95 episodes

Lead, build, and invest better.
Join award-winning entrepreneur and investor Sarah Chen-Spellings as she travels across the globe in search of what she calls the 'unexpected leader'.
Every week, we deconstruct the Billion Dollar Moves of unicorn founders & funders; many of them underestimated long before they became iconic.
Many of them, unexpected leaders, just like you.
This show is about unfiltered conversations about success, failure, fear, and courage in the pursuit of the next big thing in tech and venture.
Billion Dollar Moves is proud to be part of the Hubspot Podcast Network with 10 million downloads a month as a group.

Billion Dollar Moves™ with Sarah Chen-Spellings | Global Venture Capital Sarah Chen-Spellings

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 17 Ratings

Lead, build, and invest better.
Join award-winning entrepreneur and investor Sarah Chen-Spellings as she travels across the globe in search of what she calls the 'unexpected leader'.
Every week, we deconstruct the Billion Dollar Moves of unicorn founders & funders; many of them underestimated long before they became iconic.
Many of them, unexpected leaders, just like you.
This show is about unfiltered conversations about success, failure, fear, and courage in the pursuit of the next big thing in tech and venture.
Billion Dollar Moves is proud to be part of the Hubspot Podcast Network with 10 million downloads a month as a group.

    LP Panel: Deployment in Private Equity w/ Tomi Viia, OP Financial Group & Marko Hara, Decile Capital

    LP Panel: Deployment in Private Equity w/ Tomi Viia, OP Financial Group & Marko Hara, Decile Capital

    Revisiting a clip from the LP Summit co-hosted by Beyond the Billion and Arctic15 in Helsinki in 2023, we have curated this brief but insightful episode for GPs, LPs, or even founders.
    This week’s guests are two European LP veterans - Marko Hara, formerly the director of Elo, one of Finland's largest employee pensions, and Tomi Viia, currently the head of investments at OP Financial Group, managing assets totaling €14.2 billion.
    Our conversation delved into the trends and opportunities in private equity and highlighted the winning strategies for LPs during uncertain times. Let’s get started!

    Timestamps/Key Takeaways
    0:00 - Intro
    03:57 - Takes on current market conditions; advice for LPs during venture slumps
    07:48 - The shifts in portfolio diversity; the weighing in private equity
    12:28 - Opportunities in US market for European LPs
    15:14 - Advice for LPs and portfolio construction during uncertain times
    17:25 - The winning factors in investment opportunities
    20:22 - Huge platform shift with the explosion of AI; emerging managers are not off the table
    23:02 - Q&A: Where are the best soft skills and hard skills that you are looking for in GPs in this environment?
    24:53 - Key takeaway for LPs and GPs
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    PODCAST INFO:
    Podcast website: https://billiondollarmoves.com
    Watch on Youtube: https://tinyurl.com/sarahchenglobal
    Join the community: https://sarah-chen.ck.page/billiondollarmoves

    FOLLOW SARAH:
    LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/sarahchenglobal
    Instagram: https://instagram.com/sarahchenglobal
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahchenglobal

    • 26 min
    Bite: Delivering Alpha with Kindness, The Red Helicopter Way w/ James Rhee

    Bite: Delivering Alpha with Kindness, The Red Helicopter Way w/ James Rhee

    "Goodwill should mean a whole lot more than accounting concept, is earned and cannot be bought; but if done correctly, can be worth a whole lot."
    As we step into Q2, there's no better time to pause, reflect, and realign our goals for the year ahead.
    This week, we revisit an episode that continues to inspire, which talks about creating real value with kindness and math, as advocated by James Rhee and his new book red helicopter.
    In this conversation, we talked about money, reality, true alpha and transformation -- leveraging kindness. This as he saw in his tenure as the unlikely “least qualified CEO” of Ashley Stewart, where he reinvented the company from the brink of bankruptcy.
    Ahead of your full read, here are some key takeaways from our conversation last year. Enjoy!

