Tech Giants, Secondary Exits & Kopi Kenangan in Indonesia with Nadine Freischlad
In Episode 333, Nadine Freischlad, writer from The Ken, joined us in a conversation on the influence of both US and Chinese tech giants in the third most important market in Asia Pacific: Indonesia, the secondary exits spanned by venture capitalists and founders in Southeast Asia and the story of Kopi Kenangan in Indonesia. We began the story with Nadine's journey from startups to The Ken, and why Indonesia is an interesting and hot market after India and China. We discuss the influence of tech giants from US and China in Indonesia and how Google has fired the first salvo with bringing their cloud platform in Jakarta. Following on, Nadine explained why venture capitalists in Southeast Asia are exiting in secondary markets. Last but not least, she discuss why Kopi Kenangan in Indonesia will not follow in the footsteps of Luckin Coffee.
Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion:
- Nadine Freischlad, Writer, The Ken (@nfreischlad, LinkedIn, The Ken Profile, newsletter)
- How did you start your career?
- What brought you to Asia and eventually to write for The Ken?
- Why are you in Indonesia and why is Indonesia the most interesting market in Southeast Asia?
- Influence of US & China Tech Giants in Indonesia
- Reference: “Google’s Kormo, AI Hurdles & Indonesia’s job recruitment nightmare”, “Google fires first volley in Indonesia’s cloud wars” and “Facebook, Paypal’s payments play a super app-ortunity for Gojek”
- Can you describe how the US tech giants, for example, Google, Facebook and Paypal, have built their influence in Indonesia?
- Google has recently launched a job recruitment site called Kormo in Indonesia, can you explain why that came about and what Google wants to achieve out of Kormo?
- In terms of cloud infrastructure, Google is the first to enter the market before Amazon and Microsoft, does it hurt local hosting providers?
- Facebook and Paypal have invested in Gojek (along with Google and Tencent), how does that supercharge Gojek’s ambitions to be a super app in their war against Grab?
- While the US tech giants have invested into Indonesia’s top unicorns, what are the Chinese tech giants doing in Indonesia?
- Given the recent pushback from India and US on Tik Tok, will the Indonesian government follow suit with the influence of chinese apps in Indonesia?
- Secondary market for Southeast Asia startups
- Reference: Southeast Asia’s startups surf a secondary wave
- Given the number of exits from startups are few and far between in Southeast Asia, how are investors justifying their returns to the LPs (limited partners)?
- We do not see a lot of IPOs in Southeast Asia. Can you talk about how VCs managed to generate liquidity by secondary shares sales and elaborate how the secondary share sales work?
- Are there platforms where the secondary shares sales can be transacted between investors, employees and founders of the startup?
- Are there sources of friction generated between founders of startups & their investors (VCs, PE firms) on the secondary sales shares given that it will disrupt the capitalization table (or cap table in short) of the company?
- Do you see secondary shares sales as an important mechanism for VCs and PE firms to generate liquidity? Is this similar to how Silicon Valley VCs and angel investors sold their shares to SoftBank two years back?
- Kopi Kenangan in Indonesia
- Reference: “Kopi Kenangan wants to walk in Luckin’s path, not in its shoes”
- Can you briefly describe the company Kopi Kenangan in Indonesia?
- Indonesia is a coffee country most well known for the javanese coffee beans, how is the coffee culture in Indonesia and how does it help Kopi Kenangan to reach its customers?
- How has Kopi Kenangan as a business scaled up in the recent year for example, their number of retail outlets and customer reach? Are they having any issues of massive burn?
- Can you explain the unit economics of Kopi Kenangan in Indonesia and contrast this with Luckin Coffee in China? (Refer to Part 2 of The Anonymous Report on Luckin Coffee’s flawed unit economics)
- In your perspective, what makes Kopi Kenangan able to move away from the shadow of Luckin Coffee given the latter’s recent scandal?
- Can you recommend your book, podcast and something which has recently inspired your life?
- How can my audience find you?
Editor's Note: Our apologies as there were some issues during the recording on Nadine's end. Hence you will hear a little background noise towards near the end during the Kopi Kenangan part of the conversation. We will hope to improve our recording with our guests in the future
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The show is hosted and produced by Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin) and originally created by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin). Sound credits for the intro music: Taro Iwashiro, "The Beginning" from Red Cliff Soundtrack.