Thailand: BCG Startup Report, Ecosystem Underperformance (Smallest in ASEAN-6) & Why The Time is Now with Wing Vasiksiri - E368

· Thailand,VC and Angels,Southeast Asia,Podcast Episodes

 

“There are different ways to build the future. As an investor, I bucket three very distinct categories of company building or types of companies that you see in Southeast Asia. One is, building in Southeast Asia for Southeast Asia using models that have worked in developed markets. Two is, building in Southeast Asia for the rest of the world. The third category is building for Southeast Asia in Southeast Asia but with business models that are unique to the region, eFisheries is one of those. What are sectors that are uniquely Thai, uniquely Vietnam, uniquely Indonesian, and that's where you're truly innovating where you're not just copying models that work, but building something unique to that country.” - Wing Vasiksiri

“I believe a lot of the top regional funds now are byproducts or initially seeded by the Singaporean government, which is a great idea. I don't think many other countries do that, but if we can contrast that with, let's say Vietnam, where politically it's not as stable but they've still done a good job of positioning themselves as number three in Southeast Asia in terms of startups and the excitement. And when I look at Vietnam, every time I visit, it's more cultural. People there are naturally entrepreneurial. They're risk-taking. They have this ownership, risk-taking mentality that I don't see in many other countries. Everywhere you go, people have a side hustle. They're excited, they're working towards building their own thing, and you very much feel the energy when you're in Ho Chi Minh.” - Wing Vasiksiri

“The reality is that every system is, by nature, fundamentally conservative in the sense that new laws are not built every year. They catch up to whatever it is. For example, I've noticed a lot of Filipino entrepreneurs who are very entrepreneurial are learning from Silicon Valley over YouTube and podcasts in English. So I've coined this phrase called language-locked, but to some extent, the Philippines has a very strong cultural linkage with the US. I've met so many American-Filipino diasporas, but also Filipinos who are very, glued to that American culture of hustle. You can really see the flavor of those things in terms of how they pitch, present, and frame up the problem. So there's an interesting dynamic where English fluency and all these other links play a big part in it.” - Jeremy Au

Wing Vasiksiri, General Partner of WV, and Jeremy Au discussed three main points:

1. Thailand Strong Economics Macros: Wing shared how Thailand ranks 2nd in GDP ($495B USD), 3rd in GDP per capita ($6900 USD) and 4th in population (72M) among the ASEAN-6 nations. Highly educated, robust household internet connectivity (90%) and strong daily usage of the internet (9h).

2. Historical Startup Ecosystem Underperformance: Despite economic strengths and fundamentals, Thailand is ranked last among the ASEAN-6 with only 180 funded startups (Singapore 1780, Indonesia 860, Vietnam 340, Malaysia 280, Philippines 185). Wing discusses key factors including entrepreneurship culture, limited risk capital, corporate-centricity of VC, language, startup talent flywheel, and lack of prior government support for innovation.

3. Why The Time is Now: Wing expressed optimism about the future of Thailand's startup ecosystem, citing positive changes driven by government funding initiatives, cultural shift towards entrepreneurship, strong stock exchange allowing for domestic listings, They also discussed other potential improvements that individual, corporates and policy-makers can choose to make.

Wing and Jeremy also talked about the impact of corporates on the economy, inequality's influence on startups, and Thailand's stock market’s unique liquidity paths for startup exits.

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(01:50) Jeremy Au:

Hey, Wing, really excited to have you on the show again. We're going to launch the quarterly report and podcast on Thailand. So really excited to welcome you as a co-host. On that note, Wing, I would love for you to introduce yourself.

(02:02) Wing Vasiksiri:

Yeah. Thanks for having me, Jeremy. So, definitely been following your episodes of all your other co-hosts and your content. So excited to come back. And yeah, thanks for having me back. I think the first episode we did was probably maybe like two years ago or something like that now. So we'll start fresh. I'll start by introducing myself. So my name is Wing. I'm the Founder and General Partner of WV. That's a solo GP fund investing across Southeast Asia. What that means is basically I'm the only partner. There are no associates, analysts, no staff. It's a team of one. We have a traditional fund structure, so it's a traditional setup with LPs and GPs, but no processes, no deal memos, no staff.

It's kind of just me going at it, investing across the region. So I'm managing about 15 million in AUM now. I'm very focused on investing at the pre-seed and seed stage. So. The way I think of it, it's like first round of financing. That's when I want to get to know the company and partner with them from day one.

I'm investing across Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand, which I think is a topic we'll get into today. So those are the four core geographies, usually based out of Bangkok, traveling across all these regions. It's a sector-agnostic fund. So, you know, we're generalists. Very founder-driven in our analysis and how we do diligence. So invested across B2B, B2C, hardware, fintech marketplaces. Been investing across the region for about four years now. Before this, I was working in San Francisco at a tech company called Angelus on their operations team. And the thesis of the fund was really to bridge the gap between Southeast Asia and Silicon Valley.

So I raised capital from founders, operators, venture partners, and partners of venture funds in the US to invest across Southeast Asia. Excited to be here and share a bit more about the fund, our investing, and the time market with you today.

(03:45) Jeremy Au:

Amazing. I think the Thai market has someone who has been of interest to many folks, right? And when people come to Southeast Asia, obviously. I remember a dinner I had with a family office exploring Southeast Asia. And so it was very much like, okay, you know, let's talk about Singapore. Let's talk about Indonesia. Let's talk about Vietnam. And then after that pause, I was like, I'd like to ask you some questions about Thailand, right? So it's in that sequence. And I was like, that is an interesting dynamic. And recently, you wrote this report about the Thai market. So could you share a bit more about what this report is about?

(04:13) Wing Vasiksiri:

Yeah, sure. So I guess if you take a step back a bit, I think it's very much agreeing with you that's how most of the conversations go. You start with Singapore, which is very much the hub of everything. And that's outside of Thailand. That's probably the market where I spend the most time, and have the most investments. That's where all the investors are. So capital inflow and outflows really flow through Singapore. And then you have Indonesia, which is just a giant population. I think 300 million people, $1.3 trillion GDP. So it's a massive market. They have their own local funds that have done very well and scaled up quickly.

And then usually closely behind that in third, you have Vietnam. Vietnam is usually seen as a rising market. A lot of excitement there as well. I think there are a couple of local independent funds that have done well. And then after that, you kind of have Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines. Those three are kind of competing for the fourth market. And Philippines has been growing very well, given how big the population is and all the excitement in that ecosystem and venture and tech. Thailand as a market has been very interesting. So I guess the context on myself is I'm Thai, born and raised in Bangkok, lived here for 18 years before moving to the US, and then moved back in 2020.

(05:19) Wing Vasiksiri:

Thailand as a market, it's the second largest economy in Southeast Asia, just GDP-wise. Indonesia, I think it's like 1.3 trillion and Thailand's about 500 billion GDP-wise. So, it's a very sizable market. Population-wise, 70 million people, so I think that would make it fourth behind Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines with 70 million people. And I think the more interesting stat with Thailand, apart from just how big the economy actually is, is just how online and digitally engaged consumers in this market actually are. So from the report where I collaborated with BCG and Alpha Founders Capital, we found 90 percent of households in Thailand have some kind of internet access. 80% are using some form of e-commerce or have used some form of e-commerce service. And the average time spent online on the internet is about 9 hours a day, right? I think it was a couple of years ago when Facebook released a stat that, yeah, it's crazy. A lot of people are online all the time.

(06:18) Wing Vasiksiri:

Facebook released a stat a few years ago that I think Thailand was number one in terms of just like hours that consumers spend on the Facebook application, whether that's like Messenger, Instagram, or Facebook itself. I think this was like two or three years ago. So I think that's the first thing to realize is that It's not really a developing market connectivity-wise. It's already developed. Like people are already online. People are used to spending time online, used to buying things online. But the winners have been either the large international companies, like the multi-billion Facebook of the world, or the large regional places. And there haven't been that many local Thai-born companies that have emerged. So I think it's an interesting place to start the conversation is kind of setting the scene in the context of of the market.

(06:58) Jeremy Au:

Yeah. And I think it's interesting that this is the first deep report on the Thai startup ecosystem it's a collaboration between BCG, BCGX, yourself, as well as Alpha Founders Capital. So really fascinating to see that but more importantly, I think it spells out what you just said, because every time you read a report, it's always like, everything's great, and I think what was interesting is that you really set out this report. I love the fact that you kind of contrasted that which is contrasted like exactly what you just said, which is the GDP story. Also, the developed dynamic where it looks like on many dimensions, Thailand should be perhaps the second largest ecosystem in startups.

So this is the first report I felt that has really spelled out some of the dynamics that you shared, which is that there was a lot of optimism about the Thai ecosystem 10 years ago because it felt like based on the GDP, the GDP per capita, the connectivity, the infrastructure, that Thailand should be one of the top three startup ecosystems. And I love that slide that you had here, which is, that today, Singapore has about 1,800 startups. Indonesia is about 900. Vietnam has about 400. Malaysia is 300. Philippines has 200. And Thailand has about 200 startups. So, in the ASEAN six, Thai startups are actually sixth, in terms of the total number of funded startups versus, like I said, all these macro fundamentals they had. And I think there's always been a big question mark. And I think one of the dynamics is that, and the local VCs were very experienced. I think it was a very big surprise because 10 years ago, everybody was like, Okay, everybody's got to spend time in Singapore and everybody's got to spend time in Thailand. And now, fast forward to that story. Thailand is sixth out of the six ASEAN economies when, like you said some metrics would be number two, some metrics would be number three, number four. So I think that's an interesting dynamic.

(08:32) Wing Vasiksiri:

Yeah, definitely. And I think that's a big part of the motivation behind wanting to put together the report as well. There hasn't really been this comprehensive study and overview and deep dive into what exactly is happening in the ecosystem. First of all, identifying what's happening and then figuring out what are some of the problems and charting, like charting the best path forward and how we can rally the ecosystem together and really live up to that story that was told 10 plus years ago.

