Tiny Dragon Podcast: Exploring Southeast Asia’s Tech Startup Landscape with Jeremy Au

· Press,Southeast Asia

In this Tiny Dragon podcast episode with Elaine Ann, Jeremy Au delves into the intricacies of the Southeast Asian startup ecosystem. He highlights the region's diversity, pointing out the unique challenges and opportunities presented by different countries within ASEAN. He also discusses various startup types, focusing on how they cater to local markets and the importance of understanding cultural nuances. He emphasizes the critical role of founders in achieving product-market fit and adapting to changing technological landscapes.

Check out the podcast here and the transcript below:

(00:00) Jeremy Au:

If you're investing in a VC as a VC into startups, you're obviously looking for companies able to grow to about a hundred million dollars of revenue, and then if they have a 10X multiple, that becomes a unicorn in terms of a billion dollar valuation. The question is how do you achieve a hundred million dollars?

And assuming that you have relatively strong margins in this scenario, then of course, if you happen to find that in Singapore, then great, I think it's pretty hard, but if you do find it and some startups have figured out, yeah, why not, but if you can do that in Indonesia, yeah, sure you can do that. Why not?

And so I think there's this interesting dynamic where there's this phrase called going global and I'm always like, but going global where, right? It's not as if the whole globe is, it's not like a giant surface area. In fact, I think there's a very fast way, I think, for, you know, A lot of companies have suffered.

So for example, we saw some Southeast Asian countries companies have, for example, expanded that and over the past few years, for example, C group. Hello,

(00:52) Elaine Ann:

Welcome to tiny dragon, where we dive deep into tech startups, mastering product market fit, even in the most unfamiliar markets. I'm your host Elaine. Join us as we dive deep into the hearts of tech startups, uncovering the secrets of how tech startups found their product market fit, turning complex insights into actionable strategies for entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts alike.

Okay. Welcome to the tiny dragon. So today we have a best special guest Jeremy Ao. Jeremy Ao is from Monk Hill Ventures and he's a VC. So I understand that Jeremy, you have been a successful entrepreneur and now investing in two dozen startups, right? So maybe you can give us a more deeper understanding of your background.

(01:37) Jeremy Au:

Yeah. Happy to share for myself, grew up in Singapore, then study at UC Berkeley for my undergrad and Harvard for my MBA. I've been a consultant at Bain. I have been a founder twice. The first time was social enterprise, a consultancy agency, the second an education tech startup. And I've angel invested in over two dozen startups across Southeast Asia.

And I'm currently a VC with Mongsil Ventures. I'm also happy to share. That I also host a podcast called the Brave Southeast Asia Tech Podcast with over 40, 000 monthly listeners at www. bravesea. com. And I'm really happy to share my thoughts and resources about what's going on.

(02:16) Elaine Ann:

Can you tell us a little bit about Monk Hill, Monk's Hill Ventures? What's your focus? What kind of startups do you invest in?

(02:24) Jeremy Au:

Yeah, happy to share. Monk's Hill Ventures is focused on Southeast Asia startups. So the team is primarily. Former entrepreneurs. So we are helping other entrepreneurs who are very focused on supporting companies in the pre A and series A stages.

So roughly about stages where the product market fit starts to click, but also starting to scale and improve and enter new markets. So this is something that we're quite happy to have specialized in and happy to share more.

(02:53) Elaine Ann:

Okay. I know that you said that Southeast Asia is not a place, right? Can you explain a little bit more about the complexity of that region and how it's different?

(03:03) Jeremy Au:

Yeah, I think Southeast Asia is a complex place because Southeast Asia doesn't really exist. What we mean by that is obviously it exists in the sense of geography and we all share some common features, right? But somewhere between East and West there's obviously a huge trade route that travels between for example, China and Northern Asia.

To Europe and the West, right? America. That being said, of course, if we zoom in one level deeper, especially from a technology perspective, then we realize that ASEAN, which is the association for Southeast Asia countries. It's a very large coalition of countries with very different languages, cultures, religions, economic background, history.

Obviously there are similarities and patterns and clusters, but we do have to acknowledge, for example, that even within say the ASEAN six and top six economies, which is Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, if you think about that, just to give an example, we'd be like, okay, it's obviously Asia.

And then you're like Singapore and the Philippines. Okay. Both speak English. If you look at GDP per capita, I think it's an order of magnitude that's different. If we look at the also like the economic base of activities as well, Singapore is very huge, actually on oil and gas, as you can imagine, finance sector, as well as import export, whereas the Philippines has a very different economic base.

And then let's flip the toggle again, right? Thailand and Vietnam, they speak different languages, different cultures, relatively closer to each other than Singapore and Philippines, for example. But also very different GDPs per capita, right? So Thailand's GDP per capita is significantly higher than that of Vietnam.

So, but if you look at Vietnam, their PSR score, the educational score is like a world class, right? Especially for the level of spending that you do in education as well. So I think these are all dimensions that make it give you a pause because I think we understand, for example, when I was working in the U S we had to do market expansion from Boston to New York.

And the truth of the matter was that it was tough, right? It was really tough to do that because there's different geography, different operations, different clusters, different, some habits. I still, if you think about it, it was like same GDP per capita, effectively same education background, same language, same culture, right?

Very easy logistics and the same distance between, for example, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, it's very different, right? Even though both countries shared a similar history for so many years. But they've diverged since 1965. So I think it's a interesting set of dynamics where I think founders had to be thoughtful about how to expand, but also which markets to select and how to be thoughtful in the expansion strategy.

(05:41) Elaine Ann:

Is there a pattern with the tech startups that you invest in? Where do they start first in Southeast Asia and where do they go to?

(05:50) Jeremy Au:

Yeah, I think there are several clusters. Even say that I'll say about four major types, I would say. I think the first major type of course, historically has been Singapore first.

So it'd be a Singaporean founder to some extent building Singapore because Singapore does have the highest GDP per capita in Southeast Asia. Effectively, it has a high GDP per capita than the UK and it's equivalent to that of the US, right? And it's always an interesting dynamic where a former crown colony right now has a high GDP per capita.

But what that means is that I think there's a very strong population base. It's highly educated. a very globalized and entrepreneurial as a result on a per capita basis. Obviously it's still a small population, small market. And so what is that these Singapore companies eventually work very fast to go regional or global after that.

So you see, I think Southeast Asia. That Singaporean startups, for example, tend to be on the high end of the value chain, for example. So for example, you notice that they are working on one example, be alternative proteins that requires, as you imagine, a lot of government support on the R and D. So you see total tree, right?

