We interview Vinnie Lauria (@vlauria), founding partner of Golden Gate Ventures in Singapore. We discuss how Vinnie moved from Silicon Valley to Singapore with his wife Kristine Lauria (our guest on episode 6), the Kauffman fellowship, the back stories behind the most interesting start-ups in Southeast Asia: RedMart, 99.co, Carousell, Bilna and Coda Payments where they have shifted the ground with follow-up investments from Sequoia, Softbank and other major players entering the region. We discuss the challenge in navigating Southeast Asia landscape from legal, infrastructure, payments to talent acquisition.
Here are the interesting links for the discussion:
- The story of Vinnie Lauria from Silicon Valley to Singapore, recapping ten years back in 2004 where Facebook is in its infancy, Mike Arrington organizing parties and writing on TechCrunch and his story with Meetro and Lefore (acquired by CrowdGather).
- He recaps the story of how he met some notable alumni from National University of Singapore Overseas College (NOC) and subsequently that connect the dots in the future – Gwendolyn Tan (Tech In Asia) and Vinod Nair (Money Smart).
- The Kauffman Fellowship with notable Kauffman fellows in Southeast Asia: Amit Anand (Jungle Ventures), Nick Nash (General Atlantic), Tan Yinglan (Sequoia Capital).
- The tale behind the founding of Golden Gate Ventures in Southeast Asia with Jeff Paine and Paul Bragiel.
- The interesting back stories of portfolio companies and people within Golden Gate Ventures:
- RedMart, the online groceries shopping ecommerce site in Singapore which subsequently receive US$23M from Softbank and Eduardo Saverin.
- Carousell, mobile marketplace raised $6M from Sequoia Capital
- Bilna, Indonesia ecommerce for baby products.
- Nitrous IO, a code development platform on the cloud startup started from Singapore and move to San Francisco with series A round raised from Bessemer Ventures in Silicon Valley
- Coda Pay solving the online payments space in Southeast Asia
- 99.co with Darius Cheung, a notable serial entrepreneur and angel investor in Southeast Asia and recently, 99.co received US$2M from Eduardo Saverin and Sequoia Capital.
- The challenges in operating in Southeast Asia: (a) Infrastructure, (b) Legal (ref: Justin Hall’s article “Investments, and navigating Southeast Asia legal morass“, (c) Talent and compensation, (d) Cultural shift with a short tale on Danny Tan, founder of HipVan in Hackerspace SG.
Producer’s Note: In the course of the podcast, you will hear Chinese opera music lingering in the background. The reason is that the recording is done from Bernard’s home on level 4, where a funeral procession was happening below in the same evening when he was recording. We have done our best on the audio file but you can hear the interview pretty clearly with a slight background noise. Our apologies if you feel the sound quality is not up to mark.