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"If you look at the tech universe revolves around the U S and China, I spent a lot time almost 10 years in the [Silicon] valley ecosystem. But I haven't really seen the China technology ecosystem. So I was really curious on how it works, how is it like, how is it different? There was like a great opportunity for me to learn and see how it worked from the inside." - Yaw Yeo Fresh out of the studio, Yaw Yeo, an angel investor joined us to discuss his experiences on working in two high growth technology companies from the US and China covering the Asia Pacific region. He shared the similarities and differences between technology companies from the US and China and how they perceived the Southeast Asia market. Last but not least, Yaw shared his perspectives as an angel investor in Southeast Asia and reflected on the changing landscape of angel investing in the last decade. Podcast Information:The show is hosted and produced by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin) and Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin, LinkedIn). Sound credits for the intro and end music: "Run it" by DJ Snake, Rick Ross and Rich Brian and the episode is mixed & edited by Geoffrey Thomas Craig (LinkedIn).
Solana with Raj Gokal

Solana with Raj Gokal

2022-05-0146:34

"We have an intuition that at like a hundred million users with self custody signing their own transactions every day at those numbers, a hundred million and a billion, those are where there's going to be big unlocks and unexpected use cases that pop up in the way that people coordinate their resources together may make shared decisions together and align interest again, and participate in new forms of global capital markets together." - Raj Gokal   Fresh out of the studio, Raj Gokal, co-founder of Solana joined us in a conversation to share the backstory behind how the blockchain emerged and is currently one of the leading blockchains in the market. Raj dived deep into the mechanisms behind the protocol and explained why the speed of transactions generated new decentralized applications on the blockchain. He also addressed on the outages and cybersecurity challenges for Solana, and offered his perspectives in what great looks like for Solana in the future.   Podcast Information:The show is hosted and produced by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin) and Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin, LinkedIn). Sound credits for the intro and end music: "Run it" by DJ Snake, Rick Ross and Rich Brian and the episode is mixed & edited by Geoffrey Thomas Craig (LinkedIn).
"As a seed fund, we will always be small. ... and that's done with the intent of building towards product market fit. we talk a lot about product market fit in startup land. We don't really talk about it enough and in venture land, It's really hard to deploy a billion dollars in capital if you're focusing on seed. Intentionally is a feature. It's not a bug. And if we're doing our job right, we'll continue to raise the same fund size, relatively small speaking, and just be great at pattern recognition at seed pre product market fit and staying really focused that way to be the best in our niche is the way we think about it. " - Tiang Lim Foo   Fresh out of the studio, Tiang Lim Foo, co-founder and partner of Forge Ventures shares the story of how he started the seed stage venture firm and his perspectives on early stage investing in Southeast Asia. He dived into a deeper discussion of the rise of early stage investors within the key countries in the region and how the whole venture investing space is transforming with web2 and web3 in transition.   Podcast Information:The show is hosted and produced by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin) and Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin, LinkedIn). Sound credits for the intro and end music: "Run it" by DJ Snake, Rick Ross and Rich Brian and the episode is mixed & edited by Geoffrey Thomas Craig (LinkedIn).
"I have lots of different people that I go to and I think that board of directors is really important. It's not the only social capital, but that's social capital primarily outside of your work, out of your specific job, that's important for you to build over time so that you get outside perspectives. If nothing else, sometimes in your workplace, you get very locked into a certain way of thinking or a certain style. And it's important to get perspective from." - Aliza Knox   Fresh out of the studio, Aliza Knox joined us to discuss the inspiration and key themes behind her new book "Don't Quit Your Day Job". We began the conversation on Aliza's observations on how the technology business and startup ecosystem have shifted in the last decade within Asia Pacific, during her stints with Google, Twitter and Cloudflare. Last but not least, we discuss how her book can help people out there to think about career growth and progression in the midst of the pandemic and the Great resignation.   Podcast Information:The show is hosted and produced by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin) and Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin, LinkedIn). Sound credits for the intro and end music: "Run it" by DJ Snake, Rick Ross and Rich Brian and the episode is mixed & edited by Geoffrey Thomas Craig (LinkedIn).