You see the entire alternative protein space that's being built out in Singapore. That's one end of it. Other aspects like B2B SaaS, a lot of FinTech is being built out because again, they're leveraging Singapore's not just in terms of. Economic expertise, and again, oil and gas, manufacturing, financial services.

Also because the economy also trains up, engineers who have that prior experience. Right? Because it's hard for you to build a FinTech company if you don't have finance expertise. So it's just a natural cluster that merges there. I think the second cluster that we see, of course, is Indonesia only. So you see that there's a lot of founders who are starting in Indonesia and they're very much focused primarily on Indonesia as a market because Indonesia does have 300 million people.

It's a very wide base. So you see supply chain startups like Dagangan and Basket are working on the wholesaler as a play chain from getting goods in, for example, tier two and tier three cities. There were previous guests on podcasts on Brave. But I think you see this, that dynamic where I think they acknowledge that, Hey, Indonesia is at this stage and the market is big enough.

So you see other things like agri tech, agricultural tech startups, like Eritani, which is doing that for rice and eggs. They're doing that for chicken. So lots of different approaches. I think that folks looking at, I think the third cluster that we've seen, of course, is. I would say Vietnamese startups as well, I think lots of engineering.

So they're very focused on, I think, education, for example. So we see marathon education coming out of Vietnam, but again, all these Vietnamese characteristics are there, right? So I think it's interesting to see some of the robotic startups are coming out there because they have a strong manufacturing base that they have there.

So there's another cluster that we're seeing emerge. And of course, I think the fourth one is, I think there's a giant like sea turtle or diaspora dynamic. So obviously we see so many folks from Southeast Asia who are studying or working in the U S and they take the opportunity, for example, to travel back.

Southeast Asia, right? So for example, you see quite a lot of Filipino Americans of Filipino diaspora. They returned to the Philippines to set up companies or they was studying or working in the rest of Southeast Asia. They set up companies in the Philippines, but that's one example. So for example, another guest we have had is like Hive Health, right?

Founders studied in the U S at Harvard Kennedy school and Harvard MBA, and then decided to come back. to the Philippines to build a healthcare HMO platform, right? For the whole of the Philippines. So lots of different clusters. I actually have another podcast episode where I talk about how these aspects are monetized, but happy to share more as well.

(09:26) Elaine Ann:

Interesting. Yeah. Wow. Yeah. It seems this, you mentioned the sea turtles coming back versus the local. Are there any differences in how they approach starting startups?

(09:37) Jeremy Au:

Yeah, I think so. I think that the truth of the matter of course, is that talent is like universal, but opportunity is not. And I think one thing is that for example, a lot of folks who go to the U S the question is how did they get there?

Right. The per day, for example, got opportunity to take and get a U S education. Did they get the opportunity to work at a top startup or unicorn or see that for themselves? So I think there's this aspect, obviously that I think a lot of the sea turtles have that breath experience. I think one interesting challenge to have is that again, like we talked about at the start of this podcast is that Southeast Asia is a very complex place and it's definitely not America.

Right. America's GDP per capita is similar to Singapore, but Singapore and America's GDP per capita, actually, there are like multiples of that higher than the rest of Southeast Asia. And so. I think that there are both success and failure stories that have happened from this, right? Success stories, of course, would be Anthony Tan at Grab, right?

As well as his, was a half MBA, right? And he saw Uber success in the U S and then he returned to Malaysia and start effectively a localized version of Uber, which eventually became Grab. But we also saw that at Gojek as well, was also another half MBA. We'll return to Indonesia at the same time and also localized and use Gojeks, for example, to as their primary mode of transportation that localized it.

So that's a success story, but there's a lot of failure stories as well, because you come back and then you're like, Oh wait, like why is it B2B SaaS? It was like, it was like classic stories. A lot of folks came to Indonesia. And they were like, Oh, okay. We're going to put a subscription price because we really sester and all the subsects are out there about how amazing a subscription price and blah, blah, blah.

And it turns out like, oops, I can't get wholesalers or these folks to pay a subscription price because there's no culture of doing so, and there's no understanding of how to do it. And also the margins are too thin for subscription pricing. So you end up charging based on uplift or so on and so forth.

Percentage of the GMV. So these are all different approaches, but you can imagine it's much more volatile business, right? And so that's just. Dynamics is makes it quite difficult. That being said, of course, there are also lots of local founders who have just grew up and studied at work their entire lives in Southeast Asia, and they've also been successful.

So if you look at so many founders, for example, the top university for the unicorn founders in Southeast Asia is the National University of Singapore. Harvard is lower down the list, Stanford is lower down the list. And if you actually look at that top 10 list, obviously the Ivy league. It's quite well represented, but actually there are many local universities that generated unicorn founders in Southeast Asia, and I think it's a good way for us to understand that.

I think if you're a local founder, then there's no issue with that. So again, it goes back to, it's like hunger, ambition, ability to localize, it's all things to be thoughtful about.

(12:33) Elaine Ann:

And as a fec, do you look for tech jobs who can globalize or does it matter? Is it okay that they just focus on home markets or you're looking for them to expand as big as possible?

(12:47) Jeremy Au: Obviously all of it, right? If you are investing in a VC as a VC into startups, you're obviously looking for companies able to grow to about a hundred million dollars of revenue, and if they have a 10X multiple, that becomes a unicorn in terms of a billion dollar valuation. The question is how do you achieve a hundred million dollars?

of revenue, right. And assuming that you have relatively strong margins in this scenario, then of course, if you happen to find that in Singapore, then great. I think it's pretty hard, but if you do find it and some startups have figured out, yeah, why not? But if you can do that in Indonesia, yeah, sure. You can do that.

Why not? And so I think this is interesting dynamic where this is phrase called going global. And I'm always like. But going global where, right? It's not as if the whole globe is, it's not like a giant surface area. In fact, I think there's a very fast way, I think, for a lot of companies to suffer. So for example, we saw some Southeast Asian countries, companies have, for example, expanded that over the past few years, for example, C group.

And during the expansion to Latin America, it was this very expensive endeavor, right? There are some similarities in those economics, but as you can imagine, like we talked about, the culture is different, the language is different, and then you have to support a different time zone team to go attack the market.

And so in the end, it was just like, Hey, we got to prune to the markets that we really care about. Rather than do the whole service area. So I think going global is such a amorphous phrase. I think it's more if your founders are saying like, okay, how do I get this hundred million dollar revenue ballpark?

