure that we stay close with the regulators and have that dialogue so that the system is stable. Obviously, when I look at other parts of the world, there's a lot of political instability. And historically, that could have been a big risk, as Indonesia is about to head into an election. But everything that I hear from the ground, is that Indonesia is not going backwards. And it's just an amazing feeling when you're talking to some of the largest investors there. Some of the largest banks, to FinTech founders, unicorn founders, even folks that are thinking about starting their dream, and everyone's determination to keep pushing that country forward. It makes us feel so good to be investing in that market.
Jeremy Au: (26:49)
I totally agree with you about regulatory action. We've definitely seen that with the Vietnamese finance regulators taking action on local finance functions that are allowed to be done in the market. And that's been a shock, but not unexpected, frankly, from local players. But definitely a shock for a lot of folks who are not familiar with the Vietnamese ecosystem. Whereas of course, Singapore, like you said, is very much a startup friendly place. At least for nonwork three FinTech so far, historically, somewhat true. And what's interesting, of course, is that when we talk about FinTech, obviously everyone is also talking about web three, as you know, intersection. And for better, for worse, definitely, we've seen some interesting implosions of web3 companies that have had a link to Southeast Asia, like three arrows capital based in Singapore, Terra Luna, was hiding in Singapore. And of course, FTX, we had one of the top five executives come from Singapore. Singapore and Southeast Asian, we're had a lot of deposits in FTX. So, lots of people think about fintech. And then, what has been interesting is to watch you also not say web three, and blockchain. So let's talk a little bit about that. There was a point of view where all web3 was going to become FinTech and all FinTech was going to become web3. And that's a little bit nuanced now. So how would you see that trend playing out? If any, from your perspective?
Herston Powers: (28:30)
Sure, it's a great question. I think one, on the ground in Southeast Asia, there are so many, level one problems to solve with. It's funny to say traditional FinTech, that there's still a massive opportunity to drive more Fintech development in this ecosystem. But with that said, there definitely is an opportunity on what we would call the crypto space. And we may not be unique in our view. But we've always had the thought that if we were going to invest in crypto businesses, one, we weren't looking for, call it moonshot returns overnight. That's just not how we operate. We want it infrastructure place for businesses that help institutionalize crypto for the market, and we hope obviously make it safer as well. So one company that we invested in, and we were one of the first investors is AAA in Singapore, and AAA is regulated by the MHS. And what they are is quite simply a crypto payment gateway. And they allow brands from all over the world and merchants from all over the world to accept crypto without having to touch crypto. So it solves a huge problem for brands like LVMH or Singapore Airlines or anyone that could see their revenue increased by just having on their website, we accept BTC or we accept other major cryptocurrencies, but they don't have the expertise. They don't have the infrastructure, they have no desire to set up a corporate wallet for these things. But what they found is that Working with AAA, their basket size has increased a lot, because the folks that pay with crypto generally buy a lot more, because AAA is regulated by the MHS. They have the assurance and the protection that the buyers aren't on some naughty list, or that the KYC is actually done by a trusted partner of the regulators here in Singapore. That's something we love, that's going to enable businesses to participate in this economy without getting their hands dirty, and accelerate their entry into the space. Another company that can give you a flavor of how we think about this is, we invested in another Singapore company called policy doc, fantastic founder that was helping insurance companies, brokers, reinsurance companies launch cybersecurity and any product a lot faster by utilizing embedded insurance and embedded in InsurTech API's. What they found is that, actually, their technology with a few partners could be used to provide crypto wallet protection. And obviously, that's a huge issue right now. So many exchanges, many custodians are coming to them saying, how can we provide our clients and ourselves protection against hacks, protection against fraud, and with this crypto wallet protection product that soon to be launched? We're expecting a massive take up because of all the issues that you're seeing in the market, so again, whether we're moving to web three, for all FinTech, there's still a lot of questions out there. What I'm focused on are founders that are solving big problems, and that have something right in front of them. And we've been successful in backing those companies. And if you're an infrastructure play, we want to talk to you.
Jeremy Au: (32:37)
Amazing, could you share with us a time that you have been brave?
