All posts by e27

The Jay Kim Show with Canva Co-founder Cameron Adams



Canva is an online design and publishing tool which makes the design process accessible to almost everyone. Today’s episode is an in-person chat with Cameron, Canva co-founder and chief product officer. We cover his path to becoming a founder of a unicorn-status startup, discuss the challenges of scaling a 300-employee company, and much more.

Also Read: Didi’s loss of trust has industry-wide consequences

In today’s episode you’ll learn:

  • About Canva, Australia’s only unicorn-status startup
  • Cameron’s entrepreneurial path
  • Why designers who have embraced Canva love it
  • The challenges of scaling Canva to a 300-employee company
  • Cameron’s advice for aspiring entrepreneursListen to this episode on iTunes

What was your biggest insight from this week’s episode? Let Jay know in the comments or on Twitter: @jaykimmer.

Links from today’s episode

Detailed show notes

  • (1:20) Cameron’s path to becoming an entrepreneur
  • (4:30) How the idea of Canva solved multiple pain points of Melanie, one of Cameron’s co-founders
  • (5:55) Cameron explains the name Canva
  • (6:40) Cameron describes the Canva user experience
  • (8:00) Why designers who have embraced Canva love it
  • (9:12) Cameron explains the Canva revenue model
  • (10:54) Cameron describes how Canva’s acquisition of Zeetings could help presentations become more dynamic
  • (12:39) Jay and Cameron discuss Canva’s unicorn status
  • (13:23) Cameron discusses Canva’s values and upcoming goals
  • (15:27) The challenges Canva has faced as the company has scaled
  • (17:43) Cameron explains why Canva plans to remain a private, independent company
  • (18:58) Cameron’s advice for aspiring entrepreneurs

Also Read: From lab to life, technology comes together at SWITCH 2018


The Story of You with Smartkarma CEO Raghav Kapoor



Smartkarma co-founder and CEO Raghav Kapoor talks about making high-quality information accessible to all in the finance industry. After all the hype and talk, Kapoor says it is showtime for fintech in Southeast Asia.

Smartkarma connects independent investment research analysts to a host of finance professionals such as asset managers, hedge funds, boutiques investment and family offices.

It’s a cloud-based platform that uses technology to provide a network for independent research analysts to curate and share research. And karma is a Sanskrit word that means action or work, so this platform is offering just that, smart work.

Why did you start this platform?

I experienced different facets of the investment industries. What I realized was that unless you work at a large firm, you don’t have access to the best quality research.

There was a big divide in the haves and have nots. Democratizing the access to high quality information and making it easily and readily available, regardless of whether you are a very large fund is our focus.

How much control to your consumers (financial professionals and firms) have over the content?

Think of us as a Spotify for research- we are not a middle man- we are a thin layer of technology- the whole idea is to directly connect research providers to investors via our technology. This technology enables collaboration that has never been done before.

How did you carve out a niche and aquire your consumers when you started?

We think a lot about our brand strategy, core values as a company and most importantly– what we are not. The easiest mistake is to replicate existing business models. We have to be very principled and patient in our mission and not meander away from it.

Also Read: Coinhako debuts digital wallet service in Indonesia

There was an adoption curve, but you need to think of yourself as an agent of change- invest in education and awareness.

Where is fintech is headed in SEA?


It’s delivery time. We have had a lot of talk and jubilation–now it’s time for hard work. There are enough people in the ecosystem around this part of the planet focused on it. People have to be cognizant that certain spaces are going to be crowded– payment for example. The battlegrounds are laid out, it’s going to get messy.

What does Smartkarma do for the finance industry?

We are a B2B SaaS company around finance- when we speak to the biggest customers, they want to see change. The impetus is coming from all sides. Everyone wants a better way of doing business from all sides- more transparent, more ethical, more fair.

Do you think AI could replace researchers?

We see Smartkarma as a distribution company—like Spotify. You can distribute any genre of music- jazz might have gone out of favour and you can distribute R&B.

Also Read: Malaysia-based startup Flower Chimp raises US$1.5M to expand florist service in Southeast Asia

For us, the rise of non-traditional providers of research is fantastic. We bring traditional and non-traditional players in research.

What advice would you give young entrepreneurs?

