Arnaud Bonzom, co-founder of Map of the Money joined us to review the state of Southeast Asia in 2018. We started with the conversation on the movers and shakers in the ecosystem with Grab’s acquisition of Uber Southeast Asia and its quest to be the super app with Go-Jek standing in her way. We discussed how the startup ecosystems in Southeast Asia have evolved, with the venture capital firms raising their 2nd or 3rd rounds and family funds who are set to join in the fray. We discuss how the market in Southeast Asia is shifting in each country and the upcoming unicorns to watch in 2019.

Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion (with time-stamps included):

  • Arnaud Bonzom (@arnaudbonzom, LinkedIn, Slideshare), Co-founder @ Map of the Money, Entrepreneur in Residence at INSEAD Business School [0:24]
    • Since our last conversation, what have you been up to? [0:39]
  • State of South East Asia in 2018 Review [0:58]
    • Event 1: Movers and shakers [1:20]
      • Grab acquisition of Uber Southeast Asia and its implications on Grab and Go-Jek’s strategies in Southeast Asia including their partnership with incumbents and startups. [2:07]
      • Is the current fight between Grab and Go-Jek a proxy war between Alibaba and Tencent in Southeast Asia? [4:42]
      • Indonesia is the largest market in Southeast Asia, and does Go-Jek owning Indonesia with their super app means that they have economics of scale against Grab in the longer term? [6:12]
      • The problem of monopoly for Grab and Go-Jek with governments in Southeast Asia imposing fines on Uber and Grab after the acquisition. [8:29]
      • Will Didi buy Grab to have some breathing room to go public? [10:56]
      • Exits from SEA Group and Razer [11:44]
    • Event 2: Influence of China Tech Giants in Southeast Asia [11:50]
      • What are the Chinese technology companies doing in Southeast Asia with Alibaba, Tencent, JD and Meituan-Dianping? [12:12]
      • Reflection on how China tech companies operate vs US tech companies in Asia Pacific, for example pervasiveness of Wechat Pay in Thailand. [15:10]
    • Event 3: Startup Ecosystems in Southeast Asia [15:30]
      • Are there lack of seed funds and series A funding in Southeast Asia and at the same time, the comeback of venture builders such as Entrepreneur First and Antler? [16:00]
    • Event 4: Venture Capital Ecosystem in Southeast Asia [18:56]
      • Seed and Series A VCs raising their 3rd fund (Golden Gate Ventures, Jungle Ventures) and Series B VCs raising their 2nd fund (Qualgro, B Capital, …), does that mean that most better performing funds are now going upstream?  [19:02]
      • Where do you see countries like Thailand (Siri Digital Ventures) and Asian families (RHL, Aurum) building their own funds? [21:20]
      • How about vertical driven venture funds in Southeast Asia? [24:16]
        • Verticals driven funds in Southeast Asia: Play Ventures (Gaming), LuneX (Blockchain), Start Today, Visvires New Protein Ventures (Food technology), Tryb (Fintech)
      • How are the LPs structured in Southeast Asia, for example, are they mostly from family funds or sovereign wealth funds (GIC, Temasek)? Will we see the equivalent of a Silicon Valley Bank appearing in the region? [26:36]
    • Event 5: Blockchain [30:46]
      • What’s going to happen to the blockchain market in Southeast Asia given Singapore publish its first ICO paper, and the projects not finding a foothold (TenX), but the major projects: Neo, Ethereum are based here in Singapore? [31:17]
    • Event 6: Regional Focus [32:32]
      • Malaysia [32:44]
      • Vietnam [33:58]
      • Philippines [34:49]
      • What is the future of Singapore under the rapid development of the Indonesia and Thailand ecosystems? [35:40]
      • How are the corporates doing in the region with their corporate accelerators? [39:30]
    • Which startups will be part of the next wave of unicorns in 2019 for Southeast Asia?  [41:17]
  • Closing [45:02]
    • Can you recommend a book, podcast or anything else that has impact to your work and personal life recently?
    • How does my audience find you? [46:08]

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong & weibo) and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) with their new Altizen Desk (Twitter, Facebook, Medium). Sound credits for the intro music: Taro Iwashiro, “The Beginning” from Red Cliff Soundtrack and this episode is edited by Bernard Leong.