Scott Hartley: Global Pre-Seed VC, Regional Investment Insights & Valuation vs. Pricing Risk in Emerging Markets - E352

· VC and Angels,Southeast Asia,Podcast Episodes

“One metaphor that I like to use with founders when they’re raising their rounds is that they’re trying to get to the next bus stop. They have to think about where they are today, but they need to get to the next bus stop within 24 months. The distance is far away, and they have trade-offs of how fast they drive, and how much gas they burn. If they drive too fast or too crazily, they might not make it to that bus stop. So, as they’re crafting the rounds they’re raising today, they need to think about where that next bus stop is and how they’ll optimize along the vectors to de-risk their business. They should think about whether they need to build a team team, achieve certain traction metrics, but they might also want to bake in certain relationships or people on their cap table that start to unlock different relationships or different doors for when they get to that next bus stop.” - Scott Hartley

“What's interesting about being a global, high-cadence, pre-seed investor, is we really can observe trends and where markets are evolving. To me, Southeast Asia is one of the most exciting ecosystems on the planet. There's both big, regional, and global businesses to be built. In Manila, recently, I met with several SaaS companies that have meaningful traction and revenue, with very attractive global valuations, and the ability to solve global problems where they need not be bound by the geography of only the Philippine market. That's something that US investors haven't quite fully realized on a global scale.” - Scott Hartley

​​“The way we think about risk is that in the early stage, it’s fundamentally an existential risk. It's a survivability risk. We're relatively price-insensitive in the sense that we go very early. So the typical entry valuation for us is between a 6 and 8 million cap on a SAFE or a convertible note and we're participating in 1 to 2 million pre-seed rounds. What we're building is a portfolio where we offset that survivability risk with a large end of companies. As you move to Series A and Series B, you start to take on a second risk, which is price risk, where you have to worry not just about the company potentially not working and going to zero, but if you overpay for the company. Getting into a Series A at 40 million or a hundred million has a pretty material impact on the net returns. What we think about at the pre-seed stage is building a wide base. We're typically early in the incarnations of traction, but the way we de-risk a business is through the team, technology, or deal. The team tends to be the one that we index the most around, more than price and certainly more than traction. The way we validate a team is typically through nodes of trust.” - Scott Hartley

 

Scott Hartley, Managing Partner of Everywhere Ventures, and Jeremy Au discuss three main themes:

1. Global Pre-Seed VC Investing: Scott presented a contrarian view against the conventional wisdom that pre-seed and seed-stage investing must be localized. He argued that with modern communication tools and the evolving VC landscape, it’s feasible to be a global pre-seed investor. He discussed how Everywhere Ventures adopts this approach and shared that they’re relatively price insensitive, typically entering investments with valuations between $6 and $8 million. He talked about how they emphasize team evaluation and leverage a network of trusted founders and operators to access global deals, focusing on the right timing and market relevance for business ideas.

2. Regional Investment Insights: Scott shared his experiences and insights from investing in Southeast Asian companies like Kumu, Lomotif, and Booky, and described the process of engaging with these companies from their early stages and aiding them in finding product-market fit. He also highlighted that while valuations in Southeast Asia have traditionally been lower, there's a shift towards market-clearing rounds, making these markets increasingly attractive to global investors.

3. Valuation and Pricing Risk: Jeremy and Scott touched on the dynamics of valuation and pricing risk in VC. Scott explained that while early-stage investments carry less pricing risk, later-stage investments present a significant challenge. They discussed the varying opportunities in global markets such as lending to Indian-based SaaS companies against US dollar-denominated accounts. He also talked about the Philippine SaaS market where valuations were approximately half of the typical US valuations, reflecting the diverse supply and demand dynamics of capital and highlighting the need for investors to be astute in understanding and leveraging these differences.

They also talked about identifying and nurturing early-stage startups with a global potential, the nuances of market adaptation, the role of trusted networks in deal flow and investment decisions, and the importance of aligning investment strategies with technological trends.

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(02:06) Jeremy Au:

Hey, morning, Scott.