And I think BCG, they did the bulk of this and they did a great job. It's going very deep. We spoke to a lot of stakeholders. We worked with Tech in Asia. Actually, They were our data partner and that's where the stats come from. The number of startups you listed were basically startups that have raised capital. So any kind of form of capital. And like 180 is a, it's a very small number if you think about it, right? It's like 70 million people, a relatively large country, but only 180 companies or so have raised capital, which is, to me, surprisingly small, and we can talk a bit about some of the reasons behind that.

(09:29) Wing Vasiksiri:

One interesting thing to highlight also is that within the country, there have only been four unicorns. At least compared to Vietnam, and Indonesia, this number is lagging. And I don't even know if I'd count these four unicorns as real unicorns. So there's Flash Express, which is a logistics company, OPN payments company Send Money, FinTech, and then Lineman, which is an e-commerce kind of super app of sorts, but two of those Ascend Money and Lineman Wong Nai are really more corporate spin-offs as opposed to companies that went through the process of raising money and really making it to that unicorn status from scratch And that's really who you want to look to as kind of role models in the ecosystem.

So that was really the big motivation behind the report. Just really understand the causes which I'm sure get into in a little bit and then also chartering what's potentially exciting, right? Where are some of the opportunities that we see in the market where there's still room to innovate and what would actually catalyze the growth of this market?

(10:26) Jeremy Au:

Yeah, thanks for spelling that out. And I think that's something that somebody who's a newcomer to the Southeast Asia ecosystem would not really see because they see four unicorns. But like exactly like you said, two of them were heavily corporate-sponsored. That being said, I don't believe there's ever an immaculate conception here. So, you know, I think every ecosystem at the start will always have more of these types of companies and hopefully, that paves the way for future folks. But I think let's double-click on that. It's like what, so what happened, right? Because 10 years ago, there was a lot of optimism about Thailand. Because a lot of these fundamental macros that you talked about were also true 10 years ago, right?

I would say even more true, actually, in terms of the lead in terms of GDP per capita, and infrastructure. So, from your perspective, this would give us a good platform to talk about what needs to change in the future. What do you think has happened over the past 10 years from your perspective?

(11:08) Wing Vasiksiri:

Yeah, so I think there's three main things that have made it challenging for startups to thrive in Thailand, or you can also look at three reasons why startups haven't grown. So the most common one that you hear people talk about, this is something that we identified in reporting, maybe it's the more obvious one, is this idea of lack of funding. We looked through the Thai ecosystem and looked at who was funding what, and it turns out there are not that many venture funds in Thailand in general. If you end up cutting out the CVCs, the corporate funds. That number dwindles even more. There are very few independent funds. I think there are four or five that we identify that have headquarters in Thailand and are investing in Thailand. So that's one. People often cite that as the biggest one or this idea that because there's no risk capital involved, it makes it more difficult to start companies, to take that risk, to take that jump. There's no kind of know-how or expertise in that early stage of funding to support these founders who want to take that risk. So that's usually the biggest and most obvious reason people give.

Me personally, even though the data does show this, I am less convinced that this is a big barrier. My belief is that in a free market, capital will find its way to kind of the most efficient use case. My belief is that if there are promising Thai companies that have excellent founders, big market opportunities, and can prove interesting early traction, I think that capital will flow towards that. And I don't think that, like all of the funds regionally are looking to invest, right? They want to invest, they have these giant funds, and they want to deploy in exciting opportunities. So I don't personally think that's the biggest limiting factor.

(12:42) Wing Vasiksiri:

Number two, the thing that people talk about sometimes in relation to Thailand is the corporates as a whole. The strength of the corporates and their role in the economy make it difficult for startups to thrive for a couple of reasons. One interesting thing to highlight, I don't remember if it's 2018 or 2019, but Thailand was number one in terms of the highest inequality in the world. We were number one on the Gini coefficient, which is pretty crazy. It's a small country in Southeast Asia, number one in terms of inequality, basically a very big gap between the haves and the have-nots. You see this dynamic play out in the corporate world as well. There are a couple of challenges when the corporates become very powerful. Mainly, it's hard to compete with them. They're very good. They are able to typically move pretty fast. A good relationship with regulators and the ability to basically lock in consumers. You see this especially in the banks for example. I think like SCB and Kasikorn, two of the biggest banks in Thailand. They really haven't rested on their laurels in terms of innovation and tech. They've built out these independent units. SCB had a whole restructuring which enabled them to build a venture builder or build a venture fund.

And these guys actually moved pretty quickly on innovation. So it's very hard to compete against them. And a second point with the corporates is that there were these CVCs, let's say about like 2017, 2018 timeframe. At that point, the ecosystem looked like it could have been booming, all these accelerators, all these funds, every corp was like, Hey, we're going to dedicate X million dollars to support innovation, support the startups. And it ended up being that there were not very many success stories that came from that, right? So from the outside looking in, you saw that, okay, there are all these there's all these sources of funding that's ready to invest. It's great for startups going to feel the ecosystem.

But in reality, when you look closely at it, basically it was the corporates that were behind every single initiative not that there's anything inherently wrong with that, right? Some corporates have done a pretty good job investing, but it's difficult to do well because as a CVC, you always have these two motivations that inherently don't always align, which are strategic investments that will support the parent company and financial returns. And those two necessarily will conflict with each other at one time or another. And I think for me, the best CVC is that actually does a good job. If you look at Google Ventures or GV in the US or even a Gojek CVC fund. They rebranded recently. I think they've done a really good job, like CVCs and why they do well is because they spin out and they're almost completely independent, which basically eliminates that problem of the conflicting incentives. So yeah having corporates with that much power makes it a challenge for startups as well. Those are I think two big reasons why we haven't seen the ecosystem deliver on its promise.

(15:17) Jeremy Au:

Yeah, I really want to go to the third one, but my quick reaction to that is that I think that funding is the obvious one because like you said, funding rounds are very much a function and a signal of the gatekeeper saying, there's anointing, but also the rocket fuel for the next stage, but it's also a voting mechanism because people are basically saying they don't see the opportunity there.

And so it is an interesting dynamic, which is that, in the early days of the ecosystem, I think a lot of folks are covering Southeast Asia from Singapore and then, basically scanning the whole landscape. So I think one thing that's actually triggered my head is that within ASEAN as well it's not only a story of, say, Thailand being further behind what I think the metrics of what its macros are, but also I think to some extent also Singapore's outperforming others because they were that sanctuary, but also hub for capital where people are able to have that connectivity they need the government support in the early days, but also it was a fertile time. So when there was a priming of the capital pump by the Singapore government to incentivize private capital to set up a base, I think he had all the other parts that were already there, right? Which was like English fluency, educated workforce, finance sector, and entrepreneurial sector. So it was a fertile time. Singapore became that hub in that sense. But then there was a time period, exactly that time when almost every investor was based in Singapore. And that was before I thought the Vietnam and Indonesia local capital ecosystems were a kind of grown up. That was that time when there was a scanning of every market and I think within that subset, excluding Singapore, there was a fairness search looking for startups. So I think that's nuance that I want to add to that capital side.

(16:49) Jeremy Au:

And then secondly, I think the tricky part of my immediate reaction is that startups are meant to disrupt incumbents. Fundamentally, that's where a lot of economic value is, because when you have a startup, you're basically increasing competition and sector, right? And one of the ways that a lot of startups look at it is they say, Hey, we do a market landscape where the profit pools, where there's a lot of margins, which basically implies that the service is basically too pricey or that people are underserved. And then go after that vertical, right? So I think a lot of those stories around fintechs all around the world have been like, okay, banks, these are the profit pools. Let's go off the Visa and MasterCard. I mean, is one approach to thinking about it, but I think it's a reflection of the fact that there is an awkward reality, which is that there is an attacker mentality of a startup. And that means of course, that do you have a society that that favors but also protects it? And I think that's an interesting dynamic, which is, I think there's always a big trade-off in every society.

(17:36) Jeremy Au:

So I think, like IP Patent systems is a good example of that in the US. It's like we reward you if you were willing to innovate, to give you patent protections to be able to have a monopoly profit of it for 10, 20, 30 years. But at the same point in time, how do you become the attacker who becomes the incumbent, then those same rights can be used to squeeze out. And I think that's what's happening in the Apple, the oxygen sensor. You have an innovator versus Apple, there's a court case going on. But what's interesting is that in totality, the legal system actually has that balancing act to try and do between competition, right? And I think that's something I thought of when you mentioned the dynamic of incumbent corporates and startups.

(18:11) Wing Vasiksiri:

Yeah. I think that's very interesting. so you think it's more cultural or do you think it's more kind of baked into like just the legal system in terms of this dynamic of like, do you favor incumbents? Do you favor new entrants? What do you think about that?

(18:24) Jeremy Au:

I mean, it's a function of both, right? I think the reality is that every system, is by nature, fundamentally conservative in the sense that new laws are not built every year. They catch up to whatever it is. So I think if people want to be entrepreneurial and they watch YouTube, and I think that's actually a good example is, I've noticed a lot of Filipino entrepreneurs who are very entrepreneurial, and I think a big part of it is that they're learning from Silicon Valley over YouTube and podcasts in English. And so I've coined this phrase called language locked. But to some extent, the Philippines, has a very strong cultural linkage with the US and so I think I've met so many American Filipino diaspora, but also Filipinos who are very, I don't know what to say, but clued into that American culture of hustle or, and so there's an interesting thing where you're like you see that pitch and everything. And I was like, Oh, you can really see the flavor of that, those things in terms of how they pitch, present, and frame up the problem. So I think there's an interesting dynamic where English fluency and all these other links play a big part in it. I think the system eventually does it has to react.