Don’t do it. It’s true. It’s for the crazies, it’s not easy and there are easier ways to earn a dime. Only be an entrepreneur if:

  • You’ve got a good life partner that understands the sacrifices that are involved at a family level.
  • Have a bit of a nest egg- have some security that allows you to take a risk and build a startup
  • Don’t stray very far away from your area of expertise.


The Jay Kim Show with GoGet CEO Francesca Chia



GoGet is a service in Malaysia that helps individuals and businesses get things done. Think of it like a Fiverr, only it’s in the realm of real-life, physical tasks. Francesca’s vetted team of GoGetters are available for tasks ranging from pick-ups and deliveries to data entry to overflow help around holidays and busy events.

Francesca was part of the Alibaba eFounders Program and shares what inspired her most from the event.

Also Read: Tickled Media Founder Roshni Mahtani explains how she built a blossoming media empire

In today’s episode you’ll learn:

  • About Francesca’s educational and career background prior to GoGet
  • What is GoGet and who uses it
  • About the GoGet business model
  • About Francesca’s experience with the Alibaba eFounders Program
  • Francesca’s advice for aspiring entrepreneurs

Tickled Media Founder Roshni Mahtani explains how she built a blossoming media empire



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Welcome to Episode 10 of The Story of You. On the latest installment, we speak to the founder of Tickled Media, Roshni Mahtani.

Tickled Media is a Singapore head-quartered company behind media sites theAsianparent.com and AsianMoneyGuide.com​. They also just raised around of  US$6.7 million in funding.

Roshni talks to us about her journey of building and growing her business and community into the powerhouse it is today.

Tickled Media is also working to expand into five more media properties by the end of the year and they just launched Her Style Asia,  which covers millennial punk-rock-style and fashion.

How do you generate momentum for a media site?

The first three years were experimental, and I also didn’t take a salary for the first two years. If you look at my personality or temperament, I am one who won’t give up because I want to win. I like winning. I will not sleep or eat until I win. So, [partners] were investing in my personality vs. the business.

What advice would you give to founders who are fundraising?

The first meeting I always recommend that founders do it by themselves. Test out and see if you have chemistry with the person. People are always forgiving and more personable if you are one-on-one.

Also Read: The Story of You with Homage Co-founder and CEO Gillian Tee

When you have a crew of your people speaking against a crew of their people, it immediately feels like a negotiation dance from the start. When it’s one-on-one, it’s very non-threatening.

How have you grown this community without advertising?

Overall in the last five years, we have spent between 10-15,000 USD , so not a lot of money., We have grown the community organically. Once you have a target audience that works, you treat the first 1000 people right. I would meet up with them, go for coffee and users invited me for their shower parties and I went so I could get to know my customers intimately.

Now that you have grown, can you still be considered a startup?

We are a media tech company. When we talk about ourselves, we don’t refer to ourselves as a startup. We always say we are a media tech company in the media space where we have a content and community site for women. Our culture is quite startup like. It’s nimble, agile and tries to grow 10x.

Also Read: theAsianparent.com’s owner Tickled Media raises US$6.7M to expand to Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam

The moment you know what your business model is, I don’t think you are not a startup anymore. We have a regular business model. We know exactly how we are making money. We have a playbook, we know how to launch a new portal or in a new country very easily. Everything is very prescriptive.

Why did you move to Indonesian even though your company is headquartered in Singapore?

It was primarily a business decision. I knew I would move either to Indonesian or India. I decided on Indonesia because it was close to headquarters and I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. As a true Singaporean, I became very complacent and I needed to get out of this perfect bubble to realize how good my life was in Singapore and take advantage of the opportunities the developing world has to offer.

What is the secret to success in the tech media industry?

Know your customers and avatars. The avatars must be big enough. We look at it not just as hyperlocal content, but we look at it as community. The way to succeed for any media organization to succeed is to create communities and tribes. We’ve created the mummy tribe; now, we have created women in finance. And within that we have segmented them into different tribes.

What is the big vision of Tickled Media?

I care a lot about the media industry and about women. I would like to marry the two. The media seems to be hostage to other platforms right now such as Facebook and Google.

