By Victor Chua
2017 represented a great year of change, exploration and development for me as a person and the greater venture ecosystem in Southeast Asia as a whole. With all these successes, 2018 marks a year where new journeys begin and we embrace ourselves with even more “more-work-to-be-done” moments ahead. It is under this backdrop that we decided that it is the right time for a “different-yet-familiar” kind of growth in the region. Understanding this, we embarked to create a new way of venture investing – and Vynn Capital is our solution to address the unique opportunity in the market to bridge familiar industries with new and emerging sectors to create economic growth.
This “different-yet-familiar” kind of growth is really about corporate innovation. A lot of people have been discussing corporate innovation where traditional blue-chip companies are working to leverage new technologies to revitalize their business operations against an inexorable tide of digitalization. While it makes sense for larger corporations to explore business diversification, family businesses and mid-tier companies are also making their way into this space and investing to satiate a more primal purpose – survival.
Traditional big boys took their time to study the market and realized that digitalization is inevitable and those who resist change will be ruthlessly swept away with the times. So many have tried to venture build on their own or simply invest directly into startups without professional experience or know-how, resulting in disappointment and fruitless efforts. As such, Vynn Capital aims to work directly with traditional industry partners to assist them in tackling the startup space to create meaningful solutions to facilitate business growth, allowing corporations and family businesses better understand how tech investing works and how it is able to generate real results for their bottom lines.
What are we doing differently?
The core spirit of Vynn is all about helping traditional businesses create new engines of growth, bridging the knowledge and resource gap between large established companies and families with startup ingenuity and hustle. It is essentially a matchmaking of skill sets.
From there, we examined the best way we can add value to both our investors and startups we aim to back and formulated a strategy, which we believe is uniquely suited to the market based on the following characteristics:
- Concentrated industry focus – we are focusing on five core industries, which we believe are synergistic to one another or offer a natural next-phase expansion possibility. Namely, “Travel”, “Property”, “Food & FMCG”, “Female Economics” and “Logistics & Enablers (fintech is lumped under this category)”;
- Consciously engage with investors that have businesses in our industry focus – we will actively encourage investors to engage with our portfolio companies in a healthy and transparent manner, which we hope will allow startups to tap into the business knowledge of our investors, while our investors can gain meaningful exposure to the tech industry to address their individual business needs;
- Focusing on cross-border or inter-industry opportunities – we will identify and invest in startups that are looking to branch out in terms of geography and industry, leveraging the Vynn team’s proven experience supporting business expansion and strong local and regional network to provide meaningful value to our portfolio companies. In turn, creating companies that are built for long-term sustainable growth.
Who do we work with?
Given our focus on synergistic industries, we work with companies and families that are operating in these sectors or who have an interest in learning about and gaining exposure to these particular industries.
We are a platform that allows our partners, be it investee companies or our investors, to explore new markets and industries by working closely within the ecosystem that we are creating. This is the reason our investors are companies and families with business interests in these industries and why we aim to invest in startups operating in this space.
Where are we headed?
We envision a future where tech startups seamlessly collaborate with larger incumbents as a complementary force for change, rather than being viewed as a threat or disruptor to traditional sectors. At the end of the day, why re-invent the wheel when you already have something that is running. By improving what we already have through combined efforts and resources, we can create a more meaningful future for businesses, startups and society as a whole.
This is our first major step as a new team. We appreciate all the support we have received and we welcome more collaborative opportunities with long-term partners who can appreciate these values with us. We hope to fulfill this “Vynn-ing” strategy with our trusted partners and achieve a shared vision.