Category Archives: India

Don’t listen to Vivek

Vivek, after trying to fix the gender diversity issues in tech, has now turned is attention to bashing Apple in regards to their India business. Here is his latest rant :: http://factordaily.com/apple-fail-india-iphone/

I love the catchy headline.

I was gonna dig into this one but many people beat me to it, but I think this is the best one :: https://nuclearbits.com/vivek-wadhwas-factor-daily-piece-titled-apple-destined-fail-india/

This dude is so full of crap now he is like the boy who cried wolf. No one listens.

Walmart and Jet

Going to be interesting to see how this plays out. Prof. Galloway is professing a huge writedown is coming but I’m not sure yet. Mark is a shrewd operator and clearly possesses the skills but the issue issue is can Walmart become something big in ecommerce or not.

Here is the latest on the recent layoffs and Mark’s memo to staff :: http://fortune.com/2017/01/26/walmart-layoffs-ecommerce/

I am also wondering how this will play out internationally. Flipkart is toast in the face of a lone battle against Amazon – might make sense for Walmart to buy it and use it to careen through Asia. I never got why Flipkart with all the cash and over payed execs stuck to India only knowing Amazon and Alibaba would go global.

Fun times. Big bucks.

Congrats to Moglix

Pretty excited to see this news finally come out – Moglix has raised their Series A round.

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/280920

We are obviously a new firm, SeedPlus, and have a long ways to go but it is nice to see some early traction. One of the new challenges I am facing in being a VC is just being patient and constructive about playing the long game. When I was shipping product it was always pretty easy to get some short term satisfaction by shipping something, measuring it’s performance and then tweaking along the way to shipping an update.

Dashboards were my crack.

Now I have to just keep going, be patient and work with my team to shape the long game. It’s fun, but challenging.

So with Moglix raising an A we get a chance to celebrate a small milestone. It is also a nice example of the SeedPlus network at work with Ratan Tata, Accel and Jungle all playing vital roles.

If you are interested in learning more about SeedPlus – contact us here :: http://www.seedplus.com/contact/

Korean Startup Scene

I have to admit I am not plugged into it enough.

I watch Scott and his winner/loser video every week – this stuff is pure gold :: https://www.l2inc.com/winners-losers-snapchat-hits-a-snow-storm/

Was interesting to see him mention the Korean app – snow, which is the same Naver folks who brought us Line :: http://www.bustle.com/articles/173843-snow-a-snapchat-like-app-with-filters-will-take-your-selfie-game-to-the-next-level

So basically we have a straight up SnapChat clone that is targeting only Asia which in certain pocket countries can work. Not saying it is a novel strategy but certain companies can pull it off.

What I also find interesting in this NYT piece is the opinion on the Korean tech scene ::

“For the longest time, the holy grail for a lot of Korean founders was to get U.S. market share,” he said. “They all failed, and failed because there were so many issues. There was no American working culture, they didn’t have a network in America, they didn’t speak English.”

“With the rise of China and China’s infatuation with Korean culture, it’s breathed new life into Korean start-ups and founders,” Mr. Chae said. “This is a market that happens to be a lot bigger than the U.S., that seems to be more welcoming for Korean technology and culture than the Western world ever was.”

It’s a great point – why bother with the USA at all if one can essentially focus on Asia and win it? With the growth of SEA region, the 4g penetration coming in India and all the other fringe possibilities like the Middle East – an Asian startup could essentially go big in every place but Europ and America and due well enough to not care.

I see Singapore has a pretty amazing tech HQ – the equivalent of USA’s Delaware for startup incorporation but I often wonder if Taiwan, Japan and Korea ramped their startup tech game in hopes of dominating Asia would that be more powerful than the Chinese brands trying to do the same thing?

I think the core issue still for pure Asian startups focusing on Asian markets is exit strategies – do they sell to American companies? Is there a go-to stock exchange besides the USA they can list on? Going forward as the startups scene keeps heating up I think the I can’t raise seed, I can’t raise an A will start to turn into – where do I go public? 

Hoping one of these regions can figure out a market to list on that works for the Asian scene.

Let the bloodbath begin!

Banged this out yesterday – http://www.nokpis.com/2016/04/18/the-actual-state-of-ott-in-emerging-markets/

The idea being that the expansion of OTT across the planet will be a full scale war and that it won’t simply be handed over to Netflix on a silver platter.

Now we have Netflix with the okay quarter but with a shady forecast: http://techcrunch.com/2016/04/18/netflix-posts-a-mixed-q1-but-adds-6-74m-new-subscribers/

Don’t get me wrong here. Netflix is huge and growing but the cost of building out tech and a library for the globe won’t be cheap. They are also losing paid subscribers who can no longer VPN to get the good content. I am in Singapore and the size of the library sucks here. I can’t even get the latest season of many of the Netflix shows. Thankfully I still use my mom’s account so not like I am sweating the subscription.

However on top of dealing with all the regional players, Netflix has to now contend with Amazon.

http://arstechnica.com/business/2016/04/amazon-starts-offering-prime-video-as-a-8-99-monthly-subscription/

I always assumed Amazon would do this at some point but didn’t expect it this soon. To be frank I had Prime for a bit so I could play with the video service but didn’t keep it due to not having enough content. With the service now being split out I may try it again but I have always found their tech and apps to suck in comparison to HBO and Netflix. Amazon always does just enough to get by versus build the best app ever. It shows with their video apps but maybe this breakout will force them to compete more. Time will tell.

One thing we do know is video is growing like mad – even in Asia. http://variety.com/2016/digital/asia/online-video-further-growth-in-asia-report-1201755475/

I think the market will split off into a few groups and that there will never be one dominant player for the globe or for the Asian regions.

But who the hell knows.