Herston Powers: (32:43)
I would say two things. And it relates to launching 1982. And how we started coming to Asia, to be very honest with you. So I'm from pretty small town in Texas originally, that's where I grew up. And then had a fairly successful career in New York, but I moved there when I was 20. With no money. So that was another time I was brave, but it's probably just dumb and young, is when I wasn't really thinking about the risks moving to New York with about 1000 bucks in my pocket. And then when I got my first apartment, it ended up being 200 bucks, left in my pocket with no job. But anyways, that's another story. But I didn't feel brave then, it was something I wanted to do. But the opportunity came to Asia. And I'm a Latina, I'm from the US. I never even thought about visiting Asia, it was just not on my mind. I didn't even think I would ever come to Asia, it was something I was not prepared to process. And then I was also thinking, I don't look like anybody in Asia. How am I going to fit in? Are you guys trying the outside of bank? Are you guys trying to make me feel bad, there was a lot of things that I was scared about, that I would not be able to connect with the clients? But I had a mentor and they said you got to go for it. This type of opportunity. Not everybody gets asked. It's a great privilege to get that expat posting. And give it a try. Because if you're true to yourself, you should have no problems in Asia. I left my family in New York, my mother and my brother, got on that plane and one way ticket and it worked. I always think about like where things could have ended up but I couldn't be happier with that decision and having what my mentors say validated, made me feel even better about the region. Being hardworking, being humble, and treating people with mutual respect, which sounds obvious, but when you're coming from a US Bank, that's not necessarily the culture. So having those kinds of traits, and it's probably a function of my background as well, that being hardworking and humble, I was able to connect with clients really well in this region. And it made me feel like this was the right decision. And I never looked back and, and think about it. So I feel brave about coming here, leaving everything. And granted, I had a soft landing, but it was a big decision for a kid from Texas who never even thought it would be in China, that obviously launching the fun, but that could be a whole nother podcast.
Jeremy Au: (36:15)
Why don't you talk about the second thing, talk about that second story?
Herston Powers: (36:23)
I've told the story before, but I don't think everybody knows the full story. So I didn't plan to be a founder or an entrepreneur, it wasn't really what I wanted to do. I wanted to be part of a great team, I wanted to be a part of building something big. But it wasn't that I had this burning desire to be a founder, so to speak. So that's one piece of context. I started a FinTech company on the side. And there was a point where I needed to make that decision to come as a full time founder, and I decided not to take that decision. And continue to work my normal career. But when my partner and I really dug down and looked at what we had been building to the expertise, the knowledge, the insights that we had gained, by looking at this region, especially in FinTech, it was pretty clear that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity that we like to think we're the right guys at the right place at the right time. And I still didn't want to be a founder. So, we took a few weeks to think about what our next next step was, and we're actually going different ways. And during that period, my wife and my eldest son, we went to Taiwan, Taipei is my safe space of relaxing, having good food. But I had a breakthrough there. And I knew I would regret not launching this fund, we didn't have a name, we don't have anything, I knew it, I was like this, I'll never be in a position to go after an opportunity that I clearly know is there. And then I clearly know there's a gap in the market for and I remember standing in Taipei, on the street, all the motor scooters going everywhere, calling my partner and saying I'm doing it, and I want you to be a part of it. And he might not remember, but I remember him saying I can't do it, man. I need a normal job. I don't want to do this. So it was no, I want you to do this. I'm doing it regardless, I'm going for it. And start building and building and kept him in the loop. And then about eight weeks later, we had our license. We had a name, we had a website, and the rest is history.
Jeremy Au: (39:16)
I love what you said about being not a normal job. And I guess this time, you're still dumb and young. So why 1982, is now on your website? I'm sure everybody asks you?
Herston Powers: (39:33)
It's the most direct or clear thing. It's the year that my partner and I were born. So we're not that creative. It was a placeholder, people like the name so we ran with it.
Jeremy Au: (39:54)
What advice do you have for folks who are thinking about, investing or building a VC fund, because there's a lot of interest these days? And you as an emerging manager from the eyes of PitchBook and LPs, you're a few years into your journey, even though you were born in 1982. It's only been a few years. So could you share what advice you would have for those who are looking to build or launch a VC fund?