(02:07) Scott Hartley:

Morning, Jeremy. How are you?

(02:09) Jeremy Au:

Good. I just realized it might be evening over there. I totally forgot.

(02:12) Scott Hartley:

Yeah. I said good morning, but it's, it's getting dark over here. So,

(02:15) Jeremy Au:

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself, Scott?

(02:17) Scott Hartley:

Yeah, first of all, thanks for having me on. I'm a big fan of the podcast. So my name is Scott Hartley. I'm the Cofounder and Managing Partner of a fund called Everywhere Ventures. We're a pre-seed global fund investing around the themes of the future of money, health, and work and been doing venture capital for about 12 years. Had a few stints, side hustles to the side hustles, including writing a book a few years back. But that's sort of me in a nutshell.

(02:42) Jeremy Au:

Awesome. So tell us more about the fund that you built.

(02:44) Scott Hartley:

Yeah. So, One of the things that people told me in the early days when I, so I joined a venture fund 2011 Sand Hill Road fund called Mohr Davidow Ventures. And it was one of the funds that had been started in the early eighties and expanded through the rise of early days was semiconductors became early internet became early e-commerce, and then the waves sort of moved from those to sharing economy and then all the rest of social web sharing economy, Web3 and where we are today, maybe around gen AI, right? So we've just seen the movie play out year over year, every year.

And one of the early conversations I had with folks on Sand Hill road was if you want to do global investing, go be a growth investor. And if you want to do pre-seed, you know, you got to, it's a local game. You've got to stay in your backyard. You can only do pre-seed in companies that you can ride your bike to. And the joke on Sand Hill road was that the clocks had three times, but the times didn't say GMT for London and Singapore and San Francisco. They said Mountain View, Palo Alto and Menlo park. And so the ethos was very much local and the ethos was very much that at the earlier stage you invest, the more local that has to be. And when we put together Everywhere Ventures, hindsight's 2020, and we certainly didn't always have the perfect roadmap and vision going forward, but what we did set out to do was the, under the belief that talent is truly everywhere. The tools of communication had fundamentally changed since 10 or 15 or 20 years ago. And so with the rise and advent of both back office systems like AngelList, that enabled higher frequency investing to be possible and managing documents, managing signatures, things like that, that had been enabled through platform that Naval had built.

And then other tools, obviously like WhatsApp, Slack, Zoom, as we use every day. And so these tools that fundamentally enabled us to suddenly become a truly global platform. And so we begged to differ with that notion that you couldn't be an early stage investor and be global at the same time. And so what we set out to do was, leveraging founders as LPs, really building a community of founders that started in New York. But as you might know, New York is an extremely global place. And so we started to feel the pull as those founders moved away from New York, that leave Manhattan and Brooklyn, they'd moved back to Sydney and back to London and back to Berlin and back to Jakarta. And we started to see a deal flow emerging as those founders moved home, particularly around COVID. And Everywhere Ventures became kind of a fait accompli where we were already investing around the world. We'd already run 75 SPVs and made a few hundred investments that were starting to tug at the seams of Delaware Seacorps.

(05:13) Scott Hartley:

We were starting to see Egyptian companies as Dutch entities and obviously LATAM has came in companies and all the Southeast Asia companies is Singapore and starting to really realize the risks that a lot of people had balked and said, international investing is impossible because you have to ride your bike to do the deal. And you can't possibly be on boards and have information and communication rights with these companies. And maybe there's legal risk or political risk and we started to kind of, believe that all this was possible. So I think, one of the things that you and I have conversations with founders on a daily basis is not just what's your idea, but why is it relevant today and timing is everything. You can have the right idea at the wrong time and you're still wrong. So I think what we kind of beg to differ with the sort of ethos of the valley was that we could be fundamentally a global pre-seed fund and do that in a way that made sense.