And I think we see that a little bit in China, which is that, if you're building businesses, there was like a big time when people did gaming, education. And now, based on the government regulatory changes where some extended, these large companies are no longer, I want to say favored, but I think they're definitely being regulated, and yeah, market capital getting penalized effectively. Then, founders are going to say like, I'm not going to build in gaming because it turns out the government does not like our youth to be gaming. So I think there's a very clear sector-specific, but I think if you're willing to be a founder in defense tech, or semiconductor in China, you're going to be like, great I'm allowed to be entrepreneurial. I want to be entrepreneurial and the system rewards me and encourages me to be entrepreneurial.

So I think you need to have all of it. So I'm kind of curious from your perspective what you think about how that applies to the Thai ecosystem.

(20:04) Wing Vasiksiri:

Yeah. I think that's a question that I spend a lot of time thinking about, which is just this idea of whether is it more top-down or bottoms up in terms of what actually feels like innovation in an economy, right? You talk about Singapore as the golden example of a small country that's just done very well to position itself as the hub in Southeast Asia. And to me, at least, that was very clearly top-down. It was like government initiatives. It was like a well-run government, stable regime, planning for the future, and this high emphasis on education and technology, creating this safe haven with all the tax rules as well. They just made it a very attractive investing environment. And I don't know if there's anything inherently entrepreneurial about Singaporean people as like part of the culture. I don't know, but it seems like it's just very clearly a good job of government top-down regulation. And I know we talked about this probably before, but they seeded the first generation of all the venture funds in Singapore.

(21:01) Wing Vasiksiri:

I believe a lot of the top regional funds now are basically byproducts or initially seeded by the Singaporean government, which is really cool. It's a great idea, right? I don't think many other countries do that, but then if I contrast that with let's say Vietnam, where maybe politically it's not as stable, but they've still done a really good job of positioning themselves as number three in Southeast Asia in terms of startups and the excitement. And when I look at that country, every time I visit, I think it's more cultural in that sense. I think people there are just naturally, they're very entrepreneurial. They're risk-taking. They have this ownership, risk-taking mentality that I think I don't see in many other countries. Like everywhere you go, people have a side hustle, they're excited, they're working towards building their own thing, and you very much feel the energy when you're in Ho Chi Minh in regards to that, so I think that's exciting. So I guess if you apply that to Thailand. And that was actually going to be my third point as to why it hasn't lived up to its promise over the last 10 years. I believe it's a cultural thing. There are many ways that we can look at this, but following the top talent is usually a good place to start.

So if you look at the top talent I'm going to define that as may or may not be true to the top talent, but let's look at folks who are born in Thailand, raised in Thailand, but end up studying abroad. They go to the US, they go to the UK, whatever that is. That's usually a pretty good diaspora of entrepreneurs to look at talented people. So they study abroad and then come back. So it's kind of like the, not the brain drain folks who stayed abroad, but those who come back. If you look at that group of people, they are almost exclusively in things like banking or consulting. Of course, there are exceptions here or there, but for the most part, I think 90 plus percent of people I know friends in my circle, are drawn to that as like the high status. And so that's a very different mentality than starting a company, taking a risk and basically being a founder. If that's where all the high-prestige jobs are, that's where the top talent is moving to. It makes sense that is the ecosystem that's going to grow because the talent is moving there. So I think that's number one, just culturally.

Number two, Thai people are actually quite entrepreneurial in terms of starting companies and wanting to be business owners, but the aspiration typically isn't to be like the next Mark Zuckerberg or Jeff Bezos. It's more to start these quote-unquote lifestyle businesses where you're profitable from the start, you're making money, and you generate a really good living for yourself. And you're able to basically keep these profits, and build a good business, but not necessarily scale for the sake of scaling. It's more like sustainable lifestyle businesses that do really well for you personally. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's just like people knowing what they want. They want that luxurious, high-income-earner life early on. And they're not necessarily going out to build those billion-dollar-plus companies. Part of the reason for that might be there are actually not many success stories, even across the region and especially in Thailand of people who have made it in terms of starting a company, exiting at a billion-dollar valuation, creating a lot of wealth for employees. So just as you haven't seen that, right?

So there's not like a visceral reaction like, Hey, I've seen that happen there. That's a potential path. So people often think of the safer, more sustainable path for them, which I think in the end, they can build a great life for them but doesn't necessarily fall into the startup ecosystem that we as investors would look for. So I think that's the last point for me, which I think it's very big culturally. And I'm starting to see that change a little bit. We can talk a bit about why that is, but I think just like bottoms up culture-wise, it hasn't been conducive to starting startups taking risks, and the people who have done that who have gotten down that path are more outliers and it's not something that's necessarily like high status in the society here at least.

(24:37) Jeremy Au:

And I have to ask this, but you're more Americanized, does it mean that you like startups more?

(24:42) Wing Vasiksiri:

I mean, it's a good question, right? I think it also depends on where you are in America because it's not necessarily true that everywhere across the US, you're going to be excited about startups. Like I think California, like to me, the unique thing about California, Silicon Valley is this culture of not only just accepting but embracing your failures. People wear it as a badge of honor that they started a failed company and that's not the same in Southeast Asia. I see it here when I talk to founders. They're more reluctant to share bad news. People aren't excited or they're not proud to say that hey, I started a company that didn't work out, the same way that they are in Silicon Valley. I think that's actually one of the big ingredients of more Americanized, more risk-taking, and more open or accepting of their failures as part of the story.

(25:22) Jeremy Au:

Yeah. I mean, I think it's interesting because there's that cultural component and I say this as an Americanized person right? As well, I did my undergrad at UC Berkeley, then I did my MBA in Boston. So, these are all entrepreneurial hotspots. So, you know, very much in that tribe and community, but if you're in a country, I would say like Singapore is also pretty westernized. There's always been this entree port, kind of like a trading hub between East and West. So a lot of folks have been, I wouldn't necessarily say entrepreneurial, but a lot of middlemen have always existed in the South, in Singapore for a long time but I think the cultural component is a little bit more obvious. Like you said, if you're like in Japan, for example, it's just like, who wants to be entrepreneurial? I think one more thing to add is also immigrants. In the U. S., Immigrant founders are a big source of entrepreneurial energy because if you immigrate, you're probably somebody, I think three, four, one is in the US, they have a tenant system, right? To absorb new hungry, the university system sucks in all these great people. I mean, yeah. As I said, lots of great Thai people, but lots of great Singaporeans and Southeast Asians that will go to the US and then stay there for a long time.

(26:22) Jeremy Au:

And then the second piece, as I said, is I think they don't have the opportunity to do the standard jobs. You can't do the police job, or the government job, so technology is one of those places that's happy to bring you in. And then thirdly, of course, I think, there's a little bit of those ladders of immigrant diaspora that lets you climb up and figure things out. And there's something that's quite interesting because there's also that reverse immigration. So I think one is like the sea turtles is a form of immigration, right? So like these are, Southeast Asians have been Americanized, but then also you see a bunch of waves of immigration. You see the Chinese folks leaving, you see the Russians. There's a big one as well. And they're all starting to build tech companies because they're not gonna be voted in as a politician or climb the banking system if this is locked out as a career ladder for them. So I think there's an interesting dynamic. I don't know if that's something that you're thinking about an entire context.

(27:06) Wing Vasiksiri:

Yeah. That's something I've been keeping an eye on, especially with the Chinese immigrants who have moved out of China. I saw this very viscerally during the crypto boom, like 2019 or 2020, 2021. I saw and met a lot of Chinese entrepreneurs who moved out of China and moved to Thailand. I think crypto was illegal in China, right? So they couldn't build it in that space and a lot of them ended up moving to Singapore, but Singapore's cost of living is relatively high, quality of life may, not be as good a bang for your buck as Thailand's. So a lot of them started moving to Thailand and these were really good founders. They like consumer founders who know how to build consumer software, understand consumer behavior, and can iterate and ship very quickly. I just remember this from the conversations I had with them. And so that's definitely a group that I'm keeping an eye on and hopefully, we'll see some innovation come out of there. The issue there is that like the immigrant groups typically operate in a very siloed manner. They're kind of like doing their own thing and not necessarily integrating with the ecosystem or with locals as a whole. And I think that still poses a bit of a problem.

Something you said just reminded me actually, I think another thing, driver of just culturally why maybe there hasn't been that much innovation is, if you look at Thailand and I don't know if you spent a lot of time in Bangkok or visited before but yeah, so like, things work pretty well here. It's like people are very comfortable. Life is fairly good. And there's not that much of a need or drive to innovate. I think at the very start of the conversation, I talked about how the market actually looks fairly developed already if you like take a closer look and I would say it's closer to developed than developing especially in the core hub like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket. It looks like a developed market and with that, I think there's just less of a need and less of a drive to fix or change things because the market is fairly developed, which might contrast with some of the other neighboring countries. That's another interesting point as well.

(28:56) Jeremy Au:

Yeah. I think it's interesting because, I think about venture capital and founders being in the business of building the future, is this that they say that the future is just unevenly distributed, right? And so you look at GDP per capita, for example. And then you look at the different countries and then you're like, yeah, there's a lot of future to still be built. I mean, if your GDP per capita is like three times lower than the US, then you know what those phases are going to be, right? So I think there's still a lot of future to be built in Southeast, but I think, like you said, do people want to build it?

(29:23) Wing Vasiksiri:

Yeah.

(29:23) Jeremy Au:

You know, the magic question, right? You know,

(29:25) Wing Vasiksiri:

Exactly. And I guess one thing I'd add to that is like, there are different ways to build the future. In my head as an investor, I bucket like three very distinct categories of company building or types of companies that you see in Southeast Asia. One is building in Southeast Asia for Southeast Asia using models that have worked in developed markets. So this idea of Uber for Indonesia, Airbnb for Vietnam, but it's like stuff that's clearly worked before. And you bring that playbook and you apply that locally. That's one. Two, for me, is building in Southeast Asia for the rest of the world. So maybe Singapore or Vietnam, wherever your hub, is but you're building to serve more global customers. And I've had many investments in that category. It's More challenging, but I think that's an interesting category. The third category that I've been spending more time thinking about is building for Southeast Asia in Southeast Asia, but with business models that are just unique to the region. So not like Uber or X for Indonesia, but what are the models that are truly just unique to the region, to the ecosystem? for me, I think eFisheries is one of those. I think the formula for that is you'll get what are sectors that are uniquely Thai, uniquely Vietnam, uniquely Indonesian, and you are able to innovate on that. And that's where you're kind of truly innovating where you're not just copying models that work, but really building something that's unique to that country.