Right. And you're already at probably one or 10 million by the point you're starting thinking about this. So I think, and I find that a leadership team often very much knows which markers to go after.

(14:21) Elaine Ann:

Yeah, yeah, because Glowing Global is very U. S., right, like, U. S., especially in the past, right? So I'm wondering if going to Southeast Asian tech jobs, do they have that same mindset of wanting to expand overseas, or are they more comfortable with Staying close to home.

(14:40) Jeremy Au:

I think that Southeast Asian startups are quite comfortable with expanding countries. But again, I think it depends on the specific country and again, their business model. So like you said, I think going global is such an American phrase because I always joke, I always used to work on these Excel models for a US company.

It'd be like, this is America. South America, Europe, then rest of the world, you know, so it's like, after they carve out China as one column, it's like China, rest of the world, then China, India, then rest of the world, right? The rest of the world is getting shrinking a little bit. It says going global is like you go to those regions, right?

So I, again, I think going global is such a, I think it's a bit of a self handicap in terms of expansion. Would you say a Singapore company expense in Malaysia, it went global? To me, I don't think some person will be like, wow, you're a global company. I was like, what? No, I'm a fishbowl manufacturer who has a factory in Johor, right?

To them is a one hour drive, right? If there's no traffic. I'm just saying, let's take a step back here. It's just like, if what you're saying is our country, if you see, for example, I was discussing Valerie Vu, she's the founder partner of Ansible Ventures, and she's a co host on a brief podcast. But we're just discussing, for example, market expansion for Vietnamese entrepreneurs, very comfortable expanding to Laos and Cambodia, which are neighbors, she was where she talks about this.

If she goes to those countries, she can always find a good bowl of banh mi because it's such a huge community of expatriate Vietnamese founders. while working right in these markets. But from Singapore's perspective, how many Singaporean entrepreneurs are there that are working in Cambodia and Laos?

I think this is, I've met a few of them when I traveled to the markets, but it's not a natural expansion path. So for example, it's very common for Singaporean founders to expand to, for example, Malaysia. Because of how similar the history, all the stuff, and also it's very easy to service. But I've also seen like B2B SaaS companies that have expanded from, for example, from Singapore to Hong Kong because, you know, the way they think about it is more like in terms of GDP per capita.

So again, it's in terms of the development, economic, and the comfort of companies to pay for SaaS fees. Then you see that way around, you see a lot of Hong Kong founders go to Singapore because they're like, okay, I understand this market a little bit better compared to going straight to Indonesia, which is very different from Hong Kong's perspective.

So again, I think the way we should think about market entry, maybe a little bit more, if you had to look at it in terms of patents, would be more like looking at corridors to some extent.

(17:04) Elaine Ann:

And cultural relevance, right?

(17:06) Jeremy Au:

Yeah, yeah. And cultural history as well, right? So as far as the Philippines and America have very strong ties, right?

(17:13) Elaine Ann:

True, true. That's very interesting. Yeah, because I think in the US, a lot of startups, like they first go to English markets first, right? America, Europe, and then Australia, before they even think of, Other cultures or other countries. Yeah. So maybe, yeah, in Asia, there's a similar pattern as well. Finding countries that are close to, close, you have relevance to, right? Yeah.

(17:39) Jeremy Au:

Yeah. And I think language is a big part of it, like you said, right? Because let's look at the whole internet, right? It's pretty much in English, right? And then there's a secondary chunk of it is in Chinese. And, but if you look at that and then you look at all the productivity stuff, right? They have tools like HubSpot, et cetera.

A lot of those tools for many years was this English only. So you couldn't even access these productivity tools. And let's talk about knowledge, right? Substack. American approach to venture capital, like it's all in English, right? And then you have your, even your chat GPT and your AI tools. They're all in English, right?

Because it's too hard to train them on Thai or Khmer. Like these are just subscale in terms of the training material for AI, right? So language is actually a very key dynamic in Southeast Asia. Yeah, absolutely. Some countries that majority English speaking are predominantly, and then some countries where it's only, I think a tenor section, right?

5 to 10 percent of the population speaks English. And so in a previous podcast, I talked about being language locked. So it's like being landlocked, right? Some countries in the world are landlocked. They don't have access right to the ocean. Right. And so they don't get opportunity to trade in terms of the maritime dynamic.

They don't have a fishing industry. So the economies that they have are different, right? Because then they're very dependent on their neighbors, because if you access the ocean, then you can really trade with the whole world, actually. Whereas if you're land, landlocked. All the trade, even through the ports that's in your neighbor's port.

And then they had to go through your neighbor who's going to charge customs and tax for shipping something that you already bought yourself. So I think this is interesting dynamic where you're landlocked. I think there's a lot of countries in the world that are language locked. So predominantly not English speaking.

(19:20) Elaine Ann:

Even Japan, right? Japan, Taiwan. No, they're not primarily English. Singapore is, right?

(19:30) Jeremy Au:

And I think it's totally fair. I think I'm a big believer in being bilingual at minimum, right? So there's nothing wrong with that. I think it's something important about cultural heritage and so forth. I think we have to acknowledge that it just makes a huge difference, right?

If a founder isn't fluent in English, how are they going to raise capital in like growth stage capital, right? Because most of the growth stage capital series B series C series D they're based in America. Right. You know, and you expect it to not, because eventually when you go IPO, you're supposed to listen where, right.

You're supposed to get bankers and so forth. You need to have probably have to be fluent in English. Right. And so there's an interesting dynamic where again, it's not a requirement. But it's a strong asset to have because then you're able to communicate and compel. And so I think that's why we see, if you look at all the founders and they're all pitching, they're all pitching in English.

Right. And so I think there's a, I think we just have to spell that out at some level. And so obviously it's not a binary thing. It's, I always tell people it's like, Hey, everybody has the ability to improve. Martin Luther King got a C minus in public speaking in a university, and I'm pretty sure today he's pretty much considered an A plus, right?

But I think he just had to be thoughtful about the fact that, yeah, if you want to be a founder, if you want to be able to raise significant amounts of venture capital from a global investor base, yeah, we're probably all going to be the lowest common denominator, be speaking English to get that happening.

(20:55) Elaine Ann:

Yeah. So for your company, what kind of like trends do you see happening now?

(21:02) Jeremy Au:

Yeah, I think that different opportunities that we see in Southeast Asia, I think first of all, the macro level is that there's a rising GDP per capita growth is this happening because of the entrepreneurial and economic activity of the whole region, right?