Also Read: Autonomous vehicles are coming but you won’t own one

The industry is under siege and media revenues are dropping, we are struggling. I want to prove that Asia can have good and profitable businesses that are purely media, which are not owned by government or influenced by billionaire families. One that is able to be the voice of the people.


The Jay Kim Show discusses Women in Tech



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Anna O’Hare and Gillian Tans are rarities, though they shouldn’t be — successful females in leadership positions in the technology sector. In today’s episode, Anna and Gillian share about their respective companies, and they explore ways to close to gender gap within the technology space.

In today’s episode you’ll learn:

  • About Women in Tech at the RISE event in Hong Kong
  • The backstory of Web Summit
  • About RISE’s and Booking.com’s Women in Tech initiatives
  • Anna’s and Gillian’s thoughts regarding ways to close the gender gap in the technology sector
  • About Booking.com and their expansion plans for 2018
  • Anna’s and Gillian’s advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs

Listen to this episode on iTunes .

Also Read: The Story of You with The New Savvy CEO Anna Vanessa Haotanto

What was your biggest insight from this week’s episode? Let Jay know in the comments or on Twitter: @jaykimmer.

Links from today’s episode

Detailed show notes

  • (2:50) Anna’s introduction of herself and the RISE conference
  • (4:23) Anna tells the backstory of Web Summit, the company behind RISE
  • (5:22) Gillian’s self-introduction and background
  • (7:44) Anna explains Web Summit’s Women in Tech initiative
  • (10:08) Initiatives RISE has put in place to increase female participation
  • (12:07) Gillian addresses how the presence/involvement of women in technology has evolved over the years
  • (14:30) Gillian describes Booking’s initiatives — internally and externally — for encouraging women in technology sectors
  • (18:07) Anna shares her thoughts on where improvements can be made in closing the gender gap
  • (20:28) Gillian’s thoughts on where improvements can be made in closing the gender gap
  • (22:37) Anna speaks to women at the upcoming RISE event
  • (23:58) Anna gives more details on the Women in Tech portion of the RISE event in Hong Kong
  • (25:10) Gillian share her 2018 plans for Booking
  • (28:10) Gillian’s advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs
  • (29:32) Anna’s advice for aspiring female entrepreneur

Asia VC Cast with Simon Wu from Cathay Innovation



This week’s special guest is Simon Wu from Cathay Innovation. Simon is a Principal at Cathay Innovation, based in San Francisco. He is responsible for sourcing, evaluating, and executing potential investments, as well as post-investment monitoring.

Prior to joining Cathay Innovation, Simon spent over three and a half years at VMware in the Strategy & Corporate Development team and was also at UBS in the investment banking division as part of the technology, media, and telecommunications group.

Together, we discuss how the fundraising landscape in Silicon Valley has changed over the years, especially with the influx of capital that caused the stage shift throughout the funding cycle.

Also Read: Infographic: When will cryptocurrency shed its dark side?

Simon also shares his insights on how founders should approach the fundraising process and how he views the importance of valuation in his investment decision making process.


Asia VC Cast with Alex Shin from Hashed



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This week’s special guest is Alex Shin from Hashed.  Alex is the Chief Business Officer and Partner at Hashed, the largest crypto assets fund, project accelerator and community builder based out in Korea.

Working out of San Francisco, Alex focuses his efforts around cross-border deals and key partnership opportunities as Hashed continues to build footprint overseas. Previously, Alex led the US expansion of Blind and held numerous Enterprise Sales and Partnership roles at companies like Google and DocuSign.

Also Read: The Jay Kim Show talks entrepreneurship with Taro Amornched of Take Me Tour

Together, we discuss how we can leverage the past year’s financial phenomenon in cryptocurrency to keep Korea as the global leader not just for trading, but for blockchain development & advancement.

And Alex also shares his insights on what Hashed looks out for when making investment decisions.


The Jay Kim Show talks entrepreneurship with Taro Amornched of Take Me Tour



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You’re already comfortable booking your own flight and hotel accommodations, and Taro’s Take Me Tour makes planning the touring portion of your vacation just was easy.