So for me, those are like the three different buckets. I'm curious to get your thoughts of like, are you excited about any one of those buckets in particular, or what do you spend your time thinking

(30:53) Jeremy Au:

Yeah, you know, I think bucket 1 is a lot of the no brainer stuff in a sense that if you know that healthcare is like a quarter on a per capita expenditure in this country compared to even like a relatively developed country, I think that you can build a career in that over the next 10, 20, 30 years, because Yeah. You like healthcare expenditure would definitely increase over time. It's just that people just don't get access to it. So I think there are a lot of no-brainer careers, but also no-brainer businesses to be built. Now, whether you got to do that in a slow growth way, whether you're gonna do in a private equity approach versus, BC hyperspeed approach, that's a function of your style and your approach.

But to some extent, these verticals are almost like, I just think that healthcare, for example, is going to develop very similar to, not necessarily the American model, but there are so many models in the world, right? French, French, Germans, Australians, there's so many, and it's like people just want to get healthy over time and country governments want their people to be healthy over time. But we're going to spend more, that's a no-brainer, that kind of thing. But I think I agree with you about the fact that there are some specific industries that just, I mean, I'll give an example in my head would be like rice. It's a big question mark because it was like, you can't go to the US or Europe to be like, oh, rice farming, what does your model look like in 2023? And then we teleport back in time and geography back to Southeast Asia as of today and say, let's invest as if we have that time machine. No, there's no comparable model.

(32:07) Wing Vasiksiri:

Exactly.

(32:08) Jeremy Au:

You have Iratani that's going after rice farming, for example. But I think another one I think about is like, island, archipelago stuff is a big one. So, like, Southeast Asia is pretty much like a whole bunch of islands, basically, all hanging out with one another. With pretty decent connectivity through the waterways, primarily, I would say. And so that's pretty unique because America doesn't have that infrastructure as one country. It doesn't have that same dynamic and so that's an interesting dynamic. And I was reading recently as quite an interesting thing is like Japan and South Korea also islands, right? Because South Korea, it's borders with North Korea, and North Korea connects it to China and so forth. So basically South Korea doesn't have any land links, with Asia cause it goes to North Korea. So, South Korea is actually an island. And then, you know, Northeast Asia, Japan, Taiwan, I'm just getting an example, right? So there's a kind of an interesting dynamic where it's like, Oh, how does the island mindset change how businesses are built?

, logistics is a good example. It's like, or power markets turn out, every island has its own energy electricity market is and are we really thinking about it in a way that's like, you know, because in American models, we've got to build these lines and obviously there's a lot of learnings, but it's not exactly the same, right? So I think I agree with you. There's a lot of uniqueness, in Southeast Asia that hopefully someone who's either Southeast Asian or someone who's very localized to Southeast Asia kind of gets.

(33:19) Wing Vasiksiri:

Yeah. Yeah, no, I'd definitely be excited to continue to track that. So we talked a lot about some of the factors hindering growth.

Maybe we can touch on some things that I'm excited about. I guess where,

hopefully, you know, the next 10 years are, you see that step function change, right, as opposed to kind of, the last 10 years.

So I think throughout the report we, identified a couple of specific areas that are exciting. I won't get into that now, you know, people can find the report and read that. But I think there are a couple of factors that are coming together, which I think are promising for the future of Thailand and startups.

What I touched on, and this isn't mentioned in the report because it's more qualitative in nature, but that idea of cultural people spending more attention and shifting towards tech, I definitely see that happening just from stories I hear with friends and folks in my circle, right? It used to be, I think, it still is, but for the most part, top talent would go to consulting and banking. But because of the rise of these big regional platforms like Shopee, from Sea, or Lazada, a lot of the top talent are actually starting to go to those types of companies now. So, starting to go into these big tech conglomerates. And I think that's, like, a shift towards the right direction, right? Shopee is, like, overpaying and hiring all these people, as is Lazada. When they're competing, they have a lot of capital. And so top talent is starting to be more interested and moved into that space. And I think that's just one step closer to being a founder, learning how a tech company grows and operating in that mindset.

So you're starting to see a bit of like culturally where the top talent is moving into and it's shifting more towards tech over time, which I think is very promising. Two you actually seeing now a lot of new government incentives similar to what I think Singapore did six or seven years ago. The Thai government is targeting, or I guess maybe realizing and making a more concerted effort to boost innovation, and education in the region. I think the new government that was just voted in, announced a partnership with Amazon and Google that would create 10, 000 jobs in Thailand over the next couple of years.

They're just going to start building all these servers. They've also announced a matching fund program. So I think similar to what Singapore did, where basically the idea is if a VC or private investor makes an investment into a tech company, starts a company in Thailand, the government would match those funds and it would essentially increase the size of your investments. I think this is something that's expected to launch next year. So I think that will add more excitement to the ecosystem. And there's also a lot of grants for startups that are, there's like three main government agencies that provide grants for startups that basically allow them to function. Test their hypothesis, ship something, and if they're able to take advantage of these grants and they can prove some early traction, I think that makes them an exciting candidate for investment down the line.

So there's some things happening, but from the top down and bottom up level, that get me excited about the ecosystem over the next five to ten years, I think.

(36:04) Jeremy Au:

Yeah, I think that's really fascinating and I guess the question I have would be how do you think that will play out? Do you think people become more entrepreneurial as a result? How do you see that playing out?

(36:14) Wing Vasiksiri:

I think that's the idea, right? So like the bottoms-up thing that I talked about where people are moving closer to tech. As like the high-prestige jobs, like working at these tech conglomerates. I think that is a step closer to becoming more entrepreneurial. Just when you work in these tech companies, the culture is very different than when you're working at a consulting job or at a banking job, right? Just the ownership, the high ownership mentality where you have more freedom, you have more leeway, you have high ownership over what you do. I think people inherently like that. And when they get a taste of that, they see that. I think that they're more likely to do that. People working at Shopee for a few years are able to leave with best practices and implement them into their own startup.

And Shopee and Lazada are consistently launching new products, new verticals, new categories, which means that people have the chance to be product owners, and they learn how to do this in a big organization that's done. Well, I think that's very applicable towards starting your own company and becoming a founder, and with the government top-down initiative, I do think that if they're creating incentives in that direction people are going to maybe see it potentially as less risky, more exciting paths that have a higher payoff in the long term.

So hopefully that draws more people towards that path as well one last thing that I didn't mention that I think maybe is less obvious, but Thailand actually is a very interesting liquidity market. And I think among investors is something that we talk about a lot, right? Like we had the courage, like there's no liquidity, there's no liquidity. What are we going to do? How are we going to get DPI? And I think that's true for most of Southeast Asia that like the path, like the best of the best companies, the Grab and the Sea Limited. So still IPO and like the NASDAQ or the New York stock exchange, right? That's still like the gold standard, the Thai stock market is actually very interesting.

I guess the context here is that in Southeast Asia, there are not that many M&As of greater than a hundred million dollars. So it's basically not quite, there are not many big buyers in the region yet. But the set or the stock exchange of Thailand, they're actually the most active stock exchange in Southeast Asia. I think there's a daily turnover trading volume of like 1.5 billion or something like that, which makes it number one in Southeast Asia in terms of stock markets here, bigger than Singapore. And it also has the highest average price for earning multiples. I think it was like 16 or 17, which is the highest across Southeast Asia. And that's interesting. I think if you're building a Thai company and you see what you could potentially do IPOing in the local stock market, that provides a unique path to liquidity that isn't necessarily present in other neighboring countries' stock markets. So I think that's one opportunity or something that's less obvious that people should keep an eye on and be conscious of as they're building for Thailand as well.

(38:42) Jeremy Au:

You know, I think that's super spot on. I think that's something that Nick Nash at Asia Partners has been advocating for, which is the rhinoceros, about the concept of basically going for a hundred billion dollar exit in the local stock exchange. And I think what's super fair is that I think that's one part of the Americanization model. It's like everybody's grafting to be like, okay, the ecosystems, you have to hit the billion-dollar outcome. I'm almost like borrowing the end state of 2023 and 2023 directly, but the US market actually went through that long, I would say three decades of listing at the $100M to $200M mark in their local stock exchange. So it's almost like we're you know, like, look down and.

(39:17) Wing Vasiksiri:

Yeah.

(39:18) Jeremy Au:

It's like, Oh, you're going to be an Indonesian company listing on the Indonesia stock exchange, clearly. You're not as good as an American unicorn, which is, I think it's interesting, and it goes back to the capital allocation and strategies of the VCs across the region as well. I think that's where I think local funds are really important because I think global funds tend to have more of a global or US exit strategy, which requires them to look for companies that have a billion-dollar dynamic. But I think there's a big gap in local funds aiming for that local listing.

And I think Thailand is actually one of the few ones because the truth is Singapore doesn't have a great stock exchange in terms of, as compared to some of the peer markets like Indonesia, just because it's a small country, right? And the local population has so much exposure to all the global exchanges.

On that note, I'd love to wrap things up and summarize the three big takeaways I got from this conversation. First of all, thank you so much for sharing the fundamental facts of Thailand as an ecosystem today about the fact that there are so many strong fundamentals that have been in existence over the past 10 years, but the fact that Thailand is six in your report out of the top ASEAN six countries in terms of startups with about 180 funded startups.

So secondly, I thought it was great to hear and discuss the three pillars of what you feel like are the reasons behind this. So you mentioned culture is a big chunk. The second one is very much about the corporate-centric nature of the startup ecosystem to date.