(06:02) Jeremy Au:

Yeah, that's definitely contrarian because like you said, I think the common wisdom here, at least, whether it's wisdom or not, or at least a common saying, like you said, is that pre-seed and seed, you have to know the founders for a long time because it's hard to do reference checks. There isn't much product to do DD on. So obviously, later stage capital tends to be more globalized, but you know, there's a spectrum. So what do you have to do differently, I guess, in order to be successful from your perspective? To be a global, non-localized, in that sense of a pre-seed VC?

(06:29) Scott Hartley:

Yeah, it's a great question. I mean, the way we think about risk is that the early stage, the risk is fundamentally existential risk. It's a survivability risk. And so, the way we mitigate against that risk is that we're relatively price insensitive in the sense that we go very early. So typical entry valuation for us is between a 6 and 8 million cap on a SAFE or a convertible note typically. And we're typically participating in 1 to 2 million pre-seed rounds. So we're fairly open on price where that may move around from 5 to 10 to 12, but really what we're building is a portfolio where we offset that survivability risk with a large end of companies in that portfolio. I think as you move to Series A, and we moved to Series B, you start to take on a second risk, which is price risk, where you really have to worry, not just about the company potentially not working and going to zero, but did you overpay for the company? Getting into a Series A at 40 million or a hundred million has a pretty material impact on the net returns. And what we think about at the pre-seed stage is really building a wide base. So we typically have fairly large portfolios. And you know, as we're trying to think through diligence and how to offset risk, you know, one thing is traction. Typically, as you mentioned, pre-seed we're early in the incarnations of traction, but then the way we de-risk a business is typically through uh, you know, team our technology, or deal. And so team tends to be the one that we index the most around. So more than price and certainly more than traction and the way we validate team is typically through nodes of trust. And I think we all have nodes of trust that we think about.

I tend to divide the world into kind of two camps and we're a very small fund about 60 million AOM. So we don't have the resources of Andreessen Horowitz or anyone like that. We can't boil the ocean and run a process around every vertical, right? So if we say, Hey, we're looking at a particular vertical, what a big fund might do is lean into that vertical and run a process where they talk to a hundred companies, they decide what's the top five are. And then they schedule calls and ultimately make one investment. The way we make investments is much more around, I'd say access versus process. So access being, how do we build a note of trust? so on a global basis, for example, if we're going into Southeast Asia, you might say, well, you know, you only get to Asia three or four times a year from California. How do you possibly gain access to that market or really well informed cogent, checks and really we lean on our LP base, which is a network of founders and operators. And so at this point we have about 500 founders and operators who are LPs in one of our various funds.

They really provide the conduit predominantly of the deal flow that we take seriously. And to give you a sense of numbers, we have a few thousand investments or a few thousand companies that have come in over the transom via the website, and we've invested in exactly two of those. Now, the companies that have come through the founder network, where somebody has a Head of Product that left their business or a former Head of Engineering, or somebody that they've gotten to know over the years and they say, Hey, this is a really amazing person on my team and somebody that I'm considering writing a check into, or I'm considering backing. Why don't you take a look? Our hit rate on those sorts of inbounds are more like 1 in 11. And so we typically are investing about 8% or 9% of those companies that are coming in via this sort of trusted founder network, predominantly of LPs who are founders.

(09:45) Scott Hartley:

And I think it's interesting as we think about, cause you and I live in the same world where we have to fundraise. We have to go through a lot of the same hoops as our founders. And so we're living and breathing a lot of the same challenges day to day. And when we think about how do we get in front of potential future family office that might want to make an investment in our fund, that same, the same rule applies, right? And so we could do the cold outbound email with very low hit rate, or we could try to one kind of leapfrog our way one lily pad at a time into a trusted node and a trusted network where we're able to really have a depth and a meaningful connection with that potential investor in our fund. And I think vice versa for founders. That's a really good playbook for trying to get in front of investors is really build your pipeline and look for secondary and tertiary contacts that you might have through trusted people in your network. None of us have a perfect network, but you can work your way into conversations and slowly those start to materialize into trusted relationships that then materialize into investments.

