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Analyse Asia

Sep 8, 2019

Fresh out of the studio, Chua Kee Lock, CEO of Vertex Holdings and managing partner of Vertex Ventures, Southeast Asia & India joined us in a conversation together with guest host Charles Reed Anderson of TechBurst Asia podcast about the venture capital firm and its footprint across Southeast Asia globally. We start with Kee Lock's story and how he eventually become a venture capitalist. Following on, Kee Lock discuss Vertex Holdings and Vertex Ventures and how the fund assembles and helps their portfolio of high growth startups such as Grab in the region. Last but not least, Kee Lock discuss the evolution of venture capital in Southeast Asia and India and where it is leading.

Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion (with time-stamps included):

  • Chua Kee Lock,  CEO of Vertex Holdings & Managing Partner of Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India ( LinkedIn) [0:25]
    • How did you start your career? [0:36]
    • In your career journey, what are the words of wisdom you can share with my audience based on your time in Silicon Valley? [2:18]
    • Kee Lock's thoughts on why people are central to building successful technology companies. [3:30]
  • Vertex Holdings and Vertex Ventures [5:00]
    • Can you give a brief introduction to Vertex Holdings and its relationship with Temasek Holdings? [5:10]  
    • What’s a typical day for you like as a VC? [11:07]
    • Can you describe the different funds under Vertex Holdings and their current purposes? Does the different funds reflect the different stages of investment? [12:45]
    • What are the traits of founders and startups which the investment team in Vertex seek? [14:00]
    • What are the interesting companies within the Vertex portfolio? [16:40]
    • How does the Vertex network help the portfolio companies or companies who might be interested to seek funding? [21:30]
    • Vertex has made very interesting investments globally, for example, Grab, Spacemob (acquired by Wework), Mobike (acquired by Meituan Dianping) and many others, how do you work with the founders and what help do most high growth companies need most in the early stage? 
  • Trends in venture capital across India and Southeast Asia [24:40]
    • What are your thoughts on the investment opportunity in India and Southeast Asia? [25:00]
    • Southeast Asia is not a homogeneous market with different countries at different stages of economic development, how does Vertex see their investments when they do their regional expansion? Do you see India with the same challenge? [26:25]
    • Kee Lock's comments on shortage of tech talent and skills in Asia and how entrepreneurs are solving them. [28:30]
    • Kee Lock's thoughts on returning technology talent to Asia from Silicon Valley and its impact to startup ecosystems in Asia Pacific for the next few years. [30:50]
    • Does the lack of exits in India and Southeast Asia deter the market opportunity for venture capital to thrive? [31:35]
    • With more global funds entering the region, do you see the potential of an overheated market with valuations going up? [33:00]
    • Where do you see the evolution of venture capital in the next few years? [35:30]
  • Closing [37:40]
    • Can you recommend a book or movie or podcast or anything which recently made an impact to your work and personal life? [37:45]
      • Kee Lock's recommendations: Ray Dalio's "Principles" and Simon Sinek's "Start from Why"
    • How do my audience find you? [39:00]

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted by guest host Charles Reed Anderson (@CRASingapore, LinkedIn) from Techburst Asia Podcast and produced by Carol Yin and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) with their new Altizen Desk (Twitter, Facebook, Medium). Sound credits for the intro music: Taro Iwashiro, "The Beginning" from Red Cliff Soundtrack and this episode is fully produced by Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin).

Editor's note: We thank Charles for helping us to guest host this episode before Carol starts her new role as the producer and host of Analyse Asia after the live show.