So in aggregate, if you look at GDP per capita, rising. I think it's rising as a faster rate in Europe. Right. And it has fundamental macro drivers that allow it on a sustained basis without much government stimulus. For example, you hide in the U S one. So again, obviously fingers crossed, everything continues growing, but if you think about it, it's crazy, right?

It's really nothing to sneeze at. If the economy is growing 5 percent year in year, 7% Yeah. And yeah, as a fundamental level, that means every business that you have should grow, you know, 5%, 7 percent on average, right?

(21:50) Elaine Ann:

Is it because of the young population there?

(21:54) Jeremy Au:

I think it's a function of lots of different things. One is a young population. That's obviously one dynamic. Most, I think, countries have really focused on, in general, on education, on infrastructure spend. It also has also decided that peace and trade is a good idea. And those things are really important, right? In general, because when you are, have a whole coalition of countries, if you think about it, Southeast Asia wasn't like a peaceful place 50 years ago, for example.

And so I think there's something for us to be thoughtful about is that I think we shouldn't take this for granted, but there's lots of different levels. And I think digitization and urbanization are also big trends of it. And that allows the whole region to be like rising, tight lipped all boats. And I think there's an interesting dynamic where as a result, I think you see a rising middle class.

You see everybody who's using their phones. And I've been working with so many great Southeast Asians. Today, I think they'd be considered Gen Z in America, but I always tell people it's like Gen Z in America. The way we use it is very different from the way you talk about Gen Z. In Southeast Asia, right?

For example, American Gen Z be like, okay, they're using TikTok, they're using Discord, they're doing a lot of gaming. Yeah. There's some similarities in Southeast Asia, like Gen Z obviously, but they might be using like TikTok, maybe gaming on their phone, things like that. But I think there's an interesting dynamic where, you know, having so many countries with almost universal smartphone access now is bonkers.

And so there's a lot of opportunities where there's a lot of new customer behaviors that being built from scratch. How many countries in the world, the America and Europe had a lot of landlines. And after that it took longer for them to move to cellular, but some countries in the world, for example, in Southeast Asia, as well as in Africa, just leapfrogged the whole landline dynamic because the technology wave came later.

And so just leapfrog straight to wireless, right?

(23:45) Elaine Ann:

Leveling the playing field also, right?

(23:48) Jeremy Au: Exactly, right? And it's just a natural wave of how digital technology cascades across the world at different times. But I think there's this fundamental level that's driving the overall economic growth, right? Because everybody wants a better life.

And if there's peace. and trade, then that's allowed to happen, right? If you don't have peace, then you don't get to keep what you make. So nobody's going to make anything because you're off getting somewhat getting what someone else is making. Yeah. Yeah. If there's no trade, then everybody has to be self sufficient, make your own bread, water, power supply.

Then you're not going to move up the value stack. Right. But you have peace and trade that I think people can be entrepreneurial. With business. Right. Have you seen any

(24:30) Elaine Ann:

Yeah, go ahead. No, go ahead. Yeah. Have you seen any changes before and after Covid? What's the big difference?

(24:38) Jeremy Au:

Yeah, I think what's before and after Covid, I think Southeast Asia has had, whether it relatively, well, I think that Southeast Asia in general, obviously there's obviously country differences as well.

But in general, first of all, Southeast Asia had already some exposure to SARS as a virus. So there's a lot of governments who already had some level of preparation, operate plan that they had on a shelf to be like, okay, this is something that we think about and care about. That's one. But two, I think if you look at Southeast Asia, I think that you look at the dynamics of the population, healthy population, relatively young, also made it that intrinsically it was this.

Less vulnerable to some of the effects of COVID, right? Compared to populations that are older and less well in terms of health, right? And then if you look at the current inflation crisis, that's pretty strong in America, for example, we see that Southeast Asia's inflation has been moderate, right? Oh, okay.

Higher than normal because of the global dynamics and energy and food, for example, production in, for example, in Ukraine and Russia, right? Ukraine is the breadbasket of the world for wheat and sunflower oil and so forth. And then Russia obviously has oil and gas. But if you look at it still inflation has not been that bad in Southeast Asia because of the domestic agriculture dynamics, but also there's a trade and dynamics in how they've chosen to do that trade.

(25:59) Elaine Ann:

Oh, so you mean like food wise, it's self sufficient over there? Yeah, a little bit more.

(26:04) Jeremy Au:

It's just a lot of trading. It's hard to get beef, for example. But I think it's something to be thankful for. And then from the whole pandemic dynamic, obviously drove a lot of digitization. Right. So a lot of folks were at home and then they basically upgraded the internet.

So I think a lot of people discovered online shopping, which was great for the people who do online shopping platforms. But also I think people started to discover more of the online finance because we're doing shopping online. Then you probably need to set up a wallet. It's hard to pay cash on delivery and the platforms do not want to handle cash either.

So those are like in tandem, right? You want to buy something on internet. Okay. I had to go set up a wallet. Okay. I'll set up a wallet to buy something on the internet. It's not really the other way around. Nobody sets up a wallet first. And you're like, okay, great. Now I have a wallet. Okay. Now I want to buy stuff on the internet.

So I think there's an interesting dynamic where I think we have to understand that technology comes in, not just waves globally, but also comes in layers, right? Start out first with e commerce, then you start e commerce, then you start doing logistics because the parcels can, up to a certain level, can survive the existing infrastructure system.

But then once you hit a certain level of like packages per day, the system breaks down, right? And so you start building up that logistics layer across the region. Then you can imagine the wallets happen because again, you need to pay. Then once people have wallets, then you can start doing like lending, right?

Because now you have wallets, you have a little bit more online credit history. There's an interesting progression you can imagine where the technology is heaven. What's the word? Technology tree, right? And I always joke, it's like civilization, right? If you're a place of civilization, there's this technology tree where you can research, for example, it's like, you can start the wheel first and only after you do wheels, then you do horses, whichever thing, but only horses and wheels, unless you do chariots, right?

You know what I mean? You can't do a chariot without horses or wheels, right? So I think it's an interesting dynamic where like Southeast Asia as a whole, and you can look at it also country by country. It's slowly like marching along the skill tree. That technology.

(27:58) Elaine Ann:

So is it like because of the pandemic? Have everybody upgraded to digital, like using digital money instead of cash now over there?

(28:09) Jeremy Au: I say that the governments have gotten a lot more focused on digital cash. So you see a lot of the central banks, for example, really innovate in terms of trying to push digital cash. So for example, like Singapore during this timeframe, really set up the pay now network and really focused on that.