"So literally we have this planned out, we have a ten-year plan and in ten-year plan, we want to be able to deploy about $2 billion in AUM. We think it's possible to fund a lot of companies in the early stages for all emerging markets. All those emerging markets have the same problem, which is there in this phase of rapid economic development, tons of founders wants to come out. So we want quite a lot of capital into seed stage companies." - Brian Ma   Fresh out of the studio, Brian Ma, partner at Iterative Capital and founder at Divvy Homes, joined us in a conversation on the current venture fund in Southeast Asia and shares his perspectives on how the fund is building their entrepreneurial community in Southeast Asia. We dived deep into the beginnings of Brian's career and how both his co-founder, Hsu Ken Ooi and he set up the venture firm and accelerator in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last but not least, Brian shared his perspectives on the Southeast Asia landscape and what great means for Iterative Capital moving forward.     Podcast Information:The show is hosted and produced by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin) and Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin, LinkedIn). Sound credits for the intro and end music: "Run it" by DJ Snake, Rick Ross and Rich Brian and the episode is mixed & edited by Geoffrey Thomas Craig (LinkedIn).
"First, I think happy employee and employer partners, for us, great customer experience is important. Secondly, technology driven products that improve the lives of the workers across the region. That's great tech. And happy and motivated gajiGesa team with a lot of career growth opportunities. That's a great team. So I've put great under these three buckets." - Vidit Agrawal   Fresh out of the studio, Vidit Agrawal, CEO and co-founder of GajiGesa discuss the backstory of the fintech company focusing on developing financial services for the unbanked across Southeast Asia, starting from Indonesia. The conversation with Vidit's background with high growth tech companies: Uber and Stripe and he shared his perspectives on he invests as an angel investor. Vidit dived deeper into the unbanked market and how GajiGesa aims to solve that challenge, and offered his mental model in how one should think about geographical expansion across Southeast Asia as an entrepreneur.   Podcast Information: The show is hosted and produced by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin) and Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin, LinkedIn). Sound credits for the intro and end music: "Run it" by DJ Snake, Rick Ross and Rich Brian and the episode is mixed & edited by Geoffrey Thomas Craig (LinkedIn).
"... One of our mantra is we don't build good companies. We build great companies. I think the beauty is that we have seen enough companies to realize what great looks like. For us, we have a high bar. So one of the metrics that we mention a lot is how many founders with the means to do so that we back will invest again in Insignia?" - Tan Yinglan   Fresh out of the studio, Tan Yinglan, founding managing partner from Insignia Ventures Partners joined us in a conversation to share the backstory, vision and mission of his venture firm and offered his insights on the Southeast Asia entrepreneurial ecosystem. He started with the inspiration behind the venture firm and discuss how he indexes founders and startup teams to fund. Last but not least, he discuss where venture capital is heading towards in Southeast Asia.   Podcast Information: The show is hosted and produced by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin) and Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin, LinkedIn). Sound credits for the intro and end music: "Run it" by DJ Snake, Rick Ross and Rich Brian and the episode is mixed & edited by Geoffrey Thomas Craig (LinkedIn).
"But what I would want everyone to take away from this is that you have the geopolitics, the geoeconomics and the geo technology as a triangle, three corners of this triangle. A successful society, a power, a great power is going to be one that is fluent in all three of those languages that focuses on building capacity in all three of those areas and looking for the linkages and synergies between their technological innovation or economic power and their military power and state capacity." - Parag Khanna   Fresh out of the studio, Parag Khanna, CEO of Climate Alpha & celebrated author of "Move" joined us in a discussion to explain why the 21st century belongs to the Internet and not to any great power nations out there. We discussed his recent popular article "Great Protocol Politics" that he co-authored with Balajis Srinisavan and we dived deep into the weeds how technology such as web3 and cryptocurrencies will be important in reshaping society and monetary systems and what it means globally in the next decades to come.   Podcast Information: The show is hosted and produced by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin) and Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin, LinkedIn). Sound credits for the intro and end music: "Run it" by DJ Snake, Rick Ross and Rich Brian and the episode is mixed & edited by Geoffrey Thomas Craig (LinkedIn).
