Category Archives: Main

Singapore the 🎯 

Was quoted today in this article ::

My general view is that although the Chinese VC and Chinese company activity in SEA region is probably the most as compared to any other region – my gut says that in general Singapore will continue grow to become a target of other regions like the USA and Europe as well.

Singapore has become the default SEA HQ and as the startups continue to mature – the attractiveness to Singapore acquisitions and investment will climb.

Ask A VC #6


Planning on creating a startup and looking to raise some angel money to kick things off. I want to raise money first from friends and family. Any advice?


First off, although it might be called the friends and family round, I suggest exercising caution in actually taking that round label seriously.

Note that most startups fail and if you lose all your capital you might find your family and friends to be a little upset. So make sure they know the risks and that this is disposable capital for them since they may think this is the new gravy train and trust me, it’s not.

Also make sure you do the paperwork right and structure it as a proper note and treat it like all other investors. Maybe sweeten the discount but don’t do silly stuff like promise to pay it back early or do non-standard terms that scare off your future institutional investors.

Ask A VC #6


I am doing a startup and need capital. I understand I need to raise from angels or friends and family and I am curious your thoughts on the friends and family part?


Good one. My advice is to really think the friends and family part through. I normally see them as a last resort since if you take money from them and your startup goes south, which is quite probable, then these people may not want to be your friend anymore and at the next Christmas dinner you may find some disgrunlted family members as well.

I think it is best to first find incubator, grant money or a professional angel network since these groups might force you to come up with a better plan before funding since they have seen many startups. This would be better than potential F&F money where they probably can’t help you with your business or idea all that much. Then as you raise from more porfessional sources and your idea continues to live, coming to the F&F connections might be less risky.

Maybe you have a rich friend or family member and they are interested in funding startups and they want to help you, but make sure you do it all properly like any other investor. Don’t let is get personal. Use a proper investment vehicle like a note and be sure to have similar terms for all parties. Also stay away from loans or any thing that promises pay back as other investors come in. Nothing scares of institutional investors more than seeing a deal where early investors get to cash out with new money coming in.


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 ::

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 ::

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


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 ::

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.