So digital payments and allow people to transfer cash one, one to one without using Venmo or square cash, right? So it's a government program with the banks and they have zero transaction fee, right? Which is amazing if you think about it, because from a government's perspective, it's like, why are we giving 0.

1 percent or 1%? To some random man in the middle to run a network because you're basically taxing my whole economy. If you think about it, transferring it to another country, right? Probably the U S right. Allow that to happen. So I think a lot of countries are doing domestic transfers and being sure that it's easy to do, for example.

And then now you see that happen across the whole region where governments are pushing hard to allow for some level of. Domestic transfers, and now you're starting to see also cross country transfers that now can be done on a personal basis using those same rails. So I think Singapore, Malaysia just recently announced that now you can transfer up to a thousand dollars to one another without paying any fee, which is, if you think about it, bonkers, right?

Because it's not a clear transfer, transferring the cash will cost you some bits of that, right? Depending on whether you're a large conglomerate versus SME versus personal. And now you can do that instantly rather than taking days, right, for the money to arrive. So I think you're going to see that trans, that utility increase over time as well.

(29:44) Elaine Ann:

Okay. Okay. Yeah. One of the reasons why I want to do this podcast is because I think in the past, a lot of tech startups are like originally from the West, right? And actually all the guest speakers that we're inviting are cross culture. People, East, West, cross, and I'm super interested to, to hear about how, for example, tech startups in Singapore, when they go to other cultures or when they go to the West, what are the issues there there is in terms of product market fit and figuring things out in a culture that's dissimilar to them.

Do you have any interesting cross cultural stories to share with the companies that you've invested in?

(30:30) Jeremy Au:

I think the biggest cross cultural issue you can have is not understanding your customer. And that's really important. And going back to what, just because someone's speaking English like you, doesn't mean that they're the same customer, right? Fundamentally, I think you just have to sit down and say, what exactly are the decisions they're making and what they're looking at?

I think a common problem I've talked about is like B2B SaaS, right? I think that's been a very common problem in Southeast Asia. There are many founders from the U. S. or U. S. trade or U. S. studied who said, Hey, we want to be a B2B SaaS company. And the truth is, I think if they're building this in Singapore to some extent, and I, I think.

But also in a capital cities of Southeast Asia. So you're like in Jakarta or Bangkok or Manila. I think there's actually a tin layer, at least at minimum, of companies that are willing to talk to you. Because the truth is there's lots of companies in Southeast Asia that are working across the region.

They already buy some level of SaaS, especially if they're an English speaking company, then from their perspective is, Hey, you know. I can use HubSpot. So great. Brave and HubSpot recently did a collaboration on sales transformation and growth. But I'm just trying to say here is you can imagine a scenario where if they're already buying a tool that's off the shelf from their perspective, then they already have that cultural attitude to be able to say, I'm willing to pay that subscription fee.

I think the tricky part, I think it comes in two ways, right? Just because they're buying that tool doesn't mean that they have the same dynamic where they're like, okay, I want to buy a lot more. So the same, I think America, there's a very strong culture to be like, Hey, we're willing to keep switching or improving our technology stack.

But in Southeast Asia, I think that layer is not as incentivized to do so yet because they just don't have that mechanics, right? They don't have that. reps. For example, working at this global law firm and they literally had an innovation officer, right? Equivalent. And this person's job for us basically to evaluate technologies continuously to see which technologies or tools could improve the productivity of the law firm.

And I was like, wow, that's a very specialized role. But that's not, doesn't really happen. In most companies in Southeast Asia. Yeah. I think about it. This person is preparing a monthly report to say these are opportunities that we have. And so obviously it's still obviously a tough global partnership to service and not a lot of technology obviously gets approved at the end of the day.

But just to have that function, this means that they're always on the scan. And so you can imagine some best of breed. Software that says, Hey, what's up? This is one particular problem. You can actually probably make it through the selection and sourcing process all the way to the bake off, to the trial, to the demo, to the probation period, and then pilot, and then eventually cascade into a full sale like that enterprise sales motion can really happen.

But if you're looking at Southeast Asia, if this doesn't exist, it may be the CEO who makes a decision. It could be a CFO or COO. So it's a little bit more complex, I think, from a B2B SaaS basis to be like, okay, who exactly is Southeast Asia and this Southeast Asian company is the one we should be talking to.

But then you flip the switch a little bit here as well is next layer down is actually quite shallow. Right? So what I'm trying to say here is that there's a lot of folks where it's not adopting. A lot of solutions that's there and a big part of it actually fundamentally is that because GDP per capita is low, it's actually cheaper to use humans and less painful to do that switch.

So for example, if we look at like HR processes and a lot of like accounting and bookkeeping, that's a lot of accountants and HR personnel in Southeast Asia and their salaries and all of it. It's lower than in the U. S. Right.

(34:05) Elaine Ann:

It's probably cheaper than a SaaS platform, right?

(34:08) Jeremy Au:

Yeah, exactly, right? Because a SaaS platform is, wait, I'm charging, just imagine, wait, you're charging me five US dollars per employee versus my department of five people.

I'm using your example, right? So you imagine, so one is the cost dynamic, then there's a transition dynamic where you're like, do I really have to do this? The cultural change to get people to use the self serve platform versus having a department. And then you think to yourself, am I going to fire this department of loyal people who have been here for 10, 20, 30 years?

Right. You know, and then, and then the pricing model is different, right? You're trying to proceed, you're like, Oh, wait, I want to add 50 employees. Do I have to, whatever. And then you look at this group and you're like, wait, this, they asked a group. They're like, yeah, we can handle 50 more people. No problem.

And they're using Excel and to do all the work. So I think we just had to do this, take a giant step back and just be like, Hey, so you end up in a situation where cross culturally someone comes back to Southeast Asia and they're like, I want to do B2B SaaS. And then they just get stuck. Does it like Having this very long conversation about, Oh, wait, how do I transform these aspects of the business?

And you end up in a very consultative mode, right? A corollary of that, for example, is A lot of people want to do product led sales in Southeast Asia, because again, in America and to some extent in Europe and to some extent in Australia, people are so comfortable with SaaS that people are able to buy software without ever talking to a salesperson or with minimal contact with salesperson.

Again, product led growth. So I see the demo, I see the ad, I click on it, I play around it. I do a self demo. I onboard myself. I tell my company. And then I've talked, I've talked to so many founders who have tried to do this in Southeast Asia. And it's much harder, right?

(35:50) Elaine Ann:

Because you need levels of approval, right?

(35:54) Jeremy Au:

You need levels of approval. So you're like, okay. And then two is no one's going to log in. And I'll give an example. It'd be like product led growth would be like, okay, I want you to connect your bank account with this and we'll pull all the transactions for you to show, blah, blah, blah. And then you guys are like, okay, we're using plate or some API that we trust.

Do it. Okay. You know what? It was just give it a shot. Right. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Southeast Asia is like, what? We don't have that. Exactly. No one's going to be like, I'm not going to give you my bank account. One. Two is my bank accounts. I'm in four countries. So it's not as if they're unified anyway. And then three is we don't even have the APIs that we trust to do.

Why are we going to trust you with this data? And four is, is they don't even have the layers or infrastructure to do it. So I'm just saying, you just end up in more of a consultative sales motion. To do, you can't do product like growth. Right. And

(36:45) Elaine Ann:

How do you advise your startups to find product market fit? What are the steps that they need to do to actually know their customer if they're coming from a foreign market?

(36:57) Jeremy Au:

The awkward reality here is that I think a founder is the key to that, right? It's not a. Yeah, there's some quantitative metrics that we can talk about it, right? So you say, okay, your lifetime value is three times higher than a customer acquisition cost, right?

Okay, your net promoter score is like 70 or 80, right? So it's very, customers love you. If you ask your customer, if you left, how sad they would be, you know, scale 1 to 10. You want to make sure that the vast majority of people are very unhappy if your service was gone. So these are things you got to do.

But these are all more like quantitative, like kind of board level metrics to measure that to some extent. But at the end of the day, from a qualitative basis is the founder, right? The founder and executive team is the people day in, day out talking to customers. For example, one of the issues that we talked about on the HubSpot and Brave podcast collaboration that we had here was that we talked about one of the transitions that founders can do is for example, they may end up as a scale hiring a sales team, nothing wrong with hiring a sales team.

But one of the most important parts about why the founder has to take some sales calls is that you're able to understand what a customer wants. And you're able to provide a demo to the customer and then the customer says, you know what, these are the things that I like about the system. And these are the things I hate about the system.

And these are the things that I want to see more of. And so to some extent, if you hire a sales leader who insulates you entirely from touching a customer because you're exhausted and you're an introvert and you don't want, you've got other stuff to do, fundraise and manage a board. I'm just giving an example, right?

But you can end a scenario where the founder is divorced from the customer and that would then create that. dynamic where the product roadmap is increasingly drifting away from what customers really want and need. So your product market fits, that's the weaken over time. And then because of that, your sales productivity drops over time because it's not selling the product that you want, or that they want.

And then you end up in a scenario where, you know, the product market fit is weakening, which is okay. But then the truth is some of these lagging indicators may not show up for quite some time, right? For example, when you do an NPS survey to say, do you like our product? It turns out they have to have used your product.

And then you probably ask them after three months, right? So you could be like, imagine you take three months on board, three months to finally ask the question. It could be six months before you start to understand, Hey, people don't really like our product as much. And of course, the numbers go down a bit and you call hard.

Then you gotta wait, right? You're gonna wait for the next cohort is six months. And you're like, okay, I've got two data points that my NPS is dropping. Okay? Mm-Hmm. You add a third cohort and then now you're like, okay, our core, now our NPS has been dropping for three cohorts in a row. But then effectively, if you think about it, that's effectively two years before you caught the fact that your product fit isn't as strong as you thought.

Right? And then you, so I think that's a very interesting trap that can occur. And I, I say this not because it's. Something that happens to all founders, but I'm just saying that it's something that can happen to a founder setting the scale of the sales team. Right. Right. I think it's a good way to indicate how the corollary to that obviously is that if a founder is in touch with the founder is close to the customer, they get drinks or go for dinner parties with the customers.

And I always tell people, I was like, yeah, if you're only meeting customers during then if you're only meeting your customers during the zoom call, You probably don't understand your customer. You only meeting 'em during sales meetings. You probably don't understand your customer, right? Like you have to take them out, right?

You have to go for lunch or coffee or dinner or drinks. Are you gonna know them? You gotta hang out with them. Then you understand your customer, right? Otherwise, you know, guess what? It was just being transactional one another, but you're not really relational about they really care about.

(40:35) Elaine Ann:

So maybe having founders who are good salespeople is a, is a plus. Is that, what do you look for in founder, in founders?

(40:44) Jeremy Au:

You know, obviously Shroof is every successful founder who builds a, you know, a hundred billion dollar revenue company, they all have some level of similarity, which is that over the course of 10 to 15 years, they've all become good leaders to some extent, good product market fit to some extent, all the caveats.

But in general, I think you notice that all of them are really solid in terms of the understanding of the product, the customer, the team, what they're good at, what they should delegate, how they want to manage some self awareness. About what they need to do differently and what they're good at. I think this is something that happens over time.

And so these are all aspects that you notice as well. And also I think for them, also all of them have a huge spirit for learning and self improvement because the truth is, and I'm going back to what you're looking for. The truth is at the earliest stages in early stage venture capital, between now and then in 10 years, they're going to be super solid for those who make it.

And they're going to have their own style and flavors of how they lead and do things. But in general, I don't know, if you're doing like Dungeons and Dragons, yeah, your skill points are like much higher across the board and obviously there's some variation, but in general, there's no glass cannon. Nobody, you know, is only strong on one dimension and they're weak on everything else.

It's, everybody's generally strong, but with some variation there. And, but then now 10 years in advance, your skill points are relatively low, right? Maybe you have stronger summit than others. But so I think what you really have to look out for, I think, is their willingness to learn and grow. Because the truth is, even if at this entry point 10 years in advance, you are very strong, relatively strong, but you don't have that spirit of learning you're just never going to get there.

Right. You're just going to fall apart, right? And you see so many founders who have fallen apart, right? Because it's just Didn't scale the companies. Right. So recently we saw SBF, right. And I was reading the biography of him by Michael Lewis, who obviously wrote the big shot and some great financial crime and stories as well as some great stories, right.

Like money ball, right. Which is about people are trying to, are smart and outgame the financial system. Some of them are heroes in his books. It's not that my villains. Right. I thought it was just interesting to see that at some level. And the earliest days of crypto days, he's just a smart cookie. Right. He's smart. Right. And he's hardworking. He works like crazy.

(43:03) Elaine Ann:

Sequoia Capital also invested. It's like, yeah.

(43:06) Jeremy Au:

And so if you look at the earliest stages of it, I'm just saying that there's a dynamic where he was building a really solid business and an exchange. was currently identified by him as well as other folks in the crypto space as a doable business model where you don't take on the volatility of the market.

And then you end up just servicing parties and being that middleman or platform where people can buy and sell. And so technically an exchange is actually the most stable way and the safest way to be in a crypto market. And there was some amazing insights when I was reading this biography to be like, Hey, this guy really understands.

The financial system at a level is stronger than myself, actually. Right. But I think if you look at that, you can just quite clearly see in a story, it says he makes it work at a certain level. And then at some level, he just stops growing the company, right? He's not thinking about, he doesn't believe in organizational hierarchy.

He doesn't believe in risk management. He doesn't believe in financial controls. He doesn't believe in a board, right? He calls the board, the DocuSign board, because it's automatically DocuSign, whatever needs to be done. They're not a real board. Right. Ends. Obviously, I think we'll let the financial trial away as it goes out and so forth.

But I do want to take a step back is we know what ending of the story is, which is negligence and fraud and all these other dynamics that are being pursued in the legal system. But I always tell people, I was like, think about that. Right. It was like, at the start, he was okay. Right. So where'd he go wrong along the way?

And I'm pretty sure if you ask him, if you ask yourself too early, maybe, I mean, I mean, but the other way of saying that is that he was, this was didn't grow fast enough. Right. In comparison to the growth and the money that was receiving as well. Right. Outside in is too much money corrupts, but inside out is he didn't grow at the pace needed to manage that money. Right.

(44:56) Elaine Ann:

So you, so you mentioned about keep learning, right? So now that AI just sprung out, like with ChatGPT, how do you see things changing, like with the tech startups that you're investing in?

(45:07) Jeremy Au:

I think AI is a really powerful tool and I think it's really transformative because at a deep level, obviously we've had machine learning for a while.

And then before that we had statistics and obviously we had chatbots for a while, but I think this was a nice convergence of these technologies and something that. Has made it much, much more powerful. I really have the blessing and privilege of being able to teach as a professor adjunct at university and teach them about venture capital and startups and so forth.

And it's really interesting because all of them are effectively now AI native because it's like Chechi Pitches makes it so much easier for them to write an essay. I don't think, or, or even just within the last year. Yeah. And it just happened in the past year. And if you think about it, it's just like bonkers because one year everybody did their essays by hand and then.

And then now you can just do that automatically. And so there's this huge transformative shift where, you know, all these folks in the early twenties, basically enter the workforce real soon and just be like, use AI natively for everything. I've seen some crazy stuff happen. One person told me that. He broke up with his, somebody using a script that was generated by chat GPT.

And I was like, I was like, never thought of that. I received an apology letter that was quite clearly from my perspective. I call it AI fishy. So I can't, so AI fishy is a podcast, like I wrote, but it's basically saying, Hey, like it's a time, a term of coin where it's like, it looks like. AI probably wrote this, but I can't say it actually is, so I'm not going to claim it is, but it does feel, it has that flavor of it, of AI generated apology letter, which was trying to be sincere, but came across as not sincere.

Or maybe the human just writes like that. It writes in a way that's not sincere naturally. So be it. But I think that's, yeah.

(46:55) Elaine Ann:

Are your students using AI in a critical way, or it's Essays generated by AI.

(47:02) Jeremy Au:

I mean, I think it depends, right? And I think it depends on the person, actually, to be honest. I always tell people that I think it just brings up people much faster and people can imitate and emulate faster than they can do from first principles.

So what I mean by that is, you know, I, when I grew up, I had the benefit of going to a school that has a school library in a country that allows these school libraries to be there. And then I was able to. I had to tie a tie every morning for school, a little fancy, and obviously I was able to learn in two ways, right?

One was I learned it from the other people in my class who somehow, someone's dad taught them how to tie a tie. And then you're doing it with each other to practice tying a tie. And then, you know what? I remember I had, there was a school library book and it was like a book on tying a tie. And so I was like, pull it up.

And then obviously. In person, you only learn one, but then now you're like learning about the double wins or not. You're learning about all the different types of knots. Imagine a book full of tie styles. What a crazy resource to have and what a crazy library to have, where it's, it makes sense to stock a book on ties.

So you put that one side and I benefited from that and then suddenly the internet happened. And then I was one of those kids that suddenly had a computer at home. And then think about it. Like you suddenly had all these message boards and stuff like that, where you could learn anything. And now fast forward to today.

If you want to learn to tie a tie, you just go on YouTube and you can tie a tie, right? You just click the play. And then recently I was like learning how to cook tomato and eggs because I was just, I watched like seven YouTube videos, maybe 10 different chefs is showing that tomato and egg recipe, which is a pretty basic one.

But I wanted to see what different flavors were. So think about that learning jump that has happened from there. Right. Because recently I was working with somebody and that was this person. She was in the Philippines, right? And so let me say that again, let's cut it out. I was working with someone and she was based in a country, but she was also based for the outright in the, let me say that again, because I know.

Okay. And I think one thing I've noticed is that for example, when I work with founders in different countries, depending on what their base, there's an interesting dynamic where I'm like, Hey, I recommend this book to read. And then they're like, Oh, I can't afford to read this book. And I'll be like. Hey, want to check out your library?

And then they're like, Oh, the library is five hours away. Let's just think about that gap. And then you go, okay, you know what? Let's find an online substitute. So imagine a scenario where the physical library is harder to access now, that knowledge. Then the internet, right? So it's like a crazy technology shift you have here.

I'm talking about this because I think we're seeing this for generative AI, right? We're just, people are now able to understand and say, okay, you know what? I didn't know how to make a startup deck, right? I didn't know how to write an investment memo for VC, but now they're able to see the style and do that jump themselves. Yeah. So I think now it's a faster ramp.

(49:54) Elaine Ann:

Fake it until you make it.

(49:56) Jeremy Au:

Yeah, exactly. And then. And now fake it is really good. And I think that's how humans learn. You just do more of it. And you're right. I think some people just coast and not really understand what's going on. So be it. And AI has been demonstrated to help lower skilled workers more because they are able to catch up more compared to high performers in many ways, like customer service or sales reps.

But I think what's interesting about this dynamic here is that I think it's just this initial phase where it's benefiting. But I think soon the superstars, the people who really want to learn and be aggressive about their growth. They're going to stack, they're going to use this as a foundation and then just stack on aggressively on top of it in a different way to make it more powerful.

