Michael Smith aka Smithy, now partner of Jungle Ventures and their new fund, SeedPlus. We discussed the backstory in how the fund is assembled, the key people from LPs to partners and their investment thesis. We examined the broader Southeast Asia market and the key issues in how startups can scale across a highly fragmented ecosystem.
Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion (with time-stamps included):
- Michael Smith (@dreampipe, LinkedIn), Partner, Jungle Ventures for SeedPlus.
- Since we last spoke, you have moved from HOOQ to Jungle Ventures, what’s his latest gig? [1:15]
- Getting his experience working with venture backed companies with Hian Goh from NSI Ventures [1:50]
- SeedPlus fund by Jungle Ventures (See their launch in Tech In Asia) [2:50]
- The backstory of how Smithy joined the SeedPlus fund through David Gowdey and Amit Anand, the partners from Jungle Ventures. [2:50]
- SeedPlus is inspired by First Round Capital and check out their review [4:20]
- The investment team from SeedPlus: Gabriel Lundberg and Tiang Lim Foo [5:10]
- Do you have an investment thesis for the fund? [6:06]
- What is the range of funding which it invests in startups? How does it relate to the Jungle Ventures fund? [8:27]
- The LPs behind SeedPlus: Jungle Ventures, Infocomm Investments or IIPL (under Singapore Government), Ratan Tata (Chairman of Tata Group but investing under his personal funds via R&T Associates) and Accel Partners India. [10:50]
- What are the traits you look for in a startup founder? [11:54]
- How does startups scale across a highly fragmented Southeast Asia or ASEAN market? [15:08]
- For startups in Southeast Asia who want to get investments from VCs in Singapore, do they need to be incorporated in Singapore as a requirement? [18:40]
- For startups to enter into the Southeast Asia, should it be a city based or provincial approach? [19:48]
- Since SeedPlus start, how many deals have they done? [21:00]
- How is it like to move from the sell (entrepreneur) to the buy (venture capital) side? [24:08]
- Do SeedPlus bring in mentors to help them with their startups? [26:55]
- How has the VC scene changed in Singapore to service the broader Southeast Asia? [27:50]
- A question from Michael Smith to our host: When will the microphone be turned over to BL for an interview? [31:02]
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- Product Hunt
The show is hosted by Bernard Leong (@bleongcw) and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) with their new Altizen Desk on Indiegogo (Twitter, Facebook, Medium). Also check out Ideal Workspace’s new standing desk, Altizen and sign up for their mailing list. Sound credits for the intro music: Taro Iwashiro, “The Beginning” from Red Cliff Soundtrack.