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.

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