And then thirdly, talking very much about the lack of funding, especially local sources. And thirdly, thank you so much for sharing why you're optimistic about why there's going to be a change with the government funding, cultural changes as well as the funding and capital markets available in Thailand on that note. Thank you so much wing for sharing

(40:47) Wing Vasiksiri:

Yeah. Thanks a lot for having me, Jeremy. This was fun. And yeah, we'll do it again soon. Thank you.

Wing Vasiksiri, General Partner WV, dan Jeremy Au mendiskusikan tiga hal utama:

1. Makro Ekonomi Thailand yang Kuat: Wing membagikan bagaimana Thailand menempati peringkat ke-2 dalam PDB ($495 miliar USD), peringkat ke-3 dalam PDB per kapita ($6900 USD), dan peringkat ke-4 dalam populasi (72 juta) di antara negara-negara ASEAN-6. Berpendidikan tinggi, konektivitas internet rumah tangga yang kuat (90%) dan penggunaan internet yang tinggi setiap hari (9 jam).

2. Kinerja Ekosistem Startup yang Kurang Memuaskan: Terlepas dari kekuatan ekonomi dan fundamentalnya, Thailand menduduki peringkat terakhir di antara ASEAN-6 dengan hanya 180 perusahaan rintisan yang didanai (Singapura 1.780, Indonesia 860, Vietnam 340, Malaysia 280, Filipina 185). Wing membahas faktor-faktor kunci termasuk budaya kewirausahaan, modal risiko yang terbatas, VC yang berpusat pada perusahaan, bahasa, roda penggerak bakat startup, dan kurangnya dukungan pemerintah untuk inovasi.

3. Mengapa Saatnya Sekarang: Wing menyatakan optimismenya tentang masa depan ekosistem startup di Thailand, mengutip perubahan positif yang didorong oleh inisiatif pendanaan pemerintah, pergeseran budaya ke arah kewirausahaan, bursa saham yang kuat yang memungkinkan pencatatan saham di dalam negeri, Mereka juga mendiskusikan peningkatan potensial lainnya yang dapat dilakukan oleh individu, perusahaan, dan pembuat kebijakan.

Wing dan Jeremy juga berbicara tentang dampak perusahaan terhadap perekonomian, pengaruh ketidaksetaraan terhadap startup, dan jalur likuiditas pasar saham Thailand yang unik untuk keluarnya startup.

(01:50) Jeremy Au:

Hai, Wing, senang sekali Anda bisa hadir di acara ini lagi. Kami akan meluncurkan laporan triwulanan dan podcast tentang Thailand. Sangat senang sekali menyambut Anda sebagai co-host. Untuk itu, Wing, saya ingin Anda memperkenalkan diri.

(02:02) Wing Vasiksiri:

Ya. Terima kasih telah menerima saya, Jeremy. Jadi, saya sudah mengikuti episode-episode Anda dan semua co-host Anda yang lain serta konten Anda. Senang sekali bisa kembali. Dan ya, terima kasih telah menerima saya kembali. Saya rasa episode pertama yang kita lakukan mungkin sekitar dua tahun yang lalu atau sekitar sekarang. Jadi kita akan mulai dari awal. Saya akan mulai dengan memperkenalkan diri. Jadi nama saya Wing. Saya adalah Pendiri dan Mitra Umum WV. Itu adalah dana investasi GP tunggal yang berinvestasi di seluruh Asia Tenggara. Artinya, pada dasarnya saya adalah satu-satunya mitra. Tidak ada rekan, analis, atau staf. Ini adalah tim yang terdiri dari satu orang. Kami memiliki struktur dana tradisional, jadi ini adalah pengaturan tradisional dengan LP dan GP, tetapi tidak ada proses, tidak ada memo kesepakatan, tidak ada staf.

Saya hanya melakukan hal itu, berinvestasi di seluruh wilayah. Jadi saya mengelola sekitar 15 juta AUM sekarang. Saya sangat fokus berinvestasi pada tahap pra-bibit dan bibit. Jadi. Menurut saya, ini seperti pendanaan tahap pertama. Saat itulah saya ingin mengenal perusahaan dan bermitra dengan mereka sejak hari pertama.

Saya berinvestasi di Singapura, Indonesia, Vietnam, dan Thailand, yang menurut saya merupakan topik yang akan kita bahas hari ini. Jadi, itulah empat geografi inti, yang biasanya berbasis di Bangkok, menjelajahi semua wilayah ini. Ini adalah dana yang bersifat sektoral. Jadi, Anda tahu, kami adalah generalis. Sangat digerakkan oleh para pendiri dalam analisis kami dan bagaimana kami melakukan ketekunan. Jadi kami berinvestasi di B2B, B2C, perangkat keras, pasar fintech. Telah berinvestasi di seluruh wilayah selama sekitar empat tahun sekarang. Sebelumnya, saya bekerja di San Francisco di sebuah perusahaan teknologi bernama Angelus di tim operasi mereka. Dan tesis dari dana ini adalah untuk menjembatani kesenjangan antara Asia Tenggara dan Silicon Valley.

Jadi saya mengumpulkan modal dari para pendiri, operator, mitra ventura, dan mitra dana ventura di Amerika Serikat untuk berinvestasi di Asia Tenggara. Senang berada di sini dan berbagi lebih banyak tentang dana tersebut, investasi kami, dan pasar waktu dengan Anda hari ini.

(03:45) Jeremy Au:

Luar biasa. Saya rasa pasar Thailand memiliki seseorang yang menarik bagi banyak orang, bukan? Dan ketika orang-orang datang ke Asia Tenggara, tentu saja. Saya ingat makan malam yang saya lakukan dengan keluarga kantor yang sedang menjelajahi Asia Tenggara. Dan saat itu rasanya seperti, oke, Anda tahu, mari kita bicarakan Singapura. Mari kita bicara tentang Indonesia. Mari kita bicara tentang Vietnam. Dan kemudian setelah jeda itu, saya merasa seperti, saya ingin mengajukan beberapa pertanyaan tentang Thailand, bukan? Jadi urutannya seperti itu. Dan saya merasa itu adalah dinamika yang menarik. Dan baru-baru ini, Anda menulis laporan tentang pasar Thailand. Jadi bisakah Anda berbagi lebih banyak tentang laporan ini?

(04:13) Wing Vasiksiri:

Ya, tentu. Jadi saya kira jika Anda mundur sedikit, saya rasa saya sangat setuju dengan Anda bahwa begitulah sebagian besar percakapannya. Anda mulai dengan Singapura, yang merupakan pusat dari segalanya. Dan itu di luar Thailand. Itu mungkin pasar di mana saya menghabiskan paling banyak waktu, dan memiliki investasi paling banyak. Di situlah semua investor berada. Jadi arus modal masuk dan keluar benar-benar mengalir melalui Singapura. Lalu ada Indonesia, yang merupakan negara dengan populasi raksasa. Saya kira 300 juta orang, dengan PDB $1,3 triliun. Jadi ini adalah pasar yang sangat besar. Mereka memiliki dana lokal mereka sendiri yang telah bekerja dengan sangat baik dan berkembang dengan cepat.

Dan biasanya di belakangnya, di posisi ketiga, ada Vietnam. Vietnam biasanya dilihat sebagai pasar yang sedang berkembang. Banyak kegembiraan di sana juga. Saya rasa ada beberapa reksa dana independen lokal yang telah bekerja dengan baik. Dan kemudian setelah itu, ada Thailand, Malaysia, Filipina. Ketiganya saling bersaing untuk mendapatkan pasar keempat. Dan Filipina telah berkembang dengan sangat baik, mengingat besarnya populasi dan semua kegembiraan dalam ekosistem serta usaha dan teknologi. Thailand sebagai pasar juga sangat menarik. Jadi, saya kira konteksnya adalah saya orang Thailand, lahir dan besar di Bangkok, tinggal di sini selama 18 tahun sebelum pindah ke AS, dan kemudian kembali ke Thailand pada tahun 2020.

(05:19) Wing Vasiksiri:

Thailand sebagai sebuah pasar, merupakan negara dengan ekonomi terbesar kedua di Asia Tenggara, hanya dari sisi PDB. Indonesia, menurut saya sekitar 1,3 triliun dan Thailand sekitar 500 miliar PDB. Jadi, ini adalah pasar yang sangat besar. Dari sisi populasi, 70 juta orang, jadi saya pikir itu akan membuatnya berada di urutan keempat di belakang Indonesia, Vietnam, dan Filipina dengan 70 juta orang. Dan menurut saya, hal yang lebih menarik dari Thailand, terlepas dari seberapa besar ekonomi mereka, adalah seberapa besar keterlibatan konsumen secara online dan digital di pasar ini. Jadi dari laporan yang saya buat bersama BCG dan Alpha Founders Capital, kami menemukan bahwa 90 persen rumah tangga di Thailand memiliki akses internet. Sebanyak 80% menggunakan beberapa bentuk e-commerce atau telah menggunakan beberapa bentuk layanan e-commerce. Dan rata-rata waktu yang dihabiskan untuk online di internet adalah sekitar 9 jam sehari, bukan? Saya rasa beberapa tahun yang lalu Facebook merilis sebuah statistik yang, ya, gila. Banyak orang yang online sepanjang waktu.

(06:18) Wing Vasiksiri:

Facebook merilis sebuah statistik beberapa tahun yang lalu bahwa saya rasa Thailand adalah nomor satu dalam hal waktu yang dihabiskan konsumen di aplikasi Facebook, baik itu Messenger, Instagram, atau Facebook itu sendiri. Saya rasa ini terjadi sekitar dua atau tiga tahun yang lalu. Jadi saya rasa hal pertama yang harus disadari adalah bahwa Thailand bukanlah pasar yang sedang berkembang dalam hal konektivitas. Ini sudah berkembang. Seperti orang-orang yang sudah online. Orang-orang sudah terbiasa menghabiskan waktu secara online, terbiasa membeli barang secara online. Namun, para pemenangnya adalah perusahaan-perusahaan internasional yang besar, seperti Facebook yang bernilai miliaran dolar di dunia, atau perusahaan-perusahaan regional yang besar. Dan belum banyak perusahaan lokal yang lahir di Thailand yang muncul. Jadi saya pikir ini adalah tempat yang menarik untuk memulai percakapan ini, yaitu dengan mengatur latar belakang dalam konteks pasar.

