Jon Russell from TechCrunch joined us for a conversation on whether “winter is coming” for the startup ecosystems across Asia from China, India to Southeast Asia. We started with the continuing war between Uber and their counterparts, Ola, GoJek and Grab from a four wheels to two wheels transport and the continuing fundraising tales of Didi and Uber. We also discussed the recent investment from Eduardo Saverin, co-founder of Facebook in India and the impact of Rakuten marketplace shutting down in Southeast Asia. Finally, we probed deep into the question on whether the startups from China, India and Southeast Asia are in the days of reckoning with the impact of China equities crash and US funds lowering the valuations of unicorns.
Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion (with time-stamps included):
- Jon Russell (@jonrussell, LinkedIn, Newsletter: Asia Tech Review, Personal Site), Reporter at TechCrunch
- What has he been up to and what are his areas of coverage in TechCrunch? [0:45]
- Event: Kauffmann Fellows Southeast Asia summit [1:17]
- What are the interesting flashpoints in Asia?
- Ola vs Uber in India with motobikes [2:50],
- The three way fight between Uber, Grab and GoJek in Indonesia. [5:42]
- Didi raising US$1B more than Uber in China [6:08] .
- Eduardo Saverin strikes again but in India with Hopscotch. [8:18]
- Rakuten’s shutdown in Southeast and its impact to Ecommerce in Southeast Asia. [9:18]
- Rakuten keeping Viki and Rakuten Ventures in Southeast Asia. [11:10]
- Winter is Coming to Asia [13:00]
- There have been rumors of down rounds happening in Southeast China, mainly due to China’s equities crash and US mutual funds reducing valuations of unicorns, have we seen anything close to that? [13:10]
- Taxi wars: The total amount of funding raised across Uber, Lyft, Didi, Ola and Grab are almost US$7-8B (based on Josh Horwitz recent reporting) and they all own a common investor in Tiger Global now and then we are hear a bit more being raised, and there is only so much money one can raise, are we about to see consolidation and who will cave first? [14:38]
- Have there been any fire sales or companies running out of money? Ref: Passport Asia shut down and The story of Zo-rooms acquired by Oyo-rooms. [17:20]
- While startups in China, India and Southeast Asia have been fed with truckloads of money focusing on growth,will we see the shift back towards unit economics and profitability in the next 6 months to 2 years? [19:22]
- Reference: The Next Amazon (Or Apple, Or GE) Is Probably Failing Right Now by Ben Casselman in Fivethiryeight [21:10]
- Recently, Golden Gate Ventures came up with the view that Southeast Asia startups should consider M&A instead of public, and it is known that China and North East Asia, India companies have ambitions in NYSE and NASDAQ, is that true or false or somewhere in the middle? [22:46]
The show is hosted by Bernard Leong (@bleongcw) and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) with their new Aspirus Desk on Indiegogo (Twitter, Facebook, Medium) and Linkcious (and check out their other product, Chiibi). Also check out Ideal Workspace’s new standing desk, Aspirus and sign up for their mailing list.