Lessons from 100 B2B investments: Malaysia and Singapore

Our mission is to create value for our investors by investing in high-potential technology companies and helping them realize their potential. The challenge is that the early-stage companies we invest in are still more potential than reality.

We get these questions often:

– How does a founder get noticed by and invested in by a VC?

– What kind of startups do you like?

– What “trends” are you seeing now?

And so on.

At the root of these questions is one fundamental one: what startups do early-stage VCs value?

We look mainly at two factors: a) the founding team, and b) the size of the opportunity.

So how do we evaluate potential? Have we found the silver bullet?

Unfortunately, we haven’t. We’ve determined that all we can really do is to try to increase our chances for success. We try to identify what variables are present in our most successful companies and find more companies like them. Obviously, our most successful companies will be led by some of our best entrepreneurs.

We haven’t found the template for the perfect founder but we have noticed qualities that are usually there.

One of our favorite ones is insight.

We believe that the best entrepreneurs built their businesses based on unique, personal and relevant insights. They are pursuing an opportunity that others don’t appreciate and/or in a way that is different from and significantly better than what is out there today.

Perhaps as crucial as the insight itself, is how they got to the insight.

Charlie Munger, Warren Buffet’s partner likes to distinguish between real and pretend knowledge.

Entrepreneurs can come up with good insights when they’ve built real knowledge. They did the work. They took time to observe and reflect. They can tell you what they know and what they don’t know. They don’t need hype or buzzwords or catchphrases. They go beyond what is obvious, down to the brass tacks.

We back founders who can succeed, with or without us. They’ve gone beyond the obvious to spot the opportunities they’ve decided to pursue. In fact – this blog is all about #Wavemakers.

Time will tell whether they will make a return or not, but we were moved enough to believe that they and their insights were worth backing.

We’re hitting the road all across Asia-Pacific in 2020

Wavemaker Partners and AWS are collaborating to engage with enterprise and deep tech startup founders across APAC.

We would love to exchange ideas on what it takes to build truly valuable world-class enterprise and deeptech companies in our region. Upcoming cities in 2020 include New Zealand, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Jakarta, Manila, and Bangkok.

In 2019, we completed two events in Malaysia and Singapore. A big thank you to our partners, Found8 and Amazon Web Services for making the events possible!

Malaysia 2019

Thank you for coming!
A group photo to close off our event in Kuala Lumpur held in Found8 at KL Sentral.

Singapore 2019

Denis Branthonne, founder and CEO of Novade, a fast growing company delivering enterprise apps for building and construction operations.
The food was great too!

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