(10:45) Jeremy Au:

I think that makes sense. And I think that's also, to some extent, a theoretical underpinning of like, Hey, you know, if you are in Los Angeles and you're a Los Angeles ore-seed VC, then that density of trust of nodes is straightforward. So for us, you will, obviously pushing up this set of trust nodes out into the wall from your thesis.

(11:04) Jeremy Au:

You've also made a decision to also enter Southeast Asia. So how did you start go about building out that set of trust nodes?

(11:11) Scott Hartley:

Yeah. It's I think as with all things when it gets down to it it's deeply personal. And I think it, it speaks to individual passions and what you want to spend your time doing. And so for me, a really formative experience in my life was going to India with Google. And so I had the chance to go to India over two different periods of time for over a year to help scale up product and operation teams in both Hyderabad and then Gurgaon on the outskirts of Delhi. And it was that experience for me, at least, which planted me in Asia, in India, in South Asia, but really with the ability to travel and experience all different sides of the subcontinent. And then subsequently spend a few months between Jakarta and around Indonesia and Singapore and the Philippines, spent a lot of time in Manila. And so really got this intimate kind of localized understanding where obviously that led to friendships. That led to relationships and those sort of formed the baselines of my very first angel investments in the region. And then I think over time, as you make these investments, you join boards or get to know teams, you really start to build those nodes of trust where you can't short circuit time and sometimes just being in a market for five or 10 years and accruing those long lasting relationships.

I think those are proving to be the backbone of the deal access in various things that we look at predominantly. And I'd say at this point in three markets, probably the Philippines, Indonesia, and Singapore, with the hopes of doing more in places like Vietnam as well.

(12:32) Jeremy Au:

Could you share some of the investments that you made in the region?

(12:34) Scott Hartley: Yeah.

(12:35) Scott Hartley:

So, I One of the most early formative investments was helping Roland and Rexy the founders of a company called Kumu, Kumu PH. And Kumu is short slang for Kumusta, "how are you doing" in Tagalog, and really the genesis and being involved in that company since day zero really, on my couch in Brooklyn with a couple of the founders, early advisor and probably first investor in the company. And seeing the genesis of that business being built from communication platform that was really aiming to build a Philippine equivalent of Line or Kakao or kind of a verticalized Filipino focused um, again, a hundred million plus person market that didn't have a dedicated platform for it and sort of recognizing the need for something like that, and then working with the guys to figure out where the product market fit was, obviously early days, communication platform was interesting, but then as we developed profile pages, as we developed direct messaging, that ability to kind of communicate one to one and then ultimately the deployment of the Agora SDK and building on top of the rails that enabled live stream video really unlocked this whole creator economy for the Philippines where people could, especially with a large diaspora around the world, earn meaningful revenue and earn a real living wage. And that really empowered a creator economy in the Philippines. So that was one of the first formative investments.

Another was similarly in a live stream category called Lomotif, which was a short form video app out of Singapore that actually was one of the larger exits more recently in the Singapore ecosystem. They sold to a SPAC actually that went public called Zash Media, and then a number of others. Booky is one that's sort of the Yelp slash Toast for the Philippines. They power most of the restaurant reviews and we have a couple actually that are TBD disclosed shortly, still kind of in stealth mode, but in Singapore and Indonesia. We're really excited to be doing more in the region than we have in the past. And I think part of that is having built these nodes of trust and these networks around the world. And then, just being able to see the ecosystem development develop as well for us.

(14:33) Scott Hartley:

Having been in the region since 20, well, first visit probably 2006 and then subsequently to Indonesia in 2010, 2011, watching the Rises East Ventures and some of the very early movers were being built, Monk's Hill among them in addition to Golden Gate and a few others, in watching the ecosystem develop over the years and seeing the parallels across the world.

(14:53) Scott Hartley:

I think one of the things that's interesting about being a global, pretty high-cadence pre-seed investors, we really can observe trends and where markets are evolving. And I think, to me, Southeast Asia is 1 of the most exciting ecosystems on the planet. There's, there's both big, regional businesses to be built, but also I think a real opportunity for global businesses to be built. And so, I'm very excited. Even in Manila recently, a couple of weeks ago, I was meeting with a number of SaaS companies that have meaningful traction and revenue, very attractive kind of global valuations. And the ability to solve global problems where they need not be bound by the geography of only the Philippine market. And I think that's something that US investors haven't quite fully realized on a global scale. I think they've started to realize that around certain ecosystems like India, where we've seen global SaaS businesses being built out of India.