(06:58) Jeremy Au:

Ya. Dan menurut saya, menarik bahwa ini adalah laporan mendalam pertama tentang ekosistem startup Thailand yang merupakan kolaborasi antara BCG, BCGX, Anda sendiri, dan juga Alpha Founders Capital. Sangat menarik untuk melihat hal tersebut, namun yang lebih penting lagi, saya rasa laporan ini menjelaskan apa yang baru saja Anda katakan, karena setiap kali Anda membaca sebuah laporan, selalu saja seperti, semuanya bagus, dan saya rasa yang menarik adalah Anda benar-benar menjabarkan laporan ini. Saya menyukai fakta bahwa Anda mengkontraskan apa yang dikontraskan seperti apa yang baru saja Anda katakan, yaitu kisah PDB. Juga, dinamika yang berkembang di mana terlihat dari berbagai dimensi, Thailand seharusnya menjadi ekosistem terbesar kedua di bidang startup.

Jadi, ini adalah laporan pertama yang saya rasa benar-benar menggambarkan beberapa dinamika yang Anda bagikan, yaitu bahwa ada banyak optimisme tentang ekosistem Thailand 10 tahun yang lalu karena berdasarkan PDB, PDB per kapita, konektivitas, infrastruktur, Thailand seharusnya menjadi salah satu dari tiga ekosistem startup teratas. Dan saya suka slide yang Anda tampilkan di sini, yaitu bahwa saat ini Singapura memiliki sekitar 1.800 startup. Indonesia sekitar 900. Vietnam memiliki sekitar 400. Malaysia memiliki 300. Filipina memiliki 200. Dan Thailand memiliki sekitar 200 startup. Jadi, di antara enam negara ASEAN, startup Thailand sebenarnya berada di urutan keenam, dalam hal jumlah total startup yang didanai versus, seperti yang saya katakan, semua fundamental makro yang mereka miliki. Dan saya pikir selalu ada tanda tanya besar. Dan saya rasa salah satu dinamikanya adalah hal itu, dan VC lokal sangat berpengalaman. Saya rasa ini adalah kejutan yang sangat besar karena 10 tahun yang lalu, semua orang berpikir, Oke, semua orang harus menghabiskan waktu di Singapura dan semua orang harus menghabiskan waktu di Thailand. Dan sekarang, maju cepat ke cerita itu. Thailand berada di urutan keenam dari enam negara ASEAN, padahal, seperti yang Anda katakan, beberapa metrik berada di urutan kedua, beberapa metrik berada di urutan ketiga, keempat. Jadi saya pikir itu adalah dinamika yang menarik.

(08:32) Wing Vasiksiri:

Ya, tentu saja. Dan saya rasa itu adalah bagian besar dari motivasi di balik keinginan untuk menyusun laporan ini. Belum pernah ada studi dan tinjauan yang komprehensif dan mendalam mengenai apa yang sebenarnya terjadi di ekosistem ini. Pertama-tama, mengidentifikasi apa yang terjadi dan kemudian mencari tahu apa saja masalah dan memetakannya, seperti memetakan jalan terbaik ke depan dan bagaimana kita dapat menyatukan ekosistem dan benar-benar mewujudkan kisah yang telah diceritakan lebih dari 10 tahun yang lalu.

Dan saya rasa BCG, mereka melakukan sebagian besar dari hal ini dan mereka melakukan pekerjaan dengan baik. Ini berjalan sangat dalam. Kami berbicara dengan banyak pemangku kepentingan. Kami bekerja sama dengan Tech in Asia. Sebenarnya, mereka adalah mitra data kami dan dari situlah statistik tersebut berasal. Jumlah startup yang Anda sebutkan pada dasarnya adalah startup yang telah mengumpulkan modal. Jadi segala jenis bentuk modal. Dan seperti 180 adalah angka yang sangat kecil jika Anda memikirkannya, bukan? Jumlah penduduknya sekitar 70 juta orang, sebuah negara yang relatif besar, tapi hanya 180 perusahaan atau lebih yang berhasil mengumpulkan modal, yang menurut saya sangat kecil, dan kita bisa membahas beberapa alasan di baliknya.

(09:29) Wing Vasiksiri:

Satu hal yang menarik untuk disoroti adalah bahwa di dalam negeri, hanya ada empat unicorn. Setidaknya dibandingkan dengan Vietnam dan Indonesia, jumlah ini masih tertinggal. Dan saya bahkan tidak tahu apakah keempat unicorn ini bisa disebut sebagai unicorn sungguhan. Jadi ada Flash Express, yang merupakan perusahaan logistik, perusahaan pembayaran OPN, Send Money, FinTech, dan kemudian Lineman, yang merupakan semacam aplikasi super e-commerce, tetapi dua di antaranya, Ascend Money dan Lineman Wong Nai, benar-benar lebih merupakan spin-off perusahaan dibandingkan dengan perusahaan yang telah melewati proses mengumpulkan uang dan benar-benar berhasil mencapai status unicorn tersebut dari nol.

Jadi, itulah motivasi besar di balik laporan ini. Hanya benar-benar memahami penyebabnya yang akan saya bahas sebentar lagi dan kemudian juga melihat apa yang berpotensi menarik, bukan? Di mana saja peluang yang kami lihat di pasar di mana masih ada ruang untuk berinovasi dan apa yang sebenarnya akan mendorong pertumbuhan pasar ini?

(10:26) Jeremy Au:

Ya, terima kasih telah menjelaskannya. Dan saya pikir itu adalah sesuatu yang tidak akan benar-benar dilihat oleh seseorang yang merupakan pendatang baru di ekosistem Asia Tenggara karena mereka melihat empat unicorn. Namun seperti yang Anda katakan, dua di antaranya sangat disponsori oleh perusahaan. Meski begitu, saya tidak percaya ada konsepsi yang sempurna di sini. Jadi, Anda tahu, saya pikir setiap ekosistem pada awalnya akan selalu memiliki lebih banyak perusahaan seperti ini dan mudah-mudahan, hal itu membuka jalan bagi orang-orang di masa depan. Tapi saya pikir mari kita klik dua kali untuk itu. Ini seperti apa, jadi apa yang terjadi, bukan? Karena 10 tahun yang lalu, ada banyak optimisme tentang Thailand. Karena banyak makro fundamental yang Anda bicarakan juga benar 10 tahun yang lalu, bukan?

Saya akan mengatakan lebih benar lagi, sebenarnya, dalam hal memimpin dalam hal PDB per kapita, dan infrastruktur. Jadi, dari sudut pandang Anda, ini akan memberikan kita platform yang baik untuk membicarakan apa yang perlu diubah di masa depan. Menurut Anda, apa yang telah terjadi selama 10 tahun terakhir ini dari sudut pandang Anda?

(11:08) Wing Vasiksiri:

Ya, jadi menurut saya ada tiga hal utama yang membuat startup sulit berkembang di Thailand, atau Anda juga bisa melihat tiga alasan mengapa startup belum berkembang. Jadi, yang paling umum yang Anda dengar dibicarakan orang, ini adalah sesuatu yang kami identifikasi dalam laporan, mungkin ini yang lebih jelas, adalah ide kurangnya pendanaan. Kami melihat ekosistem Thailand dan melihat siapa yang mendanai apa, dan ternyata tidak banyak dana ventura di Thailand secara umum. Jika Anda akhirnya memotong CVC, maka yang tersisa adalah dana perusahaan. Jumlah tersebut semakin berkurang. Dana independen sangat sedikit. Saya rasa ada empat atau lima yang kami identifikasi yang memiliki kantor pusat di Thailand dan berinvestasi di Thailand. Jadi itu satu. Orang sering menyebut hal itu sebagai yang terbesar atau gagasan bahwa karena tidak ada modal risiko yang terlibat, maka akan lebih sulit untuk memulai perusahaan, mengambil risiko, dan melakukan lompatan. Tidak ada jenis pengetahuan atau keahlian pada tahap awal pendanaan untuk mendukung para pendiri yang ingin mengambil risiko tersebut. Jadi, itu biasanya merupakan alasan terbesar dan paling jelas yang diberikan orang-orang.

Bagi saya pribadi, meskipun data menunjukkan hal ini, saya tidak terlalu yakin bahwa hal ini merupakan penghalang yang besar. Keyakinan saya adalah bahwa dalam pasar bebas, modal akan menemukan jalannya untuk jenis penggunaan yang paling efisien. Keyakinan saya adalah bahwa jika ada perusahaan-perusahaan Thailand yang menjanjikan yang memiliki pendiri yang sangat baik, peluang pasar yang besar, dan dapat membuktikan daya tarik awal yang menarik, saya pikir modal akan mengalir ke sana. Dan saya tidak berpikir bahwa, seperti semua dana regional yang ingin berinvestasi, bukan? Mereka ingin berinvestasi, mereka memiliki dana raksasa, dan mereka ingin menggunakan dana tersebut dalam peluang yang menarik. Jadi saya pribadi tidak berpikir bahwa itu adalah faktor pembatas terbesar.

(12:42) Wing Vasiksiri:

Nomor dua, hal yang terkadang dibicarakan orang dalam kaitannya dengan Thailand adalah perusahaan secara keseluruhan. Kekuatan perusahaan dan peran mereka dalam perekonomian membuat startup sulit berkembang karena beberapa alasan. Satu hal yang menarik untuk disoroti, saya tidak ingat apakah ini tahun 2018 atau 2019, tetapi Thailand adalah nomor satu dalam hal ketidaksetaraan tertinggi di dunia. Kami nomor satu dalam hal koefisien Gini, yang cukup gila. Ini adalah negara kecil di Asia Tenggara, nomor satu dalam hal ketidaksetaraan, pada dasarnya kesenjangan yang sangat besar antara orang kaya dan orang miskin. Anda melihat dinamika ini juga terjadi di dunia korporat. Ada beberapa tantangan ketika perusahaan menjadi sangat kuat. Terutama, sulit untuk bersaing dengan mereka. Mereka sangat hebat. Mereka biasanya dapat bergerak dengan sangat cepat. Hubungan yang baik dengan regulator dan kemampuan untuk mengunci konsumen pada dasarnya. Anda dapat melihat hal ini terutama di bank-bank misalnya. Saya pikir seperti SCB dan Kasikorn, dua bank terbesar di Thailand. Mereka benar-benar belum berpuas diri dalam hal inovasi dan teknologi. Mereka telah membangun unit-unit independen. SCB melakukan restrukturisasi secara keseluruhan yang memungkinkan mereka untuk membangun venture builder atau membangun dana ventura.

Dan orang-orang ini benar-benar bergerak cukup cepat dalam hal inovasi. Jadi sangat sulit untuk bersaing dengan mereka. Dan poin kedua dengan perusahaan-perusahaan tersebut adalah adanya CVC, katakanlah sekitar tahun 2017, 2018. Pada saat itu, ekosistemnya terlihat seperti akan berkembang pesat, semua akselerator ini, semua dana ini, semua perusahaan seperti, Hei, kami akan mendedikasikan X juta dolar untuk mendukung inovasi, mendukung perusahaan rintisan. Dan akhirnya tidak banyak kisah sukses yang muncul dari hal tersebut, bukan? Jadi dari luar, Anda melihat bahwa, oke, ada banyak sumber pendanaan yang siap untuk berinvestasi. Sangat bagus bagi startup untuk merasakan ekosistemnya.

Namun pada kenyataannya, ketika Anda mencermati, pada dasarnya perusahaanlah yang berada di balik setiap inisiatif yang ada, bukan berarti tidak ada yang salah dengan hal tersebut, bukan? Beberapa perusahaan telah melakukan investasi dengan cukup baik, tetapi sulit untuk melakukannya dengan baik karena sebagai CVC, Anda selalu memiliki dua motivasi yang pada dasarnya tidak selalu selaras, yaitu investasi strategis yang akan mendukung perusahaan induk dan keuntungan finansial. Dan kedua hal tersebut akan selalu bertentangan satu sama lain di satu waktu. Dan menurut saya, CVC terbaik adalah yang benar-benar melakukan pekerjaan dengan baik. Jika Anda melihat Google Ventures atau GV di Amerika Serikat atau bahkan dana CVC Gojek. Mereka baru saja melakukan rebranding. Saya pikir mereka telah melakukan pekerjaan yang sangat baik, seperti CVC dan mengapa mereka melakukannya dengan baik adalah karena mereka melakukan spin out dan mereka hampir sepenuhnya independen, yang pada dasarnya menghilangkan masalah insentif yang saling bertentangan. Jadi, ya, memiliki perusahaan dengan kekuatan sebesar itu juga menjadi tantangan tersendiri bagi perusahaan rintisan. Menurut saya, itulah dua alasan utama mengapa kita belum melihat ekosistem memenuhi janjinya.

(15:17) Jeremy Au:

Ya, saya benar-benar ingin membahas yang ketiga, tetapi reaksi cepat saya terhadap hal tersebut adalah saya pikir pendanaan adalah hal yang paling jelas karena seperti yang Anda katakan, putaran pendanaan adalah fungsi dan sinyal dari penjaga gerbang yang mengatakan bahwa ada pengurapan, tetapi juga bahan bakar roket untuk tahap selanjutnya, tetapi juga merupakan mekanisme pemungutan suara karena pada dasarnya orang-orang mengatakan bahwa mereka tidak melihat peluang di sana.

Jadi ini adalah dinamika yang menarik, yaitu pada masa-masa awal ekosistem ini, saya rasa banyak orang yang meliput Asia Tenggara dari Singapura dan kemudian, pada dasarnya memindai seluruh lanskap. Jadi saya pikir satu hal yang benar-benar memicu pemikiran saya adalah bahwa di dalam ASEAN, ini bukan hanya cerita tentang, katakanlah, Thailand yang tertinggal jauh di belakang, menurut saya, metrik makronya, tetapi juga saya pikir sampai batas tertentu Singapura juga mengungguli negara lain karena mereka adalah tempat perlindungan, tetapi juga pusat modal di mana orang-orang dapat memiliki konektivitas yang mereka butuhkan untuk mendapatkan dukungan dari pemerintah di masa-masa awal, tetapi juga merupakan waktu yang subur. Jadi ketika ada pemompaan modal oleh pemerintah Singapura untuk mendorong modal swasta untuk mendirikan pangkalan, saya pikir dia memiliki semua bagian lain yang sudah ada di sana, bukan? Seperti kefasihan berbahasa Inggris, tenaga kerja terdidik, sektor keuangan, dan sektor kewirausahaan. Jadi itu adalah waktu yang subur. Singapura menjadi pusatnya dalam hal itu. Namun, ada satu periode waktu, tepatnya ketika hampir semua investor berbasis di Singapura. Dan itu terjadi sebelum saya berpikir bahwa ekosistem modal lokal Vietnam dan Indonesia sudah cukup dewasa. Saat itu adalah waktu ketika ada pemindaian setiap pasar dan saya pikir di dalam kelompok itu, tidak termasuk Singapura, ada pencarian yang adil untuk mencari perusahaan rintisan. Jadi saya pikir itu adalah nuansa yang ingin saya tambahkan ke sisi permodalan.

(16:49) Jeremy Au:

Dan yang kedua, saya pikir bagian yang sulit dari reaksi langsung saya adalah bahwa startup dimaksudkan untuk mengganggu perusahaan yang sudah ada. Pada dasarnya, di situlah banyak nilai ekonomisnya, karena ketika Anda memiliki startup, pada dasarnya Anda meningkatkan persaingan dan sektor, bukan? Dan salah satu cara yang dilakukan oleh banyak startup adalah dengan mengatakan, Hei, kami melakukan lanskap pasar yang memiliki banyak keuntungan, di mana ada banyak margin, yang pada dasarnya menyiratkan bahwa layanan tersebut pada dasarnya terlalu mahal atau orang-orang tidak terlayani. Dan kemudian mengejar vertikal itu, bukan? Jadi saya rasa banyak cerita tentang fintech di seluruh dunia yang seperti, oke, bank, ini adalah kumpulan keuntungan. Mari kita tinggalkan Visa dan MasterCard. Maksud saya, ini adalah salah satu pendekatan untuk memikirkannya, namun saya pikir ini adalah cerminan dari kenyataan bahwa ada kenyataan yang janggal, yaitu adanya mentalitas penyerang dari sebuah startup. Dan itu berarti tentu saja, apakah Anda memiliki masyarakat yang mendukung tetapi juga melindunginya? Dan saya pikir itu adalah dinamika yang menarik, yang mana, saya pikir selalu ada pertukaran yang besar di setiap masyarakat.

(17:36) Jeremy Au:

Jadi saya pikir, seperti sistem Paten IP adalah contoh yang bagus untuk hal itu di AS. Ini seperti kami memberikan penghargaan kepada Anda jika Anda mau berinovasi, memberikan perlindungan paten agar Anda bisa mendapatkan keuntungan monopoli selama 10, 20, 30 tahun. Namun pada saat yang sama, bagaimana Anda menjadi penyerang yang menjadi petahana, maka hak-hak yang sama dapat digunakan untuk menekan. Dan saya pikir itulah yang terjadi di Apple, sensor oksigen. Anda memiliki seorang inovator melawan Apple, ada kasus pengadilan yang sedang berlangsung. Namun yang menarik adalah bahwa secara keseluruhan, sistem hukum sebenarnya memiliki tindakan penyeimbang yang harus dilakukan di antara persaingan, bukan? Dan saya rasa itulah yang saya pikirkan ketika Anda menyebutkan dinamika perusahaan besar dan perusahaan rintisan.

(18:11) Wing Vasiksiri:

Ya, saya pikir itu sangat menarik. jadi menurut Anda ini lebih bersifat kultural atau menurut Anda ini lebih bersifat seperti sistem hukum dalam hal dinamika seperti ini, apakah Anda lebih mendukung petahana? Apakah Anda mendukung pendatang baru? Bagaimana pendapat Anda tentang itu?

(18:24) Jeremy Au:

Maksud saya, ini adalah fungsi dari keduanya, bukan? Saya pikir kenyataannya adalah bahwa setiap sistem pada dasarnya bersifat konservatif dalam arti bahwa undang-undang baru tidak dibuat setiap tahun. Mereka mengikuti apa pun yang terjadi. Jadi saya pikir jika orang ingin berwirausaha dan mereka menonton YouTube, dan saya pikir itu adalah contoh yang bagus, saya telah memperhatikan banyak pengusaha Filipina yang sangat berjiwa wirausaha, dan saya pikir sebagian besar dari hal tersebut adalah karena mereka belajar dari Silicon Valley melalui YouTube dan podcast dalam bahasa Inggris. Maka saya menciptakan frasa yang disebut language locked. Namun sampai batas tertentu, Filipina, memiliki hubungan budaya yang sangat kuat dengan Amerika Serikat, sehingga saya pikir saya telah bertemu dengan begitu banyak diaspora Filipina Amerika, tapi juga orang-orang Filipina yang sangat, saya tidak tahu harus berkata apa, tapi sangat terpengaruh oleh budaya Amerika yang hiruk pikuk atau hiruk-pikuk, sehingga ada hal yang menarik di mana Anda seperti melihat pitching dan sebagainya. Dan saya seperti, Oh, Anda benar-benar bisa melihat rasa dari hal itu, hal-hal tersebut dalam hal bagaimana mereka menyampaikan, mempresentasikan, dan membingkai masalah. Jadi saya rasa ada dinamika yang menarik di mana kefasihan berbahasa Inggris dan semua hubungan lainnya memainkan peran besar di dalamnya. Saya rasa sistem pada akhirnya akan bereaksi.

