Podcast: Hard Truths by Vertex | Episode 8 - Truths About Building a Billion Dollar, Profitable Content Business with Joseph Phua, 17LIVE

Elise TAN | 05 Apr 2023

Serial founder Joseph Phua wears many hats. Join us in Episode 8 of Hard Truths by Vertex, where he draws upon his experiences as Chairman of VVSEA&I portfolio company 17LIVE Inc., and concurrent roles as Chairman at Turn Capital, at SoundOn Group, as well as from his prior capacity as CEO and co-founder of dating app Paktor.

What was Joseph's road to founding 17LIVE? How does he navigate the constant uncertainty that surrounds entrepreneurship? Why did he make the difficult decision not to list on NYSE, even after ringing the bell? And what are the Hard Truths he learned along the way?

Tune in to HTBV8 to find out!

And don't miss this Tech in Asia article where Joseph shares the full story about his decision to pull his IPO.

Our Guest

Joseph Phua is chairman and co-founder of VVSEA&I portfolio company, 17LIVE Inc., a social live-streaming platform. He also holds concurrent roles as Chairman at Turn Capital and the SoundOn Group and has recently started the fast-growing Next Apple News media platform.

Before this, he founded Paktor, a pioneering dating app that has expanded beyond Singapore to the rest of Southeast Asia and North Asia, to form the largest social dating group in the region. Joseph holds a BSc in Finance from NYU Stern and an MBA from Chicago Booth.

In This Episode

(00:53) Sound On acquisition and building a portfolio of startups

(03:27) How 17LIVE was formed

(06:28) Vertex’s role in their success

(08:55) The NYSE listing that never happened

(11:32) Hard Truths for entrepreneurs

(13:59) Changing trends in content distribution and monetization

(17:27) Not being sure about doing the right thing

(19:41) The future of content and media businesses

(23:48) Variables affecting content businesses

(26:42) Closing thoughts


Notes and Full Transcript for Episode 8.

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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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