    TIMESTAMPS
    0:00 - Intro
    02:30 - Takeaway #1: You don't make money with just zeros and ones.
    06:07 - Takeaway #2: Kindness is one of the things you never have to hedge. It's never wrong to be kind.
    10:14 - Takeaway #3: Don’t underestimate the power of appreciating the quiet leaders.
    12:00 Takeaway #4: “I'm more proud of the way we did it than what the result was.”
    13:44 - Takeaway #5: The scarcity mindset and why the richest aren’t always the happiest
    17:23 - Closing remarks: the red helicopter

    Full Episode:
    Leading with Kindness | James Rhee
    🎙️Podcast: https://link.chtbl.com/bdm-jamesrhee 
    🎞️ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YYr6ZRQPdI

    red helicopter - James Rhee
    Imagine, a clear path forward told as a deeply felt human story. A poignant and uplifting celebration of humanity, red helicopter—a parable for our times is a tale of struggle and triumph, compelling for its honesty and relatability as much as for the instructions we can all use to balance the books of our lives.
    Grab your copy here!
    Learn more about James Rhee and red helicopter: 
    https://www.redhelicopter.com/

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    PODCAST INFO:
    Podcast website: https://billiondollarmoves.com
    Watch on Youtube: https://tinyurl.com/sarahchenglobal
    Join the community: https://sarah-chen.ck.page/billiondollarmoves

    FOLLOW SARAH:
    LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/sarahchenglobal
    Instagram: https://instagram.com/sarahchenglobal
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahchenglobal

    • 19 min
    Faith, Finance, Technology w/ Fara Abdullah, Bitsmedia

    Faith, Finance, Technology w/ Fara Abdullah, Bitsmedia

    Muslims are projected to constitute more than 25% of the world's total population this year. To many in the industry, this isn't just a statistic; it represents a vast array of opportunities for the markets.
    This week, we had the pleasure of speaking with Fara Abdullah, CEO of Bitsmedia, the brains behind the immensely popular Muslim lifestyle app, Muslim Pro. 
    With a fresh injection of $20 million from its recent Series A funding round, featuring participation from Gobi Partners, alongside continued backing from existing investors CMI Capital Partners and Bintang Capital Partners, Bitsmedia is poised to enhance the faith experience through cutting-edge technologies. 
    Our discussion today delves into various aspects, including the business landscape, the potential in faith-driven markets, and the interception of faith, finance, and technology. 

    TIMESTAMPS / KEY TAKEAWAYS
    0:00 - Intro
    02:52 - Market opportunities in the Muslim community; Bitsmedia’s business model
    07:39 - Challenging the misconceptions and templatization of Muslims
    10:49 - Thesis behind the 160 million annual downloads of Muslim Pro: faith in challenging times and the modern Muslim lifestyle
    15:13 - Bitsmedia’s ideal consumer profile and the growth of user base
    20:30 - Business models and the biggest revenue drive for Bitsmedia
    24:11 - Decision making and resource distribution as the CEO
    26:52 - The role of technology in shaping faith and vice versa
    30:31 - The idea of moderation and ethical interpretations with use of technologies
    32:41 - Bitsmedia’s role in the interception of faith, finance and technology
    34:35 - Observed trends of religious behaviors and attitudes; the socialization of faith
    37:01 - Fundraising and choosing the right partners
    39:46 - Billion dollar questions

    ABOUT BITSMEDIA
    Bitsmedia is a Singapore-based, technology company known globally as the developer and publisher of the Muslim Pro app – a highly-rated and comprehensive Muslim lifestyle app with more than 150 million downloads globally to date.
    The company is also the publisher of Qalbox, a global subscription video on demand (SVoD) entertainment streaming service aimed at the global Muslim community.
    About Muslim Pro
    Muslim Pro's journey started with its inception as a utility app dedicated to fulfilling the daily spiritual and practical needs of Muslims worldwide. Under Fara's guidance, Muslim Pro has undergone a significant transformation, evolving from its original utility focus to become a pioneering platform catering to the diverse facets of the Muslim community.
    Fara's strategic foresight has been vital to transitioning Muslim Pro into a holistic ecosystem for Muslims. Beyond spiritual and religious guidance, the platform now encompasses educational resources, AI-driven tools, and robust partnerships with key enablers, brands, and organizations within the Muslim sector.
    -
    PODCAST INFO:
    Podcast website: https://billiondollarmoves.com
    Watch on Youtube: https://tