(LINK) Examining the Super App Strategy in Southeast Asia – Bernard Leong

Of course there is a lot of folks taking on this subject with most of it being regurgitated fodder from press releases or other people with some decent viewpoints but without much research.

I think Bernard takes the subject head-on and offers some history lessons in the process.

No one, and I repeat, no one knows if this is all going to work or if there is even a chance or reason to be a Super App. Don’t get swayed by the over-raising of capital or the supposed metrics since now that we see Lyft and Uber in the public markets we can assume that our local Southeast Asian version are probably not doing any better.

Only time will tell.

We examine the Super app strategy adopted by the ride hailing companies in Southeast Asia. In the same spirit, we want to validate the strategy that are adopted by both Grab and Gojek in comparison to US and China and explain the challenges which these companies has to overcome so that the strategy can succeed.
— Read on www.bernardleong.com/2019/06/09/examining-the-super-app-strategy-in-southeast-asia/

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Montage Sequence #2 – bubbles, loonshots and the OA

Some great stuff in this issue.

This I think about a lot especially in the context of SEAsia:

4/ Finally, I was struck by how all the companies mentioned in the “bubble” pieces – often in reaction to the sticker shock of what seemed like a large valuation back then – went on to bigger and bigger valuations as time went on, often many times over. Which leads me to wonder:
a) why did so many commentators miss the growth that was going to happen to these companies?
b) is the same mistake being made now in the narrative around valuations?

Now I want this book :: Loonshots.

I am still struggling to like OA. 😉

Montage Sequence #2 – bubbles, loonshots and the OA

Grab Touting Masa’s Backing Amps Up Southeast Asia Taxi Wars – Bloomberg

Grab Touting Masa’s Backing Amps Up Southeast Asia Taxi Wars – Bloomberg

I really like Tim for bucking the trend of most reporters and questioning all of this. I met Tim once in Singapore and we shared a meal and chatted. Really enjoyed it and I love that he is accessible and talks via Twitter.

He is willing to kind of say what most won’t:

What Grab failed to do, however, is show how having large tanks of kerosene to burn begets a sustainable business. That makes this bluster look a lot like Asia’s bike-rental wars, and we all know that didn’t turn out well. We shouldn’t be surprised that it’s Masa once again feeding the frenzy given his reputation as a big-stack bully.

No one knows where all of this will land. If the race is about raising piles of cash then I guess Grab is winning.

Obviously I like talking about this subject :: https://seedvc.blog/2019/03/22/my-take-grab-vs-go-jek-inside-asias-battle-of-the-super-apps-fortune/

However I am not sure that means they ultimately win – my issue is that both Grab and Go-Jek seem to think ridesharing forms the basis of a super-app. I am not sure I agree:

 

Scaling A Company While Controlling Costs – AVC

Scaling A Company While Controlling Costs – AVC

Interesting that Fred is suggesting companies reduce engineering costs by outsourcing to China.

I think this works for Zoom cause the CEO came from China and knows how to do it. My guess is most companies find the appeal attractive but will not have much success. You would need a solid executive lead in the company who can manage China and fold the results into the overall framework. I think few will be able to pull this off unless they have a Chinese exec on their team.

However I don’t think China is the only option but what is increasingly happening is the competition for these bodies is growing both from local companies and from regional startups. You see this very clearly in Indonesia with even the large players like GoJek having to do engineering abroad to compete.

As the entire startup ecosystem grows around Asia the local companies will probably be able to hire and manage better but I think the culture of working for an overseas company could also be attractive.

As tech goes global this pull for talent is only gonna increase and I am not sure the USA startup ecosystem will have the leg up for much longer. Since the rise of Asia is unstoppable at this point: