Category Archives: Startups

Blocking time for (planned) chance encounters

I wrote this before about how I am trying to manage my time.

https://seedvc.blog/2017/07/19/time-management/

I always get asked as I have transitioned to VC from a product guy, how I feel about VC life. I think most folks are surprised when I tell them it is all good but managing my time is hard. Why? It is easy to get busy with all the stuff we do. Meeting companies, helping portfolio companies, fund management stuff, meeting LP’s and just spending enough time with your own team helping each other improve our craft.

I am not complaining but just highlighting that if I am not careful – I can easily fill up my day and then wonder where my time went.

Regardless, I still feel it is important to meet new people. Recently I was contacted to provide a referral for a former employee of mine. The person asking for the referral also requested a coffee to chat more. I have made time for these coffees and used my trusty admin Evie, Evie is well trained and knows that coffee meetings are 45 mins at a specific location I like, had it all set up in a few emails.

Yesterday I had that coffee. I am glad I did.

I actually got to meet the guy who helped lead the acquistion of Path and who ran the transitional Path engineering team. There were lots of interesting things I learned but not all I can share. Some small tidbits – the transition team was mostly all Koreans who moved to Jakarta, they all eventually moved back, there is one Indonesian engineer still working on Path, and Path is basically dying a slow death.

We enjoyed our chat given my Yahoo/Koprol experience and it reminded me that the “culture of busy” will keep these fun meetings from happening.

Have fun out there!

 

Updated :: Valuation

Updated the post with some new info.

His latest book :: Narrative and Numbers: The Value of Stories in Business (Columbia Business School Publishing)

Also this is his main web page with all the courses :: http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~adamodar/

Private company valuation is a tough craft – part art, science, gut feel and negotiations.

Came across this the other day:

I love the Prof so figured this was going to be good. And it is.

That lead me to a few more docs.

http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~adamodar/pdfiles/ovhds/inv2E/PvtFirm.pdf

http://people.stern.nyu.edu/adamodar/pdfiles/ovhds/dam2ed/ValIntro.pdf

But this one looks like a gold mine:

http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~adamodar/New_Home_Page/webcastvalonline.htm

ABL

Singapore the 🎯 

Was quoted today in this article :: https://techcrunch.com/2017/07/22/alibaba-tencent-southeast-asia-game-of-thrones/

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.

Productivity

One of our views is that automation will eat the world – like it or not. For me personally, I try to figure out ways to get more productive and manage my own time better. As a VC, I take a lot of meetings. Which means being heavily into my calendar. I have pretty much always relied on Fantastical. They have a new update :: http://flexibits.com/blog/2017/07/fantastical-2-4-for-mac-midsummer-edition/.

Which is killer but I must say that I use it less and less. Why?

Cause my calendar is largely automated via email using Evie.ai.

They have just launched their new product and rebranding.

Full disclosure – SeedPlus is an investor but I was using it before that happened.

Anyways. Check it out. You will love it.

Context

This was posted today :: https://www.dealstreetasia.com/stories/future-early-stage-funding-asean-exciting-seedplus-77307/

Which is great – I appreciate good press.

However I want to clarify the first paragraph:

Michael Smith of early-stage venture fund SeedPlus, an affiliate of Jungle Ventures, is uncertain about the trajectory of early-stage funding in Singapore and the wider region but believes that deep technology as a segment will emerge a winner in the long run.

This was the question that this answer was lifted from:

From your current perspective in the ecosystem, what’s the general trajectory for early-stage funding (i.e. pre-seed to Series A) and its evolution since 2015? What is the future?

My answer:

The future is something we can’t predict but we feel that deep tech will emerge as a winner in the Singapore ecosystem and that across the region there will be startups raising substantial money at the pre-A level for regional or APAC wide business ideas that need institutional money on their way to their Series A. The future looks pretty exciting in our opinion.

I don’t think what I said was I am uncertain. What I said is I can’t predict the future. I don’t have a crystal ball, startup opportunity, and I don’t think it ever makes sense to try and predict the future.

I am just honest in saying no one knows what will happen but I am confident the ecosystem has a very promising future.