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In the past few years, venture capital and private equity investments within Southeast Asia have risen to record levels as SEA-based startups scaled new heights year after year. In 2019, it was reported that South-East Asia’s (SEA) internet economy is worth US$100 billion, and will triple to US$300 billion by 2025.

But then COVID-19 struck, disrupting lives and changing many economic assumptions. Many governments have mandated strict containment measures since the first quarter this year, and these measures have very direct and immediate drastic consequences to businesses across the globe. Sequoia sent a rare “warning” to their portfolio companies and Softbank has also emphasized cash flow and breakeven to their biggest portfolio startups. We are now witnessing the travel, hospitality industry and some of its adjacent industries grind to a halt. Yet, at the same time, the S&P500 seems to tell a V-shape recovery story funded by cheap central bank liquidity. 

On the 13th May, 4-5 pm, AngelCentral has assembled a panel of distinguished investors who will share their take on the COVID and post COVID startup investment scene regionally.  Specifically, hear their collective take on what is expected to happen for major ASEAN economies and verticals where their portfolio companies operate. Understand if there is a revaluation happening across the various stages of startups and hear their prognosis for the overall ecosystem focusing on founders, talent, markets, and exits.

About the Panel

B. Paul Santos

Managing Partner, Wavemaker Partners

B. Paul Santos is Managing Partner at Wavemaker Partners. He led the establishment of the Singapore-headquartered Southeast Asia (SEA) office in 2012. The firm is SEA’s go-to seed-stage VC for enterprise and deep tech with 100+ (85% of total portfolio) investments in the space. Its portfolio includes startups in software, AI and cybersecurity as well as precision agriculture, cleantech, additive manufacturing and laser communications. Recent exits include Moka’s and’s acquisitions by Gojek, Red Dot Payment by PayU/Naspers and Wavecell by 8x8.

Binh Tran

General Partner, 500 Startups Vietnam

Binh Tran is a general partner at 500 Startups Vietnam, the most active seed stage venture capital fund in Vietnam. 500 Startups Vietnam has completed over 60 investments, across multiple sectors such as fintech, ecommerce, AI, and logistics.

Prior to 500 Startups Vietnam, Binh spent most of his career as an entrepreneur and co-founded Klout in 2008, a social data analytics company backed by top tier Silicon Valley VCs that was acquired in 2014.

Andrew Vranjes

Head of Startup Ecosystem, ASEAN, Amazon Web Services

Andrew Vranjes is Head of Startup Ecosystem, ASEAN at Amazon Web Services. Based in Singapore, Andrew leads a team who support startups, venture capital and accelerators across Southeast Asia. Andrew helps startups grow, scale, and acquire customers. Prior to AWS, Andrew held multiple leadership roles with Cisco and SingTel/Optus in Australia.

Xelia Tong

Managing Partner, Investor Relations & Partnership, ScaleUP Malaysia

Xelia has always been in Malaysia’s funding ecosystem, starting her stint with Malaysia Debt Ventures Berhad (“MDV”), a 100% owned entity of the Ministry of Finance that provides technology related project funding. During her time with MDV, she was instrumental in bringing in an international games development company to set up a world class games development centre in Malaysia. She was also hired by Bank Simpanan Nasional (”BSN”)(Malaysia’s National Savings Bank) to manage a RM 200m Creative Industry Fund. Her last role as the Vice President of Investment and Head of Angel Tax Incentive in Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd (“Cradle”) an early stage technology start-up funding agency  saw her facilitating the funding of 185 entrepreneurs, some of whom went on to raise in total close to RM 90m from both local and foreign investors. She has since left Cradle and joined ScaleUp Malaysia, a growth stage accelerator overseeing investors relations and partnership.

Huang Shao-Ning

Partner & Chief Angel, AngelCentral

Shao-Ning is the Chief Angel and co-Founder of AngelCentral ( AngelCentral started as a community in Feb 2017 to facilitate angel investments in Singapore. The community grew rapidly to almost 280 strong within ten months, and helped raised 8+M since 2016. Seeing the enthusiasm and support from the community, Shao-Ning together with Teck Moh and Der Shing, decided to incorporate and provide deeper angel training and investment support, with the key mandate to bridge good angels with good startups in Southeast Asia.