Podcast: Hard Truths by Vertex | Episode 7 - Truths About Helping Influencers Make a Living in the $68B SEA Creator Economy, with Paulina Purnomowati and Khushbu Topandasani

Elise TAN | 22 Mar 2023

In the final installment of our International Women’s Day series, we bring you Episode 7 of our Hard Truths by Vertex Podcast. In this episode, we interview Paulina Purnomowati, CMO at TipTip and her investment manager, Khushbu Topandasani, Associate Director at Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India.

Amidst Indonesia’s rapidly growing content creation market, Paulina helps influencers earn a living as the CMO of TipTip. Paulina has over 20 years of experience in marketing, brand building, and innovation for leading luxury brands, and emerged as a top-5 finalist in The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition. What are her learnings from being on the Apprentice? What is Vertex’s investment thesis for TipTip and the content-creation vertical? What does it take to succeed as an influencer? And what are some Hard Truths she has learned along the way?

Find out on HTBV7.

Vertex Ventures SEA&I is proud to be associated with over 20 female-founded startups across Southeast Asia and India and this episode is part of our special series for International Women’s Day 2023. Throughout March we will feature four accomplished female business leaders, along with their Vertex investors - so do subscribe to our show and discover what it takes for women leaders to succeed in male-dominated spaces.

Our Guests

Paulina Purnomowati is the Chief Marketing Officer at TipTip, the go-to monetization platform for Southeast Asian content creators and a one-stop shopping and learning destination for digital content and live sessions for everyone. Prior to joining TipTip, Paulina was the Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy at Evolve MMA, Asia's premier martial arts championship brand. She has nearly 20 years of experience in brand building, marketing, innovation, business development, and corporate development for leading brands such as L'Oréal, P&G, Evolve MMA, Chanel, Mount Scopus, Valiram, Mitra Adiperkasa, Global Brands Group, TOD'S, and ERHA CLINIC. She was the sole Indonesian representative and top five finalists for The Apprentice: One Championship edition in 2021.

Khushbu Topandasani is an Associate Director, Investments at Vertex Ventures South East Asia & India, based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Her portfolio includes TipTip, Fairatmos, Dailybox, Cosmart, Fairbanc, and Sirclo. Prior to joining Vertex, Khushbu was a Product Manager at Citibank where she was also part of the prestigious Management Associate Program. At Citibank, she undertook several roles including Corporate Banking, Insurance, Wealth Management, and Cards & Loans. Khushbu also interned at Ernst & Young Singapore and Starwood Hotel & Resorts Singapore (now Marriott International).

In This Episode

(01:53) First Impressions

(03:41) About TipTip and their journey so far

(06:49) Vertex’s Investment thesis for TipTip

(09:19) How Paulina was convinced to join TipTip

(12:30) Hard Truths about being a startup CMO

(14:22) Vertex is indexing more toward unit economics

(15:28) Advice for female leaders

(20:40) Learnings from being on The Apprentice

(24:10) Memorable customer stories

(27:45) Finding Product-Market Fit

(29:43) Tips for succeeding as an influencer

(32:29) How TipTip works and what’s coming next

At Vertex Ventures SEA&I, as you know, we stand for gender neutrality and strongly believe in partnering with impressive talents to cocreate champions, regardless of gender. We are proud to share that in our Fund 4, 40% has been invested into female-led companies. And in the region, we invested into the most number of female leaders of any early stage fund.


Notes and Full Transcript for Episode 7.

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Your Host

Elise Tan is the Director of Communications and Community at Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India. Prior to joining Vertex, she has had extensive experience in investor relations and partnership at global venture funds and accelerators with more than $100m in AUM. Elise also currently runs a Southeast Asia-based startup community of nearly 800 entrepreneurs called the Asia Startup network and actively supports their startup journey through panels, meet-ups, and mentoring programs.

Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India is a pioneer in investing in tech start-ups in this region and has helped to build a number of unicorns. In this podcast, we seek to share and uncover the Hard Truth - raw, unfiltered insights and venture capital knowledge from across Southeast Asia and India. Tune in to learn from leading founders, innovators, venture capitalists, and industry experts in the region and to gain industry insights from those in the know.

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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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