One interesting thing that I was reading was like talking about salespeople, right? So now with salespeople, they can use AI and scripts, but basically they're like calling 20 people at the same time. It was bonkers. I was just like reading this case study. And basically they're using this AI tool, this guy's a superstar.

He's look, I can call every voice. It's like the old school, right? Remember those old days where it was like the boiler room, they pull up the phone and then they'll like dial individual numbers by hand. Now you have this person in the screen of 20 calls going simultaneously. And then the one that picks up, he just switches on and then, and then there's a live AI coaching him in a conversation, telling him about the tone of the customer.

And then he's like using this, honestly, a cyborg from that perspective, right? Human mechanical union. You sell, right? I ended up like this guy is a superstar, right? In sales. So I think there's this interesting dynamic where I don't think necessarily that people are coasting. I think it's just that right now, from my perspective, is that with internet and AI, and this is a podcast that I'm starting to write this.

I don't think there's anything now, at least in the English world, I think it's impossible to be a beginner now. So what I mean by that is no more, no such thing as a beginner because a beginner implies, Oh, I'm interested in finance, but I don't really know much about finance. Yeah. I was in a meeting recently and it was a very difficult technical conversation about finance.

And so I've just another table, the most junior person, which is okay because that's good because that means I'm not the smartest person in the room. I'm the dumbest person in the room. That's okay. Cause then I get to learn because they're all talking about some finance terms and so forth. And what I did, even though I'm a beginner in this finance world, I just pulled up my phone.

I just was taking notes and I just typed it as what does this mean? And it's spat out the thing. I'm just, I didn't even use Google. It's a spat out. I'm just saying all the terms. And I was like, okay, what does it mean in the context of this other conversation that term that they use? And they spat it out.

And so even though I'm, I won't try and say here, I don't think there's any, either you don't care about a topic or you are an intermediate. person in this world today. There's no such thing thing as a beginner anymore. At least in a digital realm, I think in tennis or golf, I think that is a physical layer that you have to do it for sure.

To some extent, you know, you always have to go to that beginner phase, but for so much knowledge that's out there, if you want to learn biology now, for example, like either you don't like biology, so you don't care. Or you just log in and you just go to YouTube Khan Academy and then you put one YouTube video on the side.

You put ChatGPT on the other side. Anything you don't understand, just type it out in. You're going to be an intermediate biology student by the end of the day, right? You know what I mean? Because you just skip this basic stuff, right? You're like, what is plastic? What is an ester? What is a organic chemical?

You can ask all those questions in parallel to a video.

(53:24) Elaine Ann:

Yeah, I think people have to be much more self initiated, right? To, to, to keep learning, to upgrade themselves.

(53:30) Jeremy Au:

Yeah, exactly. And I think if they have that self interest, the internet and ChatGPT is more than happy to give them space. But of course, expert level will always take longer, right? That, that, that one is for now. Yeah.

(53:44) Elaine Ann:

Okay. Maybe just to summarize, what's one takeaway you think the audience can take away from this interview from you?

(53:51) Jeremy Au:

Yeah, I think the biggest takeaway is that technology is just moving faster and faster, right? And I think one thing that a lot of folks think about is, okay, I'm using this technology tools, therefore I'm in the flow.

And the truth is, I think it's about a spirit of learning and self awareness that new technology is happening and it'll continue to happen. Every five years, every 10 years, like VR is almost here. I use VR like once a month, but it's almost here. Like, I think it's going to be one of those things that will come eventually.

Digital money, crypto, obviously a lot of winter right now going on, but you can imagine scenarios where they can recombine with AI, with VR, different things. But there's also other types of technology that's happening, right? If you look at, if you're in a supply chain, you're seeing the emergence of. More B2B models, financing models, earn to wage access.

So I think Southeast Asia is a really interesting dynamic and wherever you are in Southeast Asia or in the world, I think you just have to stay hungry and stay on top of these technology trends. And also to be, as a result, I think acknowledge two things. I think first acknowledge there's a lot of fear because everything technology that comes out.

Oh yeah. They're winners and they're losers. Right. I always tell people it's like the job of seamstress doesn't exist anymore. It doesn't exist anymore. Look at Singapore. We're down to a dozen tailors. They can do a suit. So I'm just saying there's an interesting dynamic where you know that technology waves, and the truth is it grows the pie.

Mm-Hmm. But also it changes the allocation of the pie. And so I think there's a lot of fear understandability. And so obviously we require like government action, societal work, community work, to be able to redistribute and make sure that technology is helpful for everybody. But I think we have to acknowledge that there's a human fear that happens because when technology happens, it's scary, right?

It's changing. The truth is, I think every human prefers stability and comfort at some level. You also, change is always scary at some level. And so the converse of that is that I think in order to be in technology, I think you just need a lot of courage and a lot of bravery to really be able to acknowledge that fear and then keep going, which is, it's okay to be a noob in AI.

So recently somebody was talking to me and she's like, Oh, I'm really scared of AI. I feel like I'm going to be left behind. I like, I'm an amateur at AI. And then I was like chatting for, and I was like. Look, you and I are on the same boat, right? AI has only been around for effectively two years on the mass market.

Like everyone is an amateur. Everyone's new to this technology. The good news about technology is that everyone's always new to this new wave. So if you're interested to learn, we can become intermediate experts eventually, but it's new to everybody. Right. So acknowledging that fear, but also acknowledging that is this, this perpetual treadmill, I think also gives us Wisdom and freedom to forgive ourselves and let ourselves have that spirit of wisdom and grace and action under pressure, which has leads into what other people consider courage and bravery, but from our perspective is this simple, like action, regardless of the climate.

(56:53) Elaine Ann:

Yeah, when electricity first came out, people were fearful that they will be electrocuted in the house also.

(56:59) Jeremy Au:

Yeah, exactly. They killed an elephant and everyone was scared. Oh my gosh, electricity kills elephants. And now the entire world just runs on it, right? It's bonkers, right?

(57:08) Elaine Ann:

Yeah. Okay, great. Thank you so much, Jeremy, for your time. How can our audience contact you?

(57:15) Jeremy Au:

Yeah, feel free to go to www. bravesea. com. We have resources, training, and courses on how to think about Southeast Asia and tech. And it also has my details in terms of how to reach me on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts as well. So, it's a great opportunity.

(57:36) Elaine Ann:

Awesome. Thank you, Jeremy.

(57:38) Jeremy Au:

Alright, see ya.