Herston Powers: (40:28)
Really ask yourself if this is what you want to do? Because I guess another misconception is that being a VC is all fun that we choose to sit, take startup pitches, and then say yes or no. And that's our job. That is not the job of a VC, especially a general partner, or someone that's founding a firm, it will be the hardest thing you've ever done in your life. And it's a get rich, slow scheme. Because as a new manager, your management fees aren't going to pay for the lifestyle that you may have had at, at Goldman Sachs, or Google or, things of that nature. So one, expect that you're going to take a massive pay cut, if that's where you're coming from, two, you have to really love fundraising. And again, I think that's another misconception VCs, they don't fundraise, we fundraise all the time. We're raising for our fund, we're preparing for raising for the next fund. And we're always fundraising for our portfolio companies. So you have to really embrace and really love the process and the act of fundraising. So if you say, I'm ready for that challenge, I want to work with founders, I want to be the first call, and I want to write the press release, all of these things, you're going to do everything. So if all of that's there and you're ready to make the sacrifice, I would say you need to make sure that you as in your team have an edge. Because there's a lot of great investors out here. And that edge can be from network, it could be from experience, you got to show something that's a bit different. We are not that unique, no matter what our parents told us, there's no new idea. So you have to demonstrate that, no, this isn't the only idea. But we can do it better because of who we are, what we've built, what we've done. And we're different than everybody else in a few ways. So that that's one thing. If you're just starting out, start angel investing, even if you don't have a lot of capital, just to get a feel, being an angel investor is a very different mode than being a VC. And the folks that have made that transition from Angel investor to VC can attest to that, the way that you think about deals. But that's one way to at least get your foot or to dip your toe in the water to see, are you comfortable taking risks? Are you comfortable taking risks with other people's money? Are you able to generate syndicates for founder? And are you okay that you may lose your friends and your business partners and everyone and people that you may lose their money. So you have to be comfortable with risk. And you have to really think that this isn't a job of just reviewing pitch decks and taking meetings with founders. We are stewards of many people's capital, and you have to take that responsibility very seriously. And when people think about VC, they think of the venture capital part, they don't think of the fund management aspect, that this is a business that you're building a firm and you have responsibilities. One from the regulator, but also as fiduciary of third party capital. So it's a serious endeavor, I wouldn't take it lightly. When the markets are booming, everybody wants to start a VC fund. I doubt there have been many that started during a pandemic. And that's when1982 started. Going back a little bit, when we launched the fund. We had I say, two anchors, pretty much committed. And then was end of February, Manila locked down. Singapore locked down shortly after, not to look at my partner, we have $0 in the bank or zero investors and say, Are we still going to do this? We can't even travel anymore. People are so scared because of this pandemic. And we looked at each other, we're still going to do it. So if if you have that drive and that desire to do this, then reach out and I'm happy to talk to anybody that's thinking about launching a fund and give them as many insights and hopefully it helped accelerate their journey, but it's a serious and entrepreneurial endeavor. I hope I didn't discourage anyone from doing it. It's a great thing. I would not choose to do anything else. I saw a tweet the other day, saying, if you could get paid half a million dollars a year to do anything, what would you do? And instantly I knew I would not choose anything else than do what I'm doing now. Honest hand on heart. I know this is what I'm supposed to do, regardless of anything else. So for anyone that has that dream, please reach out I'd love to help.
Jeremy Au: (45:56)
Awesome. On that note, I'd love to wrap things up by summarizing the three big themes here. The first of course, is the exciting thesis on Southeast Asia's FinTech supercycle, love the passion and enthusiasm about opportunity, the upside, and the friction in the market. And also, the insights right on what makes a stronger team and what makes a team that is less likely/sucky. And the second thing is, thank you for your advice on how to launch a VC fund, a lot of good advice with your own chronology, your own thesis, your own edge. And generalizing that to the advice that you will give to emerging fund managers and of course, making sure that they are actually passionate about the rule right at the end of the day. And lastly, thank you so much for sharing the theme of mutual respect is something that I really admire.. Since like you said, your previous banking jobs didn't really hold that in high regard. But it's something that you strive to communicate in your daily work, so thank you so much for sharing your insights.
Herston Powers: (47:25)
Thank you, Jeremy. It's been a blast.