We actually backed a revenue based lending company in the States that only lends to Indian SaaS companies against their US dollar denominated revenue and gives them access to debt capital at much cheaper rates than they can get in India. And so there's a lot of these interesting businesses that are starting to be built around the ecosystem of internationalization. And so I think, we're probably ahead of the curve, I would say, as far as us investor appetite at the pre-seed and seed rounds. But I would say what we're starting to see are these large growth funds being raised. And as you see ballooning valuations and a lot of froth in markets like San Francisco the relative appeal of a great company regardless of where it is geographically with really stellar metrics is starting to attract capital from the US and a case in point one company that invested in a few years back was a localized ride sharing app in North Africa. And this was a company that was kind of competing with Careem and Uber, but we thought there was a geographic specific francophone West African market that was different. And fast forward three or four years, Mary Meeker and Bonds Capital swept in and deployed $150 million growth check and people. We're sort of surprised by this, but really when you look at the metrics, what was incredible was the valuation. And those metrics was exciting enough that it was starting to attract capital from the Valley.

And so I think more and more with the Grabs and the Gojeks and, all the sort of descendants the other businesses that are being built across the region. I think more and more, those are going to start attracting really sizable growth checks, Kumu being one of those, they raised about $60 million from General Atlantic and it was the largest and first ever GA tech check into Southeast Asia. And so I think that's indicative of future waves of financing. And I think for pre seed and seed investors like Monk's Hill and like everywhere, maybe it's an interesting time to be writing checks in this market. And certainly an interesting time to be founding companies in this market.

(17:35) Jeremy Au:

Could you share a little bit more about what you mean by the valley capital flowing around the world? Because, I think there's always this dynamic in late stage capital, where every late stage startup is obviously raising from late stage funds all over the world. But I think in the early stage, which we talked about, as well as probably the middle stage, I think the question about comparative valuations is a big one. So from the US point of view, a lot of statements would be like, wow, the valuation multiples are very low. This is a great opportunity. This makes a lot of sense. And then the converse I've heard from local VCs is like, wow, the Americans are really overpaying and spoiling the market, even though they think it's cheap, right? So what do you think is the reality here from your perspective?

(18:16) Scott Hartley:

Yeah, I think empirically we see that valuations in a lot of markets, particularly outside of San Francisco and certainly outside of Y Combinator tend to have more traction at lower valuations than you see in the buzzy, frothy, frothier markets in the States, but we have seen valuations really start to come down, not at demo days, and particularly when valuations are upheld by an end of one, if you put 500 people in a room as potential angel investors and you think the market clearing price is where one investor is willing to write you 25,000, there's always a market validating price. That's very high, right?

When you start to get down to the brass tacks of, you want to raise a full round that gives you 24 months of runway that does you know, probably giving away 20 percent dilution of your business. And that's the market clearing price. We're starting to see those prices come down, so the end of one high watermark that one angel investor is willing to pay for something isn't indicative of the market. What's indicative of the market is when you're able to have a full market clearing round. And we are seeing those types of rounds come down. If you're raising a 2 million round, it might initially get priced at 20. And then when you can't raise the full round, it gets repriced at 15. And then, ultimately closes at 10 post. And so we're starting to see that sort of thing happen.

(19:31) Scott Hartley:

But I would say, apples to apples, when you look at a SaaS business like one that I met in the Philippines last week. Metrics wise, if they were in the US, they would probably have double the cap on the SAFE that they were raising it. And part of that is still probably a local discount because of a supply demand mismatch, and access to capital. So I think that for a global investor, there are really interesting opportunities for a local founder. I think tapping into these global markets also can be a real advantage. The reason we are excited about investing in the region or the argument that we make to founders is typically, Hey, take a local partner or two for sure because you guys have much more context and local expertise around rule of law or access to particular clientele. But as it relates to maybe Series A, Series B, your growth capital, and you want to start building long run relationships across the globe consider a small tagalong pre-seed check that opens up a different market for you.

(20:25) Scott Hartley:

And so I think thinking one metaphor that I like to use with founders is you're trying to get to the next bus stop, and so you're raising your rounds and you think about, okay, here's where I am today, but I need to get to this next bus stop within 24 months. And I know the distance is so far away. And I have these trade offs of how fast I drive, how much gas I burn. If I drive too fast or too crazily, I might not make it all the way to that bus stop. And so as you're crafting the rounds that you're raising today, thinking about where that next bus stop is and how do you optimize along a number of vectors to really de-risk your business. And you're thinking about, okay, I need to build my team. I need to achieve certain traction metrics, but you maybe also want to bake in certain relationships or people on your cap table that start to unlock different relationships or different doors for when you get to that next bus stop.

And so that's kind of one argument that that we typically make, Hey, we're not your local Southeast Asian expert investor, but what we can hopefully do is provide a global network of founders, global access to capital, and then a really interesting set of relationships that whether it's Series A or B or down the road, they're not fresh relationships. There's something that is a trusted network that you've spent the last few years of nurturing and building.

(21:31) Jeremy Au:

From your perspective, do you think are the differences in geographies, right? So Us. and you mentioned about, for example, the Philippines, that being a difference in terms of the supply and demand of capital. So there's a valuation differences. What are the differences across the different regions that you cover?

(21:45) Scott Hartley:

Yeah. There's really I think a few waves to each of the geographies. And I think, one early example was Brazil. I think Brazil in the early days had a lot of kind of expatriate Brazilians or international folks, even Nubank, right? David Vélez is the founder of Nubankl. Uh, you know, Was, both a classmate at Stanford and a colleague on Sand Hill road when he was at Sequoia. One of the things people don't realize is he's not Brazilian. He's actually from Columbia, and he really spotted an opportunity and convinced Sequoia to let him go and move to Brazil and built new bank and, $30 billion company later. I think Sequoia is quite happy about that. But that was indicative of wave one founders of that local market in Brazil. You know, baby.com.br, Nubank, a number of the companies were built by expatriate Brazilians or people that spotted a market opportunity. I think the early incarnation of what rocket internet was doing wasn't the most founder friendly cap tables. But it was really sort of capitalizing on arbitrage of business models across different user bases and geographies.

And I think, what we've started to see more, and it frankly has been really exciting, is, legitimately more trends going always North to South to North, East to West to East. And I think just trying to be observants as far as, where the different opportunities. And I think we've seen early mobile payments, early crypto coming out of Africa. That's actually quite interesting. And we've seen the rise of short form video, live stream mobile payments, QR codes. A lot of things have come east to west. And COVID really helped catalyze some of those trends. Adoption wise, in the US, for example, ordering via QR code at a restaurant really, it was relatively common in Asia. Going back many years, but it was not common in the US until COVID and now, it's sort of hit mainstream adoption. And so I think, it's a great question.

I don't think we have a full sort of comprehensive answer, but I think what we try to do is sit at the crossroads and be observant about where there are comparative advantages and then where talent starts to kind of consolidate and I think an interesting trend was some of the early gaming trends that came out of South Korea but really we're sort of, catalyzed and profited on, out of Scandinavia. And so some of the early trends came out of South Korea, but some of the big companies actually came out of Finland and Rovio and Supercell and those kinds of companies. And looking at where has talent started to consolidate, where trends kind of moving.

