Category Archives: Capital

Singapore as a hub

Interesting post from Matt W at EF :: https://medium.com/@mattwichrowski/field-notes-on-singapores-venture-scene-3dba1dd66798

Lots to parse in this but I generally agree in that the city is primed for potential and the big stuff is yet to come but we are on the cusp of it.

SeedPlus got a mention so I will just call that out but there is much more in the article than that. I personally like the section on Singapore as a hub:

3. There’s power in being a hub

I made the mistake of starting early conversations with: “What’s the Singapore venture scene like?” A simple question, but it immediately showed my ignorance. You can’t properly assess Singapore without taking all of Southeast Asia into account, because the two are cosmically intertwined. Investment strategy isn’t limited to the 277.6 mi² area of the island. It’s regional from day one. Singapore has achieved a remarkable amount in just 50 years, and it has done a lot of that by partnering with the rest of the world. International legal standards and advantageous tax treatment have made Singapore the de facto Southeast Asian hub for many businesses. So while there’s a lot of money in the small island nation, that cash is flowing to Vietnam, India, Malaysia and a host of fast-growing countries. The inverse is true for talent. Many of the region’s best minds flock to Singapore to build their startup HQ, and then attack their local market for dominance. This is, in no small part, one of the driving reasons EF set up shop there.

My relocation to Singapore after years of being around other parts of Asia was solely based on this premise – Singapore makes for a great hub and I think this is huge for startups and for VC’s. Of course no place is perfect and there are people that disagree but that doesn’t change the appeal of Singapore for me and most of the folks I work with.

An exit is usually an acquisition

I don’t have the slides for this and wish I did but the video is worth a watch.

Startups don’t always talk about it but most exits are via mergers or acquisitions. Yes – founders can dream about going all the way but that doesn’t noramlly happen. If the startup even makes its, cause going bust is the normal route, the path to exit won’t always be an IPO or making piles of cash.

Founders shouldn’t avoid an acquisition as an exit route, in fact it might very well be the most lucrative outcome.

All that aside though, if founders think companies are bought then they are in for another surprise. Companies are sold which means you need to know how to sell your company by understanding which companies might buy you and figuring out how to navigate corp dev.

Startups should start thinking about how all this works earlier than they normally do.

Enjoy!

Debt

I don’t watch his shows but have always loved Anthony Bourdain’s books. Kitchen Confidential is among my most favorite books ever. It could be that as a teenager I worked in a kitchen for many years and the book appealed to my culture that I was experiencing at the time.

I do love hearing the inside story of people and this latest from Anthony on wealth, money, debt and enjoying life is pure gold :: https://www.wealthsimple.com/en-us/magazine/money-diary-anthony-bourdain

That was really the first time I started thinking about saving money. About not finding myself in that terrifying space, that uncertainty that goes back to childhood. Will the car get fixed? Will we be able to pay for tuition? In very short order, I contacted the IRS and I paid what I owed. I paid American Express. Since that time, I am fanatical about not owing anybody any money. I hate it. I don’t want to carry a balance, ever. I have a mortgage, but I despise the idea. That was my biggest objection to buying property, though I wasn’t in the position to pay cash.

Getting my first mortgage also freaked me out due to the debt load. I always borrowed for cars too and just figured it was about building credit worthiness. Fortunately I have never lost my shirt on a house deal. But I know so many people that became “house poor” or defaulted on a mortgage.

One of the wonderful things about my agent, Kim Witherspoon, is she always presents me with two options when approaching a business deal, particularly when it comes to books. She’ll say, ”Look, you could go with these guys and get a whole shitload of money upfront, or you could go with these guys, which is the morally right and loyal thing to do, and negotiate an amount of money that fits in with what we actually think you’re going to sell.” I like to make money for my partners.

It’s amazing to hear how he cares about everyone making money. Not just himself.

I’d like my daughter and her mom looked after, both while I’m alive and after. They shouldn’t have to worry if something bad happens, so my investments and savings are based on that. I’m super-conservative. Money doesn’t particularly excite or thrill me; the making of money gives me no particular satisfaction. To me, money is freedom from insecurity, freedom to move, time if you choose to make use of time. My investments advisor understands that I’m not looking to score big on the stock market or bonds. I have zero understanding of it and zero interest. Life is too short. I like a limited amount of mail, and a limited amount of conversations with people who make the investments. If the money’s not less money every time I look at it, I’m pretty happy. If it’s a little bit more, great.

That’s the best part for me. The family first mantra and the I want to have fun while I am alive. Life is too short – I need to constantly remind myself of that.

Sounds like a cool dude.

My crazy week

I ended Friday with more good news that I can’t share but before I had slept I read Term Sheet and Pro Rata.

SeedPlus happened to be in both.

Want to say thanks to the amazing SeedPlus team. We are just getting started.

Pro Rata :: https://www.axios.com/pro-rata-2278608696.html

Term Sheet :: http://fortune.com/2017/03/17/term-sheet-friday-march-17/

I’m a gonna lay low for weekend.

😂