"As well as in terms of profitability, we've been able to grow the brands as well as make them more profitable. So having a track record really matters because as part of our purchase consideration, we also share the upside with sellers. So with us, the investor, we are able to extract the maximum of sight from the brand and via the right stewards of the brand. That's something which we spend a lot of time building. Those capabilities and having that reputation, which then sets us apart and helps us win many deals in competitive situations." - Kiren Tanna Fresh out of the studio, Kiren Tanna, chief executive officer and co-founder of Una Brands joined us in a conversation to discuss the e-commerce aggregator company and their business footprint across Asia Pacific. We started with Kiren's background working in ecommerce startups before Una Brands and then deep dived into how Una Brands have built their presence prominently & quickly within the last year. He also shared how the whole ecommerce aggregator supply chain works, from how they approached a seller for an acquisition, valuing the seller's ecommerce brand all the way to sale and then scaling the brand across the region. Last but not least, he shared what great will looks like for Una Brands in the years to come.   Podcast Information: The show is hosted and produced by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin) and Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin, LinkedIn). Sound credits for the intro and end music: "Run it" by DJ Snake, Rick Ross and Rich Brian and the episode is mixed & edited by Geoffrey Thomas Craig (LinkedIn).
"The key theme is you can be incredibly successful with the community, but you have to be intentional. Oftentimes what happened in my experience of observing other communities is that people would get really excited at the beginning. They would do a whole lot of work. And then after hosting, maybe three events, the enthusiasm would die and they wouldn't do anything else. So it was actually easy for people to start. It's not very easy to grow and scale, and that's why I talk a lot about intentionality" - Mark Birch   Fresh out of the studio, Mark Birch, global startup advocate from Amazon Web Services (AWS) joined us in a conversation to discuss his new book "Community in a Box" and the key initiatives to engage startups and developer communities globally from New York to Asia Pacific through AWS. We start from Mark's background and discuss the inspiration, key themes and main takeaways on how to build event-driven professional communities. Last but not least, he discuss how to build the community flywheel and provided the aspiration to what a great community would look like in the future.   Podcast Information: The show is hosted and produced by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin) and Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin, LinkedIn). Sound credits for the intro and end music: "Run it" by DJ Snake, Rick Ross and Rich Brian and the episode is mixed edited by Geoffrey Thomas Craig (LinkedIn).
"I believe that we have made great change. I think five years is going to be the same, I think in five years when we look back, even if it doesn't look that way, as we build piece by piece, we will be a technically advanced, user-first global news organization that is sustained by a diversified revenue model." - Gary Liu   Fresh out of the studio, Gary Liu, chief executive officer of South China Morning Post (SCMP) joined us in a conversation on the digital transformation journey and where it is heading in a web3 world. We began the conversation with Gary reiterating the important role that SCMP plays as a bridge between China and the rest of the world. From there, he shared the early days and reflected on the key lessons from the first phase of their digital transformation with a focused video strategy. Continuing on, Gary shared SCMP's move into the Web3 world with the ARTIFACTS NFT project and how it jumpstarts the next phase of the digital transformation. Last but not least, he shared what great looks like for SCMP in the next 3-5 years.     Podcast Information: The show is hosted and produced by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin) and Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin, LinkedIn). Sound credits for the intro and end music: "Run it" by DJ Snake, Rick Ross and Rich Brian and the episode is mixed edited by Geoffrey Thomas Craig (LinkedIn).
"I want GCR to build its brand verbally from the founders that we support. And we don't even ever have to promote ourselves at any point, it's that founders are able to recognize our value- add, or introduce us to projects and identify our unique position, that we can support them in ways that VCs or crypto investors cannot do. It's something that I think will really speak to the hard work that we do without ever having to promote ourselves." - Joyce Yang   Fresh out of the studio, Joyce Yang, Jin Kang and Daniel Kim from Global Coin Research discuss the Global Coin Research DAO and its investment focus in Web3. We start with the vision and mission of the GCR DAO and then move into an in-depth conversation on web3 discussing the varying valuations of web3 companies, the choice of blockchains by web3 startups and where this is all moving towards at this instant of time.     Author's Note: Bernard Leong is a supporter of the GCR DAO. BL might have taken positions in web3 DAOs and companies, hence this is not financial advice and if you want to invest, please do your own research.   Podcast Information: The show is hosted and produced by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin) and Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin, LinkedIn). Sound credits for the intro and end music: "Run it" by DJ Snake, Rick Ross and Rich Brian and the episode is mixed edited by Geoffrey Thomas Craig (LinkedIn).