And then I'd say when we say we're global investors. It's not as if we're looking everywhere all the time, all at once, but we kind of have a laser tractor beam where we say, huh, what's happening in Southeast Asia? That seems most in line with with geopolitical trends or comparative advantages that might sit in that market. And how do we get in front of interesting founders working on those problems? And the other point is that you can't fully boil the ocean. And so sometimes, you make one or two investments in a given sector, and then you start to see more apples fall around the tree, so to speak. So in the case of Brazil and Latin America, we made some very early bets in the kind of healthcare space in Brazil. And subsequently, we've seen a lot of the other healthcare pre-seed deals because of that, because those founders all know each other and that sort of leads to more knock on deal flow. So those are some of the high level trends that I think we've seen over the years. And I think certain markets lend themselves to be global from the start and others have a more endogenous population where you can build a big business and never leave home.

And so I think India and China are challenging in the sense. That there's such large opportunities in markets that most companies that are built homegrown might stay homegrown and might stay local. Whereas, maybe if you're building in in Israel, for example, you start from your Scandinavia, you start global from day one because your home market isn't sufficiently large. I think Europe tends to be that way as well, because you just have such fragmentation across language and whatnot. So that's kind of high level, how we look at the different opportunities.

(25:34) Jeremy Au:

Could you share with us about time that you personally have been brave?

(25:37) Scott Hartley:

Yeah it's a tough question. I think for anyone that's ventured I have a lot of empathy for all the founders that we talk to on a daily basis. Because I myself, haven't had somebody else paying my paycheck for probably the better part of a decade. And you know, I think the portion when I was brave was was leaving the confines of amazing platforms and opportunities to work at companies like Google and Facebook in relatively early, early days, leaving Sand Hill road and the kind of marble hallways and orchids and amazing lifestyle that you're very privileged to have to kind of, to found something and try to build something different. And you know, I think the expectation is that, venture capitalists spend their days, the joke recently was founders are in the arena and venture capitalists are in the marina. you know, I don't think that's true of folks that are starting their own funds, right? Cause it's very slow going at the beginning. It's very hard to fundraise. It's very hard to prove a track record. It's very hard to build AUM that's a sustain a business that can provide all the portfolio support and things that you want to provide to your portfolio.

And yeah, I think for me the bravery of probably my co founder, more than myself venturing out into the unknown to try to build something. Just because we thought the contrarian viewpoint that the world needed this and it wasn't out there. I think my hats off to all founders for jumping into the arena and getting out of the Marina and and taking a risk because it's hard in a lot of days, you question it. And so, I think that's something that gives us a lot of empathy for folks that we invest in and get to work with on a daily basis.

(27:02) Jeremy Au:

Thank you so much. I'd love to summarize the three takeaways to go from this conversation. First of all, thanks so much for sharing about your contrarian take that you do believe that you can build a global pre seed VC that's investing early and how that differs from, think the global, as it receives wisdom, but also I think the global dynamics about the spectrum, where late stage capital has been more global and early capital tends to be much more localized. I think what was interesting as well was that I think you actually shared about the explicit trade offs that you had to make in order to make it happen. So I thought it was interesting that you had to be careful in terms of the timing, the surface area the nodes of trust that you had to build out over time. I think it was an interesting way to hear about how you saw about how to build a business of venture capital.

(27:42) Jeremy Au:

Secondly, thanks for sharing about the different regions and about some of the differences that you see, but also some of the similarities. I think it was interesting for you to give the example of how you came about to do the investments in Kumu, as well as other South East Asian companies. Also, I think it was interesting for you to share about how you got to know them, and also how you saw them in the context of the broader patterns that you have.

Lastly, thanks for sharing about the concerns I think about valuation, think pricing risk. I thought it came out a couple of times, so one was that it came out in the context of Early stage, you have much less pricing risk, but of course, you have to select well versus I think later stage capital has a huge pricing risk dynamic as well. But also, you talked about how, from your perspective, was that the different opportunities, for example, lending to Indian based SaaS companies against the US dollar denominated accounts was one of the asymmetries that you saw. You also talked about how you saw SaaS in Philippines that at half the valuation cap of what would be normal the US. So I thought it was interesting for you to like discuss valuation and pricing and supply and demand capital on a global basis. So that was very interesting, Scott. Thank you so much for coming on the show.

(28:44) Scott Hartley:

Thank you so much, Jeremy. This is great.