The Secrets to Investing in Emerging Technology Ecosystems

Asia Partners Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Nick Nash, On Building Successful Business in Southeast Asia

In an eye-opening first episode, Pinn Lawjindakul sits down with Nick Nash, Managing Partner and Co-founder of Asia Partners. Previously the Group President of Sea, Greater Southeast Asia’s leading internet company, Nick’s extensive experience in the region allows him to offer unique insight into why high-caliber teams have frequently failed in Southeast Asia.

Listen to the full episode above on Spotify or over on iTunes.

On factors that made Sea a success

The company was a raging success during Nick’s time there, and he credits the company culture and underdog mentality with giving them an advantage.

On valuable insights for people moving from investing to an operating role

Nick noted that people working in a professional services environment, often with a high billing rate, often develop a “selling” mentality that includes “premature gravitas.”

On why high-caliber teams have failed in Southeast Asia

Many companies have struggled with operations in Southeast Asia, though they’ve been successful elsewhere. What have they missed? Showing up and taking an interest in the countries you want to succeed in, he said.

GGV Managing Partner, Jenny Lee, On How She Selects Emerging Market Companies

Pinn’s incredible second guest is Jenny Lee, Managing Partner at GGV Capital, a global venture capital firm that invests in local founders. Best known for her focus on startup innovation in areas such as edtech, fintech, robotics, and AI, Jenny joins Pinn for a conversation on the differences between investing in the emerging markets versus the US/UK, the skills she looks for in local founding teams, and the number one mistake she sees experienced investors make when investing in new ecosystems.

Listen to the full episode above on Spotify or over on iTunes.

On the major differences between investing in emerging economies and more developed ones like the US and UK

Jenny has been investing in China for about 20 years and has seen the talent pool emerge as a key factor in the entrepreneurial growth in Southeast Asia.

On her philosophy for choosing talent for her investing team

As entrepreneurs in emerging markets may not have access to resources that are taken for granted in the US and China, what facets can an investor look at to get a sense of the people behind the startup? Jenny mentioned that it’s crucial that the founder and leadership team be able to learn quickly and demonstrate charisma.

On why successful global companies have failed in Southeast Asia

While Southeast Asia is referred to as if it were homogenous, it’s actually 11 countries with substantial diversity. A “one size fits all” approach is not likely to work.



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