All posts by e27

Asia VC Cast with Anuj Jain and Nitin Nath from Startup-O



Subscribe to ‘e27 Podcasts’ here, or wherever you listen to your favourite pods! 

Asia VC Cast explores the minds of the experienced venture capitalists and seasoned entrepreneurs to navigate the sophisticated but exciting world of venture capital.  Daniel together with a special guest each week present unique perspective and insights to startup investing & fund-raising across different countries in Asia.

This week’s special guests are Anuj Jain and Nitin Nath from Startup-O. Startup-O is a Singapore-based assessment and investment platform that discovers promising startups from South to Southeast Asia and connect them to seed funding through its partner funds and its venture building network of market experts.

Also Read: Founding RedDoorz “was like hitting the reset button” after years in the corporate travel industry: Amit Saberwal

It puts businesses through a structured 10-week online process that involves a data driven and transparent evaluation by a global expert community.


The Jay Kim Show with SnapAsk Founder and CEO Timothy Yu



Search ‘e27 Podcasts’ in your favourite player — or just click here for iTunes!

Snapask, labeled by the BBC as the “Uber of tutoring,” is an on-demand tutoring service operating in multiple Asian countries. The subscription-based service allows students to submit specific questions and receive a response from a qualified tutor within seconds. Tim aims to revolutionize not only the tutoring industry but traditional teaching methods as well.

In today’s episode you’ll learn:

  • How Tim became inspired to found Snapak
  • How Snapask works — both from a student and tutor perspective
  • How Tim hopes to facilitate change in traditional education
  • Tim’s advice for young entrepreneurs

Listen to this episode on iTunes

Also Read: The Jay Kim Show with John P. Reese, the Founder and CEO of Validea

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

  • (1:02) Tim gives the backstory of Snapask
  • (2:58) Tim touches on the family dynamics of being an aspiring entrepreneur as a young adult
  • (4:50) Tim explains how the Snapask model is different from some other online education tools
  • (8:12) Tim describes the process he followed when building his product
  • (10:58) Tim describes how he built his team
  • (12:40) How Snapask was funded
  • (13:41) Tim describes the Snapask user experience and how students are linked with tutors
  • (15:52) The subjects covered on Snapask
  • (16:35) The age groups for which Snapask is suitable
  • (17:21) Tim gives more details about the user experience
  • (19:03) Tim describes Snapask’s revenue model
  • (20:12) Details about the Snapask teaching flow
  • (20:57) Who is a suitable Snapask tutor?
  • (24:23) Tim explains how Snapask measures students’ progress
  • (27:29) Tim’s goals for Snapask
  • (28:56) Tim’s prediction for education in 20 years
  • (31:40) Tim’s advice for aspiring entrepreneurs

Also Read: Asia VC Cast with Erica Kang from Kryptoseoul


The Jay Kim Show with John P. Reese, the Founder and CEO of Validea



Ever wish you could get advice from one of the legendary investors about a stock you’re considering? With John’s models, which are based on the published strategies of guru investors, you can basically do just that. John combined his experience with AI, business, and his study of expert investment strategies to create Validea, which aims deliver a disciplined, systematic investment approach with a long-term perspective.

In today’s episode you’ll learn:

  • About John’s unique path into the world of investing
  • How Validea’s models account for qualitative factors
  • Which investment strategy is currently performing the best
  • About Validea’s various levels of service
  • John’s forecast for the U.S. market and for emerging markets

Listen to this episode on iTunes

Also Read: Fragmentation may be Southeast Asia’s competitive advantage

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

  • (1:14) John gives a detailed overview of his educational, business, tech, and investing backgrounds
  • (8:44) Jay and John discuss John’s process of studying laymen’s books and establishing a system around what he learned
  • (10:46) John compares and contrasts quant (or factor) investing strategies with fundamental-based investing strategies
  • (13:25) John discloses the major criteria for identifying successful investment processes
  • (17:15) John explains how his quant models account for qualitative criteria
  • (20:52) John explains how his model addresses issues like diversification, number of stocks, portfolio concentration, etc.
  • (24:00) An overview of Validea’s offerings
  • (25:25) John reveals which of the model’s strategies is currently performing the best
  • (26:06) John gives an overview of his fund and of the various service levels he offers
  • (29:48) John shares his thoughts on international and emerging markets
  • (31:38) John’s thoughts on AI, blockchain, and other emerging technologies
  • (34:09) John’s next goals for Validea

Also Read: Go-Jek’s Go-Pay rolls out QR code-based payment services


Asia VC Cast with Erica Kang from Kryptoseoul



Asia VC Cast explores the minds of the experienced venture capitalists and seasoned entrepreneurs to navigate the sophisticated but exciting world of venture capital.

Daniel together with a special guest each week present unique perspective and insights to startup investing & fund-raising across different countries in Asia.