Dan saya rasa kita melihat hal itu sedikit di Tiongkok, yaitu, jika Anda membangun bisnis, ada masa-masa besar ketika orang-orang melakukan bisnis game, pendidikan. Dan sekarang, berdasarkan perubahan peraturan pemerintah di mana beberapa diperpanjang, perusahaan-perusahaan besar ini tidak lagi, saya ingin mengatakannya disukai, tetapi saya pikir mereka pasti sedang diatur, dan ya, modal pasar dihukum secara efektif. Kemudian, para pendiri akan mengatakan, saya tidak akan membangun game karena ternyata pemerintah tidak suka anak muda kita bermain game. Jadi saya rasa ada sektor yang sangat spesifik, namun saya rasa jika Anda ingin menjadi pendiri di bidang teknologi pertahanan, atau semikonduktor di Tiongkok, Anda akan berkata, bagus, saya diizinkan untuk berwirausaha. Saya ingin berwirausaha dan sistem ini memberikan penghargaan kepada saya dan mendorong saya untuk berwirausaha.

Jadi saya pikir Anda harus memiliki semua itu. Jadi saya agak penasaran dari sudut pandang Anda, apa yang Anda pikirkan tentang bagaimana hal itu berlaku untuk ekosistem Thailand.

(20:04) Wing Vasiksiri:

Ya, saya pikir itu adalah pertanyaan yang sering saya pikirkan, yaitu ide tentang apakah ini lebih bersifat top-down atau bottom-up dalam hal apa yang sebenarnya terasa seperti inovasi dalam sebuah ekonomi, bukan? Anda berbicara tentang Singapura sebagai contoh emas dari sebuah negara kecil yang berhasil memposisikan dirinya sebagai pusat di Asia Tenggara. Dan bagi saya, setidaknya, hal itu sangat jelas bersifat top-down. Itu seperti inisiatif pemerintah. Rasanya seperti pemerintahan yang dikelola dengan baik, rezim yang stabil, perencanaan untuk masa depan, dan penekanan yang tinggi pada pendidikan dan teknologi, menciptakan tempat yang aman dengan semua aturan pajak juga. Mereka menjadikannya lingkungan investasi yang sangat menarik. Dan saya tidak tahu apakah ada sesuatu yang secara inheren bersifat kewirausahaan dari orang-orang Singapura yang merupakan bagian dari budaya mereka. Saya tidak tahu, tapi sepertinya ini adalah hasil kerja yang sangat baik dari regulasi top-down pemerintah. Dan saya tahu kita mungkin pernah membicarakan hal ini sebelumnya, namun mereka mengunggulkan generasi pertama dari semua dana ventura di Singapura.

(21:01) Wing Vasiksiri:

Saya yakin banyak dari dana regional teratas saat ini pada dasarnya adalah produk sampingan atau awalnya diunggulkan oleh pemerintah Singapura, dan ini sangat keren. Ini adalah ide yang bagus, bukan? Saya rasa tidak banyak negara lain yang melakukan hal tersebut, namun jika saya bandingkan dengan Vietnam, yang mungkin secara politik tidak begitu stabil, namun mereka tetap berhasil memposisikan diri mereka sebagai negara nomor tiga di Asia Tenggara dalam hal startup dan antusiasme. Dan ketika saya melihat negara tersebut, setiap kali saya berkunjung, saya rasa negara tersebut lebih bersifat kultural. Saya pikir orang-orang di sana secara alamiah, mereka sangat berjiwa wirausaha. Mereka berani mengambil risiko. Mereka memiliki rasa memiliki dan mentalitas berani mengambil risiko yang saya rasa tidak saya temukan di negara lain. Seperti ke mana pun Anda pergi, orang-orang memiliki pekerjaan sampingan, mereka bersemangat, mereka bekerja untuk membangun bisnis mereka sendiri, dan Anda akan sangat merasakan energinya saat berada di Ho Chi Minh, jadi menurut saya hal tersebut sangat menarik. Jadi saya rasa jika Anda menerapkan hal tersebut di Thailand. Dan itu sebenarnya akan menjadi poin ketiga saya tentang mengapa hal ini belum memenuhi janjinya selama 10 tahun terakhir. Saya percaya ini adalah masalah budaya. Ada banyak cara untuk melihat hal ini, tetapi mengikuti talenta terbaik biasanya merupakan tempat yang baik untuk memulai.

Jadi, jika Anda melihat talenta terbaik, saya akan mendefinisikannya sebagai talenta terbaik, tetapi mari kita lihat orang-orang yang lahir di Thailand, dibesarkan di Thailand, tetapi akhirnya belajar di luar negeri. Mereka pergi ke Amerika Serikat, mereka pergi ke Inggris, apa pun itu. Itu biasanya merupakan diaspora pengusaha yang cukup bagus untuk melihat orang-orang berbakat. Jadi mereka belajar di luar negeri dan kemudian kembali. Jadi, ini seperti, bukan brain drain yang tinggal di luar negeri, tetapi mereka yang kembali. Jika Anda melihat kelompok orang tersebut, mereka hampir secara eksklusif bekerja di bidang perbankan atau konsultasi. Tentu saja, ada pengecualian di sana-sini, tetapi sebagian besar, saya pikir 90 persen lebih dari orang-orang yang saya kenal di lingkaran saya, tertarik pada pekerjaan tersebut karena statusnya yang tinggi. Dan itu adalah mentalitas yang sangat berbeda dengan memulai sebuah perusahaan, mengambil risiko dan pada dasarnya menjadi seorang pendiri. Jika di situlah semua pekerjaan bergengsi tinggi berada, di situlah talenta terbaik akan pindah. Masuk akal jika ekosistem itulah yang akan berkembang karena talenta-talenta tersebut pindah ke sana. Jadi saya rasa itu yang nomor satu, secara budaya.

Nomor dua, orang Thailand sebenarnya cukup berjiwa wirausaha dalam hal memulai perusahaan dan ingin menjadi pemilik bisnis, tetapi aspirasi mereka biasanya bukan untuk menjadi seperti Mark Zuckerberg atau Jeff Bezos. Ini lebih kepada memulai bisnis gaya hidup tanpa tanda kutip di mana Anda mendapatkan keuntungan sejak awal, menghasilkan uang, dan menghasilkan kehidupan yang sangat baik untuk diri Anda sendiri. Dan pada dasarnya Anda dapat mempertahankan keuntungan ini, dan membangun bisnis yang baik, tetapi tidak perlu meningkatkan skala demi peningkatan skala. Ini lebih seperti bisnis gaya hidup berkelanjutan yang bekerja dengan sangat baik untuk Anda secara pribadi. Dan itu bukan hal yang buruk. Ini seperti orang yang tahu apa yang mereka inginkan. Mereka menginginkan kehidupan yang mewah dan berpenghasilan tinggi sejak dini. Dan mereka belum tentu akan membangun perusahaan bernilai miliaran dolar. Salah satu alasannya mungkin karena tidak banyak kisah sukses, bahkan di seluruh wilayah dan terutama di Thailand, orang-orang yang berhasil dalam hal memulai sebuah perusahaan, keluar dengan nilai miliaran dolar, dan menciptakan banyak kekayaan bagi para karyawannya. Jadi, Anda belum pernah melihatnya, bukan?

Jadi tidak ada reaksi yang mendalam seperti, Hei, saya pernah melihat hal itu terjadi di sana. Itu adalah jalan yang potensial. Jadi, orang sering kali memikirkan jalan yang lebih aman dan berkelanjutan bagi mereka, yang menurut saya pada akhirnya, mereka dapat membangun kehidupan yang baik bagi mereka, namun tidak harus masuk ke dalam ekosistem startup yang kami cari sebagai investor. Jadi saya pikir itu adalah poin terakhir bagi saya, yang menurut saya sangat besar secara budaya. Dan saya mulai melihat hal itu sedikit berubah. Kita bisa berbicara sedikit tentang mengapa demikian, tapi saya pikir dari sisi budaya, budaya bottoms up belum kondusif untuk memulai startup dengan mengambil risiko, dan orang-orang yang telah melakukan hal tersebut yang telah menempuh jalur itu lebih banyak menjadi pengecualian dan itu bukanlah sesuatu yang selalu menjadi status yang tinggi dalam masyarakat di sini.

(24:37) Jeremy Au:

Dan saya harus menanyakan ini, tetapi Anda lebih berAmerika, apakah itu berarti Anda lebih menyukai perusahaan rintisan?

(24:42) Wing Vasiksiri:

Maksud saya, ini adalah pertanyaan yang bagus, bukan? Saya rasa hal ini juga tergantung di mana Anda berada di Amerika, karena belum tentu di semua tempat di Amerika, Anda akan bersemangat dengan perusahaan rintisan. Menurut saya, hal yang unik dari California, Silicon Valley, adalah budaya yang tidak hanya menerima, tapi juga merangkul kegagalan Anda. Orang-orang memakainya sebagai lencana kehormatan bahwa mereka pernah mendirikan perusahaan yang gagal dan hal ini tidak sama di Asia Tenggara. Saya melihatnya di sini ketika saya berbicara dengan para pendiri. Mereka lebih enggan untuk berbagi berita buruk. Orang-orang tidak bersemangat atau tidak bangga untuk mengatakan bahwa, hei, saya memulai sebuah perusahaan yang tidak berhasil, seperti halnya di Silicon Valley. Saya pikir itu sebenarnya adalah salah satu bahan besar untuk menjadi lebih Amerika, lebih berani mengambil risiko, dan lebih terbuka atau menerima kegagalan mereka sebagai bagian dari cerita.