Due Diligence Column in The Business Times

Vertex SEA | 16 Oct 2023

We are pleased to share that we will be publishing a monthly column "Due Diligence" in The Business Times, every Third Monday of the month. We are writing this monthly column, focusing on key insights gained from investing and appraising businesses across various sectors.

We invite you to share questions, ideas or suggestions you may have with us too, for this monthly column too via vvsea_communications@vertexventures.com

#1 The role of venture capital in managing startups

27 Sep 2022

By Carmen Yuen, General Partner

In the first of our monthly new column “Due Diligence”, Carmen Yuen, our general partner shares our thoughts on the role of VCs in managing and guiding portfolio companies, specifically in matters of enforcing corporate governance to avoid such painful scenarios.

Read more here.

#2 Science Fiction on the Factory Floor is More Real than You Think. How Good is the Tech?

17 Oct 2022

By Abhijit Gupta, Senior Investment Associate

Imagine walking into a factory and being greeted by a line of robotic arms, each working on wrapping and bundling dresses into a carton.

Sounds like science fiction, but the reality of advanced manufacturing today comes quite close. Our senior investment associate Abhijit dives into the factors and metrics to consider when investing into smart manufacturing.

Read more here.

#3 Investing opportunities in the carbon credit market

21 Nov 2022

By Pui Yan Leung, Partner and Khushbu Topandasani, Senior Investment Associate

What does venture capital have to do with saving the environment?

We believe that Southeast Asia’s transformation toward a greener economy offers interesting investment opportunities, and it would be a missed opportunity to ignore or dismiss the ClimateTech category in our region, even though the space is still nascent. Our colleague Puiyan and Khushbu shed light on the carbon credits related investing opportunities that Southeast Asia offers.

Read more here.

#4 The future of fintech: From digital lenders to neobanks

16 Jan 2023

By Chan Yip Pang, Executive Director

In Asia, digital lending is not new.

However we believe Southeast Asia and India are entering into the “Third Wave” of digital lending, where the advent and confluence of artificial intelligence, open finance and embedded finance are creating breakthroughs in credit assessment and customer outreach. Our colleague Chan Yip walks us through the evolution of fintech in Southeast Asia and highlights the innovation trends in these markets.

Read more here.

#5 How to Assess a B2B Marketplace

20 Feb 2023

By Piyush Kharbanda, General Partner

How does one evaluate B2B marketplace for investment?

Our general partner, Piyush Kharbanda, discusses the challenges behind building B2B commerce platforms and shares his insights on three key metrics to evaluate them from a VC standpoint.

Read more here.

#6 What is a VC-Backable F&B business

By Khushbu Topandasani, Associate Director and Elise Tan, Director, Communications and Community

Southeast Asia offers some of the world’s best gastronomic destinations – food is a central part of our life in this part of the world. The food market is valued at US$696 billion in 2023 and projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.96 per cent between 2023 and 2027.

However, keeping customers happy and sustaining a food and beverage (F&B) business is challenging. How do investors assess F&B startups? As an active investor of startups in the F&B sector across South-east Asia and India, we have been observing the F&B scene closely. Curious, get your answers here.

#7 Payer, Patients and Providers - the keys to success for Digital Health Startups

15 May 2023

By Carmen Yuen, General Partner and Wayne Wee, Investment Analyst

The health-care industry is under pressure not only to increase capacity but also to raise the efficiency of health-care providers, via digital technologies and streamlining of processes to meet unmet needs.

The industry has undergone significant transformation in recent years. The integration of generative AI into healthcare has also opened up a whole new world of possibilities for innovation. And the Covid-19 pandemic has further accelerated the adoption of digital health practices by governments around the world. As the health-care industry continues to evolve, it is likely that we will see even more exciting advances in digital health in the coming years.

Read more here.

#8 The hard talk that venture capitalists need to have with startups now

19 June 2023

By Benedict Tan, Investment Associate

As an early stage investor, we often hear about the various ways startup founders celebrate after successfully raising investments from venture capitalist (VC) firms. Raising new funds is no easy feat, and definitely a milestone for the founders.

Does the relationship between the VC and founders end when the money gets into the bank? It is actually just the beginning of a long journey where difficult decisions will be made.

Read more here.

#9 Defending the moat around the generative AI Castle

17 July 2023

By Genping Liu, Venture Partner and Kah Kheng Gan, Investment Analyst

Recent months have seen the generative AI space grow at an incredible pace, from products like ChatGPT reaching hundreds of millions of users, to enormous funding rounds. With the immense potential that the sector has, investors are watching this space closely, looking for the next big thing.

However, after peeling back all the excitement and clout around AI, investors are left with a question: Is all this activity building sustainable and defensible moats?

Read more here.

#10 Why South-east Asia still holds much promise for startups and venture capital

21 August 2023

By Gary Khoeng, Partner

Is South-east Asia biting the dust in the global startup race? South-east Asia’s startup scene, still very nascent, only began to bloom in the last decade. But are we lagging behind, struggling to keep pace with other global tech powerhouses? Now is the moment to critically examine our trajectory and determine if the South-east Asian startup scene needs a stern reality check.

Read more here.

#11 Demystifying direct-to-consumer brands

16 October 2023

By Jessica Koh, Director

The world’s love affair with direct-to-consumer brands first began little over a decade ago. While early drivers of growth supported the meteoric rise of new-age, Internet-first companies, margin compression and a funding drought have led to their swift downfall. Are there still opportunities in DTC? Jessica Koh, our Director in investments explains in our latest article in The Business Times that opportunities are still abound in DTC, if done right. How does she evaluate companies in the sector?

Read more here.

#12 Beyond Product and Vision, Financial Controls and Performance Metrics are Crucial to Startup Success

20 Nov 2023**

By Himanshu Jain, Associate Director

Many entrepreneurs often emphasise that in the initial stages of a startup, “product is king”. Founders dedicate a significant portion of their time and effort to creating a compelling product or service, and assembling a team capable of bringing that vision to fruition.

Seems like a straightforward playbook, doesn’t it? However, there is one critical element that’s often missing from many early-stage companies that could suddenly break a business — robust processes and support functions.

Read more here.

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Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India is part of the global Vertex Ventures network of funds.

In addition to Southeast Asia and India, the Vertex Global Network is comprised of affiliates in Silicon Valley, China and Israel. This provides a unique platform for our portfolio companies to realize their full potential by leveraging the combined experience and resources of our extensive network of global partners.

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