Thanks to your feedback, we are now publishing three times a week: Monday for weekly tech news & debate with Shiyan Koh, General Partner of Hustle Fund. Wednesday for changemaker personal interviews. Friday for diary insights & listener Q&As. Find us at our new website www.bravesea.com. We’ve also launched our WhatsApp community which you can join at https://chat.whatsapp.com/CeL3ywi7yOWFd8HTo6yzde
- Shiyan Koh and I debated about regional generative AI opportunities, how Singapore’s 2023 budget crowds out startups, the SaaS adoption urban inflection point and marketplace vs. middleware economics (thanks January Capital!). We also provide advice for techies laid off in the current recession and how to be proactively prepared.
- Raunak Mehta: 30X Disrupting Insurance, Challenging The Status Quo & No Ceiling For Hard Work: Raunak’s prior experience at Flipkart and Zalora led him to build Igloo, a full-stack insurtech startup for customers, platform partners and insurers. The significant insurance gap between Southeast Asia and developed markets is driven by poorly-designed products and low accessibility. Being a regional insurance player (compared to being a single-country focused startup) provides shared learnings from each market, diversified geographic portfolio and gross margin execution based on economies of scale.
- Nicole Mao: Harvard MBA to Battery Founder, Energy Dive & Misconceptions & Do What's Right vs. Easy: Nicole founded Tiger New Energy that manufactures electric batteries to help emerging countries shift to renewable energy solutions. She discusses the market thesis, including why it’s important to educate customers and suppliers on the cost per charge, rather than cost per battery.
- Clemens Feil: Weaker Emerging Market Returns, Impact Investing Paradox & Growth Equity Fundamentals (Active vs. Passive): Clemens contrasts the capital availability and performance between advanced and developing markets. Investors' perception that impact investing yields low returns is due to the J-curve effect, which delays returns in the early stages. Passive investments are suitable for high-growth tech sectors, while active investments are more effective for industries like manufacturing, where investors must justify the extra diligence required.
- We answered listeners’ questions about 1. joining VC as a founder and if an MBA helps in the candidacy, 2. podcasting benefits and how to build a sustainable operations workflow, and 3. how to approach angel investing frameworks and ticket sizes. Email us if you have any questions of your own!
We’re happy to share that our founders’ hike continues to be a lot of fun. We’ve decided to schedule this for the last Sunday of every month. The next hike is on March 26 from 5-7pm in Singapore, with an optional dinner. Founders interested in joining can reply to this email and we’ll add you to our WhatsApp group!
Nir Eyal, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of "Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products" and "Indistractable” is speaking at Hustle Fund on March 9, 6:30-7:30pm in Singapore. RSVP here. Check out his episode on fighting for agency and prospectively regulating TikTok.
Valerie Vu, General Partner of Ansible Ventures, co-hosted the “Introduction to Venture Debt and Alternative Financing for Startups" event on February 24, 2023 to educate early-stage founders about alternative financing and its process. Check out our podcasting Q&A episode before she launched her popular podcast, Forward Vietnam, and her reflections on VC as a career.
Chia Jeng Yang presented the Top Crypto Predictions of 2023 at the European Blockchain Convention in Barcelona on February 16, 2023. Check out his episodes on how the FTX meltdown impacted Southeast Asia crypto and transactional vs. relational VCs.
“How One Obscure Word Captures Urban China’s Unhappiness” explains the uniquely Chinese phenomenon “involution”. Single-minded market competition has become a way of life, focused on homogeneity and non-differentiation. Anthropologist Xiang Biao compares modern Asian societal competition to primitive societies with the race to attain prestige, individual anxiety and peer “shaming” of individuals who choose to opt out from the rat race.
"Inspiration is not the exclusive privilege of poets or artists. There is, there has been, there will always be a certain group of people whom inspiration visits. It's made up of all those who've consciously chosen their calling and do their job with love and imagination. It may include doctors, teachers, gardeners — I could list a hundred more professions. Their work becomes one continuous adventure as long as they manage to keep discovering new challenges in it. Difficulties and setbacks never quell their curiosity. A swarm of new questions emerges from every problem that they solve. Whatever inspiration is, it's born from a continuous I don't know." Wislawa Szymborska, The Poet and the World