Rising Giants Newsletter (Bonus: Half Year Review) - N.22 Sofia Perez, Managing Principal at IDEA Consultancy

Max & Dom chatting with the boldest and most inspiring entrepreneurs and investors in Cambodia 🇰🇭. Turn on 💡, tune in 📻, keep up 🚀

Welcome to the Rising Giant's Podcast Newsletter by Max Thornton and Dominic Kalousek.

If you enjoy our content, please subscribe to our post-interview newsletter as we share our most recent podcast episode, Southeast Asia startup and venture capital news, venture deals, entrepreneur resources, and job opportunities in the region!

🏆 Rising Giants Half Year Review & Accomplishments

Thank you for your patience for the delayed release of our weekly newsletter. As Q2 came to an end, both Max and I took a little time off to relax and reflect on how far Rising Giants has come from our first episode release in the beginning of 2021. Over the course of the past 6 months, we have been working week in and week out to grow this medium to provide the best content in Cambodia’s entrepreneurship space. Thanks to the all of ours subscribers and listeners, we have grown to become one of the top podcasts in the entrepreneurship genre in Cambodia.

We all love data, so we want to share our podcast ranking progression from Chartable since we started in early January to the end of Q2. Since it’s calculated daily, you will see the data points reflect this below:

Growing a media platform is always a challenge, especially with many podcasts ending after producing a few episodes, but we have kept our laser focus on two key parts of our brand that is important to us: consistency and quality. Max and I have a deep passion for Cambodia and will continue sharing the stories of those who are creating positive impact in the country. We couldn’t be more excited heading into Q3 and Q4 with the pipeline of guests we have slated to join us on the show.

Quick Podcast Figures:

Again, we want to give a huge thanks to all of our listeners and subscribers of the channel as we wouldn’t have been able to do it without you. We always welcome any guest suggestions and sponsorship interests as well, so please feel free to contact either of us with any inquiries through our LinkedIn’s. We hope that you enjoyed this company update and continue to “Turn on 💡, Tune in 📻, Keep up 🚀”!

▶️ This Weeks Episode Recap

This week, we welcome Sofia Perez on the podcast from the Idea Consultancy. Sofia is originally from the Philippines, having lived and worked in Cambodia since 2006, witnessing firsthand the radical change the country has been through. Sofia is the Managing Principal of the Idea Consultancy having built it into one of the leading names in the design consultancy space in the country. The Idea is a social company with a multi-disciplinary team of business consultants, data analysts, multimedia designers, project engineers, writers, trainers, and event planners.

We get into:

  • 🧐 How corporate social responsibility and community engagement is becoming an important business component in Cambodia .

  • 📝 Novel methods for approaching 360 consulting in developing markets; focusing on sustainable long term partnerships.

  • 🛠️ Using running as a way to realign your body and mind, and push past boundaries in your work life.

  • 🎨 Why limitations and structure can be massively freeing for the creative process.

🧠 Want to learn more about The Idea Consultancy?

  • Check out their website to learn more about the services they provide from web development, to business consultancy, to creative solutions.


🎧 Find us on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Play, and Anchor!


📝 Venture Capital Deal Flow Highlights in Southeast Asia

IPO News: Jakarta-based Bukalapak went public with a $1.1 Billion IPO, in Indonesia’s biggest IPO in more than a decade.

Bukalapak is the 4th largest e-commerce company in Indonesia and raised $800 million via its IPO. The IPO created a valuation of around $5.6 billion, which is twice the level it was valued at 24 months ago. The company has received support from Singapore’s GIC, Ant Financial, as well as local media conglomerate Emtek. US tech giant Microsoft has also invested in the company.

Philippine logistics startup LOCAD said Monday it has received $4.9 Million (P241.6 million) in seed round funding from venture capital firms led by Sequoia Capital. They also have received funding from Antler, Febe Ventures, Global Founders Capital, among others sources.

LOCAD uses cloud-based technology for its logistics solutions that gives big and smaller e-commerce brands access to a distributed warehousing network not just in the Philippines but also in the wider Asia Pacific region. With the fresh funds, the company is poised to further expand their warehouse network in the Philippines while investing on their regional expansion.

Indonesian ed-tech startup Gredu announced that they have raised $4 Million in a Series A round led by Intudo Ventures, an Indonesia-focused venture capital firm.

The Jakarta-based startup was created to give everyone involved in the educational process—school administrators, teachers, parents, guardians and students—apps that let them keep track of everything and communicate with one another. Founded in September 2016, Gredu is now used by more than 400 schools, with a total of 400,000 users. Its Series A will be used to expand in the Greater Jakarta Region and into major cities throughout Indonesia, plus product development and hiring.

Vietnamese investment application Infina, which calls itself the “Robinhood of Vietnam”, has successfully raised a $2 Million oversubscribed seed round.

Infina launched its app in January 2021. Most of its users are between the ages of 25 to 40 and looking for alternatives to investing in long-term asset classes like real estate The company notes that only about 3.2% of people in Vietnam have invested in stocks. But according to the Vietnams Securities Depository, about 500,000 trading accounts were opened during the first five months of 2021, a 20% increase from all of 2020.

The new funding will be used to hire people with technical and investment backgrounds to further develop Infina’s KYC (know your customer) system to better analyze their risk appetite, as well as its system for evaluating each asset class.


📰 Frontier Market Start-Up and Venture Capital News in Southeast Asia

🇰🇭 In Cambodia, Khmer Enterprise continues to uplift entrepreneurial capacity via training and linking local SMEs and startups to the market, finance, and digital technology solution.

🇹🇭 AirAsia’s deal with Gojek Thailand brings it closer to its ‘Super App’ dream.

🇮🇩 Indonesia is close to an IPO overhaul to lure mega tech listings.

🇻🇳 Start-up valuations see correction in Vietnam amid COVID-19 crisis.

🇧🇩 How IT firms and startups keep the wheel of Bangladesh’s economy afloat during pandemic.

🇳🇵 In Nepal, start-up entrepreneurs are to get subsidized seed capital from the Ministry of Finance once the Business Credit Flow Work Procedure 2021 goes into effect.

🇵🇭 Singapore AI startup Sqreem launches Covid-19 tracker in the Philippines.


📚 Knowledge Base: Entrepreneur and Investor Learning Resources

This week’s video series, we share a video (in Khmer) with Sam Kosal from CEO Business Cambodia who shares 3 tips on being a good manager. On their Youtube Channel “The Camidea”, they share with the audience their ideas for self-development, success, scholar experiences, entrepreneurship, investment, running own business, and other idea for improvements.

Additional Resources To Check Out:

🔍 Why content is no longer king.

🎥 Tactical advice for when you are building your audience on social media.

🔨 How to write better cold emails.

🔥 Crypto TalkIs Bitcoin legal in Cambodia?


👨🏼‍💻 Frontier Market Job Opportunities


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🧐 What is Rising Giants?

The Rising Giants Podcast was created in November 2020 by Max Thornton and Dom Kalousek after realizing that there were a limited number of resources available for insight into the local startup and investor ecosystem in Southeast Asia.  

Our mission is to talk to entrepreneurs and investors in the world’s most rapidly evolving frontier markets to help understand what it takes to have bold ideas and build the business disruptors of tomorrow. Through our personal exploration of these landscapes, we dive deep in our interviews with inspirational individuals learning about their career journeys, ideas, and insights into the markets of developing startup ecosystems, and expanding on why they see their business and the region as a "rising giant”.