Also Read: oBike shuts down in Singapore

Experience-rich, hassle-free, and customizable, Take Me Tour links travelers with local experts who offer single-day travel experiences in Thailand, Cambodia, and Japan. Available tours cover the gamut — visiting temples, exploring markets, fishing, cycling, cooking classes, visiting elephant sanctuaries…

In today’s episode you’ll learn:

  • About Taro and how he came up with the Take Me Tour concept
  • About the Take Me Tour user experience
  • About Take Me Tour’s business model
  • About Taro’s experience with the Alibaba’s e-founders program
  • Taro’s advice for aspiring startup founders

97: Taro Amornched, co-founder and CEO of Take Me Tour

Listen to this episode on iTunes

What was your biggest insight from this week’s episode? Let Jay know in the comments or on Twitter: @jaykimmer.

LINKS FROM TODAY’S EPISODE

Also Read: The Story of You: The intertwining relationship between art and tech

Detailed Show Notes

  • (3:03) Taro’s self introduction
  • (5:22) How Taro came up with the Take Me Tour concept
  • (8:07) Taro gives an overview of Take Me Tour
  • (9:11) The Take Me Tour user experience
  • (11:43) The languages Take Me Tour supports
  • (12:52) Jay and Taros discuss the price of the different tours, tips, etc.
  • (14:49) Take Me Tour offers custom experiences
  • (17:01) Take Me Tour’s business model
  • (18:24) Taro describes the booking and payment process
  • (19:35) Taro describes Take Me Tour’s quality assurance
  • (23:05) Take Me Tour’s growth plan in the coming months
  • (24:43) Awards Taro has won
  • (27:15) Taro’s experience with Alibaba’s e-founders program
  • (29:38) Taro’s advice for aspiring startup founders

Asia VC Cast with Peter Choi from Go-Jek



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This week’s special guest is Peter Choi from Go-Jek. Go-Jek is the massively popular ride-hailing company from Indonesia – its first unicorn and recently announced that they will invest $500 million to expand their services into Southeast Asia.

Peter is the VP, Head of Logistics at Go-Jek, responsible for product & business development, data analytics, and operations. Prior to this role, Peter worked as a Senior Analyst at Salesforce and made the big transition from Silicon Valley to now Jakarta.

Also Read: Want free Echelon tickets? Solve this riddle

Together, we discuss how Peter is tackling one of the biggest pain points in Indonesia, its logistics. And though started as an on-demand ridesharing platform, why it makes sense for Go-Jek to aggressively expand into other consumer businesses such as delivery, payment and even massages!


The Story of You with Jumper.AI Co-founder Nyha Shree



How does Jumper work?

Jumper converts your social media posts into a shopable post so that when customers comment on your post with simple queries like “what’s the price” or “how do I order this”, Jumper will automatically answer them and talk to your customers on your behalf and walk them through the sale right within the platform. They don’t have to go to another website.

How do you ensure it is secure?

All the credit card data or financial data gathered, we don’t store it, neither do the merchants. It’s tokenized with the payment gateways. Tokenisation is an encryption method which is created by companies like VISA. The payment processor stores keep the data to ensure the protection.

How do the recent algorithmic changes in Facebook affect social selling and brands marketing on social media platforms?

One of the things I have seen on Facebook is that if you are engaged with a page, it will give you priority over others. The algorithm is pushing customers towards groups and if there is a positive intent from the customer, it works well.

Tell us about some highlights and challenges over your journey to reach Forbes 30 Under 30.

I started entrepreneurship in college and this is my 6th company and it has been a set of failures. Three failed companies—most of the learning came from the failures. In terms of the learnings, it was how do build a vision for your product and what you need to do in terms of your vision for your product to keep your team more than motivated.

Also Read: I used Go-Pay to buy these magazines and a bubble drink. Here is why I think it’s game-changing

The other is what to assess when you are in the building phase of your product and understand what your consumers want, especially when you are in the initial stage.

Was it hard to educate people about Jumper?

In Asia, people have already moved on to social commerce. Anyone who is already using social media as their major acquisition channel, they get the utility of the platform.

Also Read: Logistics startup Lalamove offers same-day delivery for SMEs in Indonesia

So, for us whether it be enterprise clients or SaaS companies—we do have a set of early adopters who instantly get what the product is and what the value add is.

What are the statistics of people who complete a sale on website vs social selling?

In Asia on the average, 30 per cent of digital sales happen through social media.