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Regional News & Deep Dives
Shiyan Koh, Managing Partner of Hustle Fund, dove into the latest chapter of Indonesia’s ecommerce wars with ByteDance's $1.5B Investment with GoTo to merge Tokopedia with TikTok Shop as well as Coatue’s report on AI job displacement, winners and losers.
Gita Sjahrir, Head of Investments at BNI Ventures, discussed Southeast Asia’s $1B of VC capital for climate-tech & the realistic tradeoffs embedded within Indonesia’s energy infrastructure.
Franco Varona: Grab GM to Foxmont Capital Partners, Empowering Filipino Entrepreneurs & Startup Success Blueprint: Franco shared about the struggles behind launching and localizing Grab’s operations in the Philippines (and what it was like to live in founder Anthony Tan's apartment). His childhood dream of giving back to his home country drove him to eventually found Foxmont Capital to be the cornerstone local VC that promotes exceptional Filipino entrepreneurs to build for the country and beyond.
Gabby Dizon: Founding Yield Guild Games (YGG), Web3, Gaming & Crypto Infrastructure and Generational Shift from Millennials to Gen Z: Gabby reflected on how his childhood passion for computer games and early game development career led him to found Yield Guild Games, the world’s first and biggest web3 gaming guild. He discussed the cyclical bull-and-bear nature of crypto, parallels between the digital scarcity in gaming and physical assets, and how he’s choosing to raise his family.
Camille Ang: Founding Hive Health, Harvard Kennedy School & MBA and Public Service Passion: Camille shared about how she grew up in her family with a passion for public service and her student experience as a joint Master of Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID) and MBA at Harvard. She then co-founded Hive Health, a YC-backed full-stack health insurance company, and acquired the HMO service provider Health Plan Philippines. They now provide outpatient, inpatient, emergency, and dental care via an extensive nationwide network of 1,700 hospitals and clinics, and over 60,000 doctors.
Tri Ahmad Irfan: Indonesia Upbringing to USA Tech Inflection Point, YC Founder Experience & CTO Engineering Leadership: Irfan described how first exposure to computers in junior high school transformed his life trajectory - Twitter, Y-Combinator and cofounding Lumina. He stressed the need for founding engineering leaders to embrace business knowledge, stakeholder management and direct user communication to succeed.
David He: Startup Law Partnership Journey, Choosing the Right Lawyer & Founder Legal Roadmap: David shared how he moved from investment banking into law during the 2008 Great Recession, and what he’s learned from supporting dozens of Southeast Asian founders in their investment deals and VC negotiations. Founders must research their startup lawyer candidates and check their client references.
Raffy Montemayor: Country General Manager Learnings, Classifieds Insights and Philippines Fintech Founder: Raffy shared how to best operate as a country General Manager, based on his experience leading the Philippines market for Agoda (travel aggregator), OLX Group (global classifieds) and Carousell (regional classifieds unicorn). He discussed Carousell’s OLX acquisition and how classifieds as a business model requires building a user-driven content flywheel to generate organic traffic and the tradeoff between targeting B2C vs. C2C to achieve market leadership.
Scott Hartley: Global Pre-Seed VC, Regional Investment Insights & Valuation vs. Pricing Risk in Emerging Markets: Scott presented his contrarian view against the convention that pre-seed and seed stage VC investing should be localized to the city/ country level. He discussed how Everywhere Ventures has adapted to the pricing, PMF and market risks and observed Southeast Asia’s shift towards market-clearing investment rounds.
Janson Seah: Time Theft & Blue-Collar Workforce Management, Market Selection & Entry and Product-Led Growth vs. Go-To-Market Motion: Janson’s experience with blue-collar management and productivity "time theft" drove him to build StaffAny - a B2B front-line workforce management SaaS. He shared how they learned that US-style product-led growth was difficult to implement in emerging markets, and how they swiftly adapted to the local go-to-market requirements.
Joel Leong, co-founder of Aspire, was featured by Fintech News for the company's new Singapore HQ launch and its ambitious plan to double its local fintech workforce by 2025. Hear about his learnings as a serial founder and relational mindfulness.
Michael Lints was in Technode Global for Golden Gate Ventures’ report underscoring the significant growth of the climate tech market in India and Southeast Asia which is predicted to reach $350 billion by 2030. Check out his insights on VCs’ position of trust in guiding and shaping the future of innovative Southeast Asia startups.
Erik Torenberg's "How Communities Die" examines his personal learnings from communities that lack shared purpose, values, and accountability and trade-off between inclusivity and exclusivity. I’m still thinking through the future of the BRAVE podcast and community, and this was a provocative read. Let me know your thoughts what you’d like to see more of!
“Now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been, full of work that has never been done, full of tasks, claims, and demands; and let us see that we learn to take it without letting fall too much of what it has to bestow upon those who demand of it necessary, serious, and great things.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke
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