"If the goal is to really democratize finance of businesses and consumers imagine that Mastercard and Visa has built an interchange network to facilitate payments across the globe. What if Pace can establish a similar global interchange network? For digital financing, covering a myriad of services to consumers, businesses, and even financial institutions, basically building the digital financing engine that lives on the cloud powered by blockchain on a web3 infrastructure and serving the needs of, you know, the future consumers, businesses, and even financial institutions down the road." - Turochas Fuad   Fresh out of the studio, Turochas "T" Fuad, CEO and co-founder of Pace Enterprise joined us in a conversation to discuss his latest venture, Pace Enterprise and dived deep into the weeds of the "Buy Now, Pay Later" (or BNPL) space. He shared his thoughts on why BNPL can lead to sustainable companies and not just being a feature of a fintech company. Last but not least, Turochas offered his perspectives on how the different accelerating trends: fintech, decentralized finance and web3 are converging towards a coherent future of finance.   Podcast Information: The show is hosted and produced by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin) and Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin, LinkedIn). Sound credits for the intro and end music: "Run it" by DJ Snake, Rick Ross and Rich Brian and the episode is mixed edited by Geoffrey Thomas Craig (LinkedIn).
But fundamentally the core of the business, at least the way we see it, is that, we need to be great operators of these brands as a start, in fact the best operators for these brands. For us here, it's about looking into ways to be differentiated around how to run those brands better than anyone else, and definitely better than the last owner. - JJ Chai   Fresh out of the studio, JJ Chai, CEO and co-founder of Rainforest, joined us in a discussion on his company, a leading eCommerce aggregator that focuses on brands and products for the modern mum and offered his perspectives on the rise of ecommerce aggregators in Asia Pacific region. We dived into how JJ shared the vision and mission of Rainforest and their customer focus for the ecommerce aggregator. From there, we broadened the conversation with JJ explaining how ecommerce aggregators work with platforms such as Amazon and their playbook in selecting the right brands to acquire, scale and distribute. Last but not least, JJ offered his perspectives on how the landscape of ecommerce aggregators will change in the next couple of years globally.   Podcast Information: The show is hosted and produced by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin) and Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin, LinkedIn). Sound credits for the intro and end music: "Run it" by DJ Snake, Rick Ross and Rich Brian and the episode is mixed edited by Geoffrey Thomas Craig (LinkedIn).
"So as of today, I think the choice between DAO and equity is how bullish you are in the project. So if you're thinking that companies launching its first or second project, there's still a highly likelihood that it's not gonna be hugely successful and you want to bet on the entire life cycle of the company, then right now, maybe equity is still a better tool. If you're really bullish on the project, but you're not as bullish on the company that maybe the DAO is a better way to go." - Jamie Lin Fresh out of the studio, Jamie Lin, chairman and partner of AppWorks, an accelerator and venture capital form shares the backstory of the company and how it started his investments across Taiwan and Southeast Asia and grew to its present state today. Jamie shares the investment thesis of the firm and the key traits of entrepreneurs and verticals which they can invest into. Last but not least, Jamie shares his perspectives in how venture capital will be transformed by web3 and offers his point of view on how AppWorks will position itself in this new era.     Podcast Information: The show is hosted and produced by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin) and Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin, LinkedIn). Sound credits for the intro and end music: "Run it" by DJ Snake, Rick Ross and Rich Brian and the episode is edited by Geoffrey Thomas Craig.
"The important thing is, look, our mission hasn't changed. We're still focusing on helping people connect and finding communities and, and grow businesses. We've just very clearly put a stake in the ground around what we believe is the future. And more and more that's going to take place in the metaverse." - Dan Neary   Fresh out of the studio, Dan Neary, Vice President for Meta (formerly Facebook) APAC joined us for an interesting conversation on the company’s re-brand, vision for the metaverse and why this may the biggest opportunity for businesses in Asia Pacific. In the conversation, Dan describes how Meta is helping to build the metaverse & talks about how the current ecosystem of communities, creators, commerce will converge with the next computing platform and create a completely new generation of experiences. Last but not least, he also shares how Meta is working with small businesses  to support their digital transformation journey and get them future-ready.   Podcast Information: The show is hosted and produced by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin) and Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin, LinkedIn). Sound credits for the intro and end music: "Run it" by DJ Snake, Rick Ross and Rich Brian and the episode is edited by Geoffrey Thomas Craig.
"There's definitely decoupling happening in terms of tech. And I actually was really skeptical of the coupling until this year. And I'm like, wow, you're really going to be seeing it. But on the other hand, the financial services sector is opening up much more this year than before." - Shai Oster   Fresh out of the studio, Shai Oster, the Asia Bureau Chief for The Information returns for the sixth year to discuss the state of China in 2021. Shai reviewed his predictions in 2021 and offered his perspectives on what surprised him the most on China tech from the regulatory tsunami from the Chinese government to dwindling funding of the startup ecosystem. We discuss how the Chinese economy is undergoing major transformation and whether we have a China tech ecosystem in 2022. Last but not least, Shai Oster provided glimpse of what is to come for 2022.   Podcast Information: The show is hosted and produced by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin) and Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin, LinkedIn). Sound credits for the intro and end music: "Run it" by DJ Snake, Rick Ross and Rich Brian and the episode is edited by Geoffrey Thomas Craig.
"You're actually helping people, escape, lockdown, escape, poverty, and most of all, you're providing equal economic access to crypto based economies anywhere in the world. So now you don't have to be super crypto or tech savvy. What you really need is an internet connection in a device, in a crypto wallet, and you can start earning money. And if you don't know how to do that, your community managers are there to help you how to do it." - Gabby Dizon   Fresh out of the studio, Gabby Dizon, co-founder of Yield Guild Games (YGG) joined us in a conversation to share the origin story of YGG and how it builds the guilds with community managers and players to bring financial inclusion globally with play to earn crypto gaming. Gabby explained the role of YGG and how play to earn is transforming the gaming industry and what it means for the industry moving forward. Last but not least, Gabby offers his perspectives in the metaverse and what it means for the Web3 movement going forward.   Podcast Information: The show is hosted and produced by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin). Sound credits for the intro and end music: "Run it" by DJ Snake, Rick Ross and Rich Brian and the episode is edited by Geoffrey Thomas Craig.
"And right now the internet is the metaverse to an extent. The only difference here is that it's not truly decentralized and you didn't have ownership on the internet before now you have ownership through the blockchain. So that means that the internet is now becoming more metaverse like, because people can own their own assets. They can interact with the blockchain through their web explorer for the front ends to where the metaverse are right now." - Aleksander Larsen   Fresh out of the studio, Aleksander Larsen, co-founder and chief operating officer of Sky Mavis, the studio behind the first successful blockchain game, Axie Infinity, joined us to discuss the origin story of the company and how it jumpstarted the NFT and play to earn games to life. Aleksander shared the early days of Axie Infinity and explained why they ended up building the Ronin side chain to launching the decentralized exchange, Katana. Last but not least, Aleksander offered his thoughts on how Axie Infinity will contribute to the metaverse conversation in the years ahead.   Podcast Information: The show is hosted and produced by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin). Sound credits for the intro and end music: "Run it" by DJ Snake, Rick Ross and Rich Brian and the episode is edited by Geoffrey Thomas Craig.
"I will say that in the end, the Evergrande situation will be similar, particularly to like HNA group. So I think right now they have not filed for an event bankruptcy cases. Yet their hope is still can can muddle through. But in the end, the likely end of Evergrande is going to turn out to be much more similar than people realize." - Ren Liqian Podcast Information:The show is hosted and produced by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin) and Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin, LinkedIn). Sound credits for the intro and end music: "Run it" by DJ Snake, Rick Ross and Rich Brian and the episode is edited by Geoffrey Thomas Craig. Fresh out of the studio, Ren Liqian from Wisdom Asset Management, joined us to discuss the fallout from the likely default of Evergrande, a Chinese real estate conglomerate and what it means for the Chinese economy and the rest of the world. Liqian started the conversation with her background and her analysis of the Chinese market specifically in the real estate and technology sector. She debunked the misconceptions of Evergrande from Western media similar to the Lehman contagion during the 2008 financial crisis and explained the likely outcomes of Evergrande if it ever defaults. Last but not least, she shed light on how State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration, a Chinese government body that are working behind the scenes on the Evergrande situation similar to other conglomerates in trouble such as HNA and Huarong. Editor's note: We recorded this conversation in early November, and hence it does not include the recent news on Evergrande's default.
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