Rising Giants Newsletter - N.18 Jussi Salovaara, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Antler in Southeast Asia

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

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In this weeks episode, we are joined by Jussi Salovaara on the show, he is the Co-Founder of Antler and leads their operations for Southeast Asia as well as being the Co-Host of the podcast 'Antler VC Cast'. Prior to Antler Jussi worked at McKinsey and Nokia. Antler is a venture generation firm working across Southeast Asia to nurture the best human capital in the region and give them the support to build fantastic businesses. Jussi is excited about the potential of new markets in the region such as Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia.

We get into:

  • ☀️ Jussi’s journey from McKinsey and Nokia to Co-Founding Antler.

  • 📝 Diving deep into Antler’s platform and business model, the impact they have made in emerging / frontier markets, and their approach to supporting venture building.

  • 🛠️ Jussi’s perspective on the importance of supporting early-stage ventures.

🧠 Want to learn more about Antler?

  • Learn about the Antler experience here.

  • Check out Antler’s podcast called “Antler VC”, one of the top rated Southeast Asia podcasts out now.

  • Keep up to date with the latest news and posts for Antler by giving them a follow on their Twitter page.


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


📝 Venture Capital Deal Flow Highlights in Southeast Asia

Vietnamese social commerce startup Mio is taking advantage of that gap by building a reseller network and logistics infrastructure that can offer next-day delivery to tier 2 and 3 cities. The startup, which currently focuses on fresh groceries and plans to expand into more categories, announced last week it has raised $1M in seed funding.

Indonesian startup TaniHub Group that helps farmers get better prices and more customers for their crops, has raised a $65.5M Series B. Founded in 2016, TaniHub now has more than 45,000 farmers and 350,000 buyers (including businesses and consumers) in its network. The company helps farmers earn more for their crops by streamlining distribution channels so there are fewer middlemen between farms and the restaurants, grocery stores, vendors and other businesses that buy their products

Malaysian based farm-to-table startup Secai Marche received about $1.4M in pre-Series A funding from Rakuten Ventures and Beyond Next Ventures to build a B2B logistics platform for farmers that sell to restaurants, hotels and other F&B (food and beverage) businesses in Malaysia and Singapore. Secai Marche wants to streamline agricultural logistics, making fulfillment more cost-efficient and enabling food businesses to bundle products from different farmers into the same order. Founded in 2018 by Ami Sugiyama and Shusaku Hayakawa, the company currently serves 130 farmers and more than 300 F&B businesses.

Singapore based HR tech startup Impress.ai has raised $3M in a pre-series A funding round led by Summit 29K. The AI startup will use the newly raised capital for product development, hiring, and expansion across Australia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Launched in January 2017, impress.ai helps recruiters at every stage of the talent acquisition process, from screening to interviewing and shortlisting candidates at scale. The startup said that it has thus far served close to 50 enterprises, including DBS, Singtel, ADB and Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

ON THE LOOK OUT: Vietnamese e-commerce startup Tiki is raising $150-$200M in its latest funding round in the next few months. If successful, it will be among the highest funding rounds in Vietnam’s technology startup ecosystem, as reported by DealStreetAsia. Tiki is the second most popular e-commerce platform in Vietnam in terms of hits behind only Shopee. It had 22.3 million monthly visits in the last quarter of 2020, according to data collected by Malaysian online shopping aggregator iPrice Group.


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

🇰🇭 First launched in 2019 in Cambodia, YouAdMe’s social media e-commerce platform is “converting review to rewards” for users.

🇮🇩 Indonesia’s ride hailing service Go-Jek aims to go all electric by 2030.

🇻🇳 US-based VC firm Goodwater Capital sees Vietnam as a core market in SE Asia.

🇧🇩 7 EdTech startups looking to take online education mainstream in Bangladesh.

🇲🇲 US cuts trade ties to Myanmar, leaving internet access uncertain.

🇵🇭 Filipino AI startup recognized as Google Breakthrough Partner.

🇳🇵 Nepal based startup Allabout Innovations gets orders for Wolf Airmask from 30 countries.


📚 Knowledge Base: Entrepreneur and Investor Learning Resources

Video of the Week: Convertible Notes, Equity, and Startup Funding Explained

Additional Resources To Check Out:


👨🏼‍💻 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 Dominic 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”.