Great time to be an entrepreneur, harder to be a VC: GGV Capital’s Jenny Lee

GGV Capital managing partner Jenny Lee at DealStreetAsia's inaugural Subscribers Special event on July 18 in Singapore.

As Southeast Asia attracts more venture capital investors, the region could get fairly competitive in terms of capital, GGV Capital managing partner Jenny Lee said.

Lee was speaking at DealStreetAsia’s first subscriber-exclusive event in Singapore on Thursday. We have previously reported that there are more than 35 VC funds with a complete or partial focus on Southeast Asia that are raising over $4.2 billion.

“It’s not just the independent VCs but the corporate VCs are jumping into this as well. I just came from a board meeting where we were talking about EDBI, so there’s also government-led capital wanting to enhance the innovation landscape.

“I think it’s [a] great [time] to be an entrepreneur, harder to be a VC because there’s more money coming in. But I think the opportunities [in the region] should kind of make up for this increased interest in the area,” she said.

GGV Capital set up an office in Singapore earlier this year, the firm’s fifth after Menlo Park, California, Shanghai and Beijing and the first in this region.

In Southeast Asia, where Lee spends about 25 per cent of her time, she said the VC firm is still in an exploration and discovery mode.

The new office in the city-state also serves as a gateway for GGV to keep tabs on India.

“India is in a very different stage today, compared to 15-20 years ago. Definitely, they’re going into the second round of serial entrepreneurship, so the quality and talent pool have grown over the years,” she said.

Edited excerpts:

Continue reading this story with a subscription to DealStreetAsia.

Subscribe

Contact us for corporate subscriptions at subs@dealstreetasia.com.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.