Also Read: The Story of You with Shopback Co-founder Shanru Lai

This week’s special guest is Erica Kang from Kryptoseoul. Erica is the founder of KryptoSeoul, a leading community building team based in Seoul, Korea.

KryptoSeoul supports promising blockchain projects by managing online channels and by hosting meetups. She is also a partner at Blockwater Capital, advisor of the Korea Blockchain Association, and host of English Youtube channel KryptoSeoul.

As a born communicator, Erica is passionate about bridging between diverse parties in the blockchain and cryptocurrency scene.

Also Read: Asia VC Cast with Michael Smith Jr. of Seedplus


The Story of You with BeMyGuest Chief Operating Officer Graham Hills



We talk  with Graham Hills about the shift and marriage of online and offline in the travel industry in Asia , how localized content is important to connect consumers and suppliers and the transformative power of travel for him. Find out what Bleisure travel is as well. Have a listen.

How has the online travel industry changed in the recent years?

There has been a real shift from an offline world to the intersection of online and offline. It’s also moved from monetizing on just advertising to monetizing on transactions of flights and hotels. As online bookings became more prevalent, you have the rise of the meta search space.

How are travel agencies going to survive?

Travel agencies are still there. But there are extra layers there that will save you time going in-between sites to compare prices. Essentially, meta-search took off between the mid to late 2000s. I think what lags behind, which takes me to where I am now is the in-destination space experience of travel bookings. It’s still very much an offline industry. In Asia, only 11% of tours are booked online and that’s half the global average. 

How does BeMyGuest help the suppliers and people offline in Asia?

As a consumer, you won’t see the BeMyGuest brand- we help enable online travel agencies sell experiences online. We are there in the background providing the technology connecting the demand with the supply. A big focus for us as a business is helping suppliers get online. This is an industry where a lot of bookings still happen with pen and paper. It also helps operators improve their business efficiency in terms of inventory and booking management. 

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

We aggregate things to do around Asia- we focus on Asian destinations. We cater from mass well-known products from Universal Studios, right down to a cooking class in Krabi. We are really catering to all ends of the spectrum. For small businesses, they might have a website and brochure, but their site will not be enabled for bookings. It could be like unlocking a market like South Korea into a destination like Thailand. The operator in Thailand typically wouldn’t speak Korean—we are helping bring them customers in new origin markets. 

What were some of the insights your gained about the destinations industry in Asia?

An eye-opener was the lack of adoption of technology. For consumers to adopt technology to make bookings is not a new thing anymore- but for suppliers, using technology to tap into that is new.

The trends that jump out are the change of pace in booking behavior. A lot of what we see in what’s being booked, it’s from travelers already in the destination. 41% of our bookings are from people looking to do something on the same day. 

How do you use content to connect consumers to suppliers accurately?

The content is really about selling the experience—explaining the attraction and what stands out from it. If it’s a day tour, what do you visit, what’s included in the price, what’s excluded. Can I be picked up at my hotel or do I head to a meeting point? The content provides everything the customer needs to know in order to make that booking .

We are localizing the content into a number of different Asian languages—so the end customer is well-informed. We really need to understand the needs of the consumer and that influences the content—for example if they are vegetarian or can only speak their native language. 

In this heavily Instagrammed world, how do you still find new, unique places and experiences?

This industry is so emotive—the pictures and videos create a lot of desire for travellers on where they want to go next. Technology has just made it easier for users to create their bucket list that might not be just 10 things anymore—it might be 100 things. It might be difficult for us to not sharing experiences.

Also Read: The Story of You with Postr CEO Milan Reinartz

It is ingrained in people’s behavior. The way to find the new thing is to go out there and explore, walk and talk to locals. There is still the human element of where humans tell the story of what’s on offer in the destination. 

What does travel mean to you?

Travel helps achieve self-actualisation. I stated out studying accounting and finance and it wasn’t until I was on a six-month exchange programme in my third-year of university in Jogjakarta that I realized I didn’t want to be an accountant. I changed my major and started my journey in the travel industry.


The Jay Kim Show with Alarice and ChoZan Founder Ashley Galina Dudarenok



Subscribe to ‘e27 Podcasts’ here, or wherever you listen to your favourite pods! 

While continuing to run Alarice and ChoZan, Ashley is also building her personal brand with podcasting, vlogging, and speaking engagements all over the world.

