Contributor posts

The evolution of VC in Indonesia: An eyewitness’ perspective by Adrian Li, Founder and Managing Partner at AC Ventures

So much has changed in the Indonesian VC ecosystem since I first started working on a fund in 2014. From an investor’s perspective, among the most apparent challenges previously was finding entrepreneurial talent and significant downstream funding risk.

But back then we were pioneering and starting venture capital as an asset class in Indonesia along with several other players in the market.

However, entrepreneurs faced bigger challenges than just securing funding. The entire market for the online space, payment and logistics infrastructure was still very nascent. Smartphone capabilities were also far from where they are now, and of course, without the penetration of Gojek, Grab, and Shopee, consumer confidence was much lower.

Just seven years on, things have entirely changed. The majority of consumers do not think twice about buying online given the prevalence of online shopping apps.

What the world of travelling will look like post-pandemic by KC Cheah, CEO at Alpha Red Services

With the growth of mobile technology, OTAs, airlines, and hotel groups are also investing in technology to serve their customers more directly.

The last two decades have brought numerous changes to the travel industry. Travellers can now book hotels, flights, read reviews, and gather information about where they are visiting from the comfort of their homes or anywhere they are.

The travel industry will never remain the same again after the pandemic, at least for the first couple of years. Henceforth, here are some of the travelling trends you should expect.

Will Robinhood’s IPO lead to more short squeezes like GameStop? by Oleg Spilka, Investor, Founder and CEO

Now, as Robinhood prepares to go public, could we see more short squeezes like GameStop emerging on a regular basis?

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Robinhood has rarely strayed from controversy. The app’s imposition of restrictions on the investor accounts in the wake of the GameStop saga drew criticism from investors and onlookers alike.

In May, Warren Buffett, one of Wall Street’s most famous figures, likened Robinhood to a casino. “American corporations have turned out to be a wonderful place for people to put their money and save but they also make terrific gambling chips,” explained Buffett.

“If you cater to those gambling chips when people have money in their pocket for the first time and you tell them they can make 30 or 40 or 50 trades a day and you’re not charging them any commission but you’re selling their order flow or whatever … I hope we don’t have more of it.”

Notes for startups

User retention strategy: Why you need to add social experiences into your app by Angelique Parungao, Content at Amity

While app developers go full throttle on their app user acquisition, they fail to realise that they need to prioritise how they can engage and eventually retain their users in this stiff competition –a concept known as user retention strategy.

After all, it takes five times to acquire new customers than to keep one. This number just shows how a clear user retention strategy can be a powerful tool to ensure the success of an application.

User retention is a significant factor in determining the success of an app. If you have an active user base that stays engaged with your product, you are more likely to retain those customers and increase your in-app revenue.

3 reasons why Asian tech startups fail by Georg Chmiel, co-founder Juwai IQI

In my experience, most investment and industry insiders estimate that about nine out of every 10 Asian startups will fail to reach their fifth birthday.

I have the privilege of examining hundreds of fundraising memorandums from Asian startups each year. I also have extensive experience on the board and in the C-suite of successful technology companies such as the Australian unicorn, the REA Group.

Here, let me walk you through the three most common reasons Asian tech startups fail and how founders can avoid them.

How should non-tech companies approach AI? by Andrey Koptelov, Innovation Analyst at Itransition

Democratisation of AI-based tech is now leading to even the least tech-savvy companies using this technology to their advantage. Companies operating in healthcare, travel, insurance, retail, education, and many other industries now embrace AI software development to streamline their decision-making and make workflows more efficient.

For example, Johnson & Johnson uses AI to discover new drugs and make vaccines. Bloomberg uses AI to automatically generate financial news articles based on companies’ financial reports. Costco has managed to attract millions of new customers by utilising AI to detect the most effective locations for their new store locations.

Other uses of AI firmly resemble decades-old sci-fi movie scenarios. For example, Ping An, a Chinese insurance company, uses facial recognition to detect dishonest clients. Potential borrowers can now apply for loans through an app by answering questions about their finances using a mobile camera.

Playing it safe

Mind the trust gap: How does a company develop consumer trust through data stewardship? by Rajeev Peshawaria, CEO of Stewardship Asia Centre

Big Data sets can be used to track and predict consumer behaviour and analyse group psyche to influencing and nudging political and social views as well as buying habits.

At the other end of the spectrum, data breaches and compromised data security have continued to hit news headlines. According to a report by Risk Based Security (RSB), cited by TechRepublic, the number of breached records jumped 141 per cent in 2020 to 37 billion.

Regulators are doing their part. But regulatory pressure alone has not prevented violations because in most cases, it appears that companies are trying to satisfy the minimum regulatory requirements. Some may even risk ignoring the rules because of cost.

The plethora of corporate data breaches has human consequences, with ordinary people falling victim to scams and online fraud. No consumer wants their private data falling into the wrong hands.

Crypto trading: How to be sure you are doing it safely? by Jeremy Choi, COO, ABCC Exchange

Crypto exchanges play a crucial role in determining your trading experience. Other than being the medium to purchase, sell and trade crypto assets, crypto exchanges also act as a convenient vessel to store funds.

Choosing a crypto exchange platform is fundamental to have a safe trading experience. A secured exchange that complies with the regulatory requirements and ensures protection for all users and projects onboard is necessary to ensure user protection.

When choosing a platform, new traders have to look beyond fee structure and token pairs, rather they should ensure to read into the security and safety processes of these exchanges to protect themselves from being easy victims of fraud.

Platforms like ABCC Exchange, allow for their users to securely trade through their unique multi-layered security infrastructure. An exchange with such a user-centric layout allows current users and other crypto-enthusiasts to feel safe diving into the world of cryptocurrency.

Emotional leadership in a post-COVID-19 business world by Lesley J. Vos

And while it’s common to see 23 to 30-year-old entrepreneurs and startup-ers who are millennials themselves and supposed to set the corresponding leadership style, some aren’t yet emotionally intelligent enough to deal with their ambitious and mindful mentees on the way to business success.

In the post-COVID-19 world, when so many people became more self-aware and revised their life and career goals, emotional intelligence turns to be even more essential in the workplace.

With remote work from homes, the ability to recognise, evaluate, and control mentees’ sentiments is critical for responsible leaders to master.

Here’s what young entrepreneurs and team leads can do to get the ball rolling.

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