In today’s episode you’ll learn:

  • About Ashley’s new bestselling book
  • About some of the hot trends in China
  • About the various Chinese social media platforms and how they’re used
  • How Chinese social media use differs from that of the West

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 Jay Kim Show with Chris Snook on the charge towards crypto 2.0

Detailed show notes

  • (2:03) Jay and Ashley chat about the book writing process
  • (3:23) Ashley gives an overview of her work
  • (7:09) Ashley lists some common misconceptions foreigners have about the Chinese market
  • (11:41) A current hot trend in China — entrepreneurship, a.k.a. 9-9-6
  • (13:16) Other hot trends in China
  • (16:54) Ashley discusses the Chinese consumer attitude toward spending
  • (19:58) Ashley compares and contrasts WeChat and Weibo
  • (27:18) How the Chinese use social media differently than Westerners
  • (28:30) Ashley gives details on the percentage of usage for both of WeChat and Weibo
  • (30:24) Ashley gives a forecast of what Chinese social media will be like in five to ten years
  • (37:05) Ashley’s plans for 2018 — building her personal brand, speaking, and writing another book
  • (40:58) Ashley’s advice for aspiring entrepreneurs

Also Read: The Jay Kim Show with China e-commerce expert Marco Gervasi 


Asia VC Cast with Nicki Ramsay from CardUp



Subscribe to ‘e27 Podcasts’ here, or wherever you listen to your favourite pods! 

Asia VC Cast explores the minds of the experienced venture capitalists and seasoned entrepreneurs to navigate the sophisticated but exciting world of venture capital.  Daniel together with a special guest each week present unique perspective and insights to startup investing & fund-raising across different countries in Asia.

This week’s special guest is Nicki Ramsay from CardUp.  Nicki is the founder and CEO of CardUp, a payments company based in Singapore that enables individuals and businesses to use credit card for all their big payments such as paying rent to a landlord, taxes, or even payroll to employees.

Also Read: Singapore’s CardUp raises US$1.7M funding round led by Sequoia India, SeedPlus

In doing so users get access to instant credit and rewards. A payments professional, Nicki has a background in business development, consumer insight and analytics having worked for American Express across both Asia Pacific and Europe.

During this time she held leadership roles including Head of Consumer Insight for APAC and Director of International Business Development. She is seen as a thought leader in the fintech space, featured in media and events such as The Business Times, Channel News Asia, The New Paper, Money20/20 and the Singapore Fintech Festival.

Also Read: MC Payment buys iFashion Group, set to list on Singapore stock exchange

Nicki started her career as a management consultant at Deloitte Consulting, after graduating with a first-class degree in Economics.


Asia VC Cast with Thuc Vu from OhmniLabs



This week’s special guest is Thuc Vu from OhmniLabs. Graduated from Carnegie Mellon with a BS and Stanford with a PhD both in Computer Science, OhmniLabs’ CEO and co-founder Thuc Vu is an expert in Artificial Intelligence and Algorithms.

His ambition is to bring robots into every home to create a positive impact in people’s life. And Kambria – a decentralized AI and Robotics platform – is his next move to bring this goal one step closer to reality.

Also Read: The Jay Kim Show with HYPE Co-founder and CEO Henek Lo

He previously founded Katango and Tappy which were quickly acquired by Google and Weeby.co, respectively. He also invests in early stage startups and helps grow the ecosystem in Vietnam. Apart from being an entrepreneur, Thuc is also a Research Scientist and Assistant Professor at John Von Neumann Institute of Vietnam National University.

As a way to pay it forward, Thuc co-founded VietSeeds in 2011, a nonprofit organization empowering hundreds of underprivileged students with excellent academic record in Vietnam.

Also Read: Lazada and Shopee battle for pole positions in Malaysia’s e-commerce landscape

In 2017, he was named as one of the “40 Under 40” of Silicon Valley by the Silicon Valley Business Journal for his tireless effort to bring about a significantly positive impact in the business world.


The Jay Kim Show with HYPE Co-founder and CEO Henek Lo



Henek and his cofounders have learned the ropes of market penetration in China, Singapore, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia…and through HYPE, they’re helping other companies do the same. Aiming to be an end-to-end, full-suite service, HYPE demystifies the Asian markets while seeking to build long-term partnerships with their clients.

In today’s episode you’ll learn:

  • About Henek’s background
  • About the different services HYPE provides
  • If your company might be ready for HYPE
  • Why HYPE is different from other venture builder services

Also Read: Indian startup Jugnoo brings reverse-bidding solution for cab drivers in Singapore 

Listen to this episode on iTunes


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



Homage is an online platform that provides on-demand caregiving solutions to the elderly in Singapore.

We sat down with Co-founder and CEO Gillian Tee to ask her about the inspirations behind the company, working in tech in the US vs. Singapore and why she hates the term ‘Silver Tsunami’.

Homage was founded in 2016 by Y-Combinator alumni Tee, Lily Phang, and Tong Duong. The team was motivated to start Homage when they saw a clear and urgent demand for in-home care for the elderly, who currently number more than 450,000 in Singapore’s ageing population.

Tee joined us for a refreshing, honest and fun discussion about one of the more unique startups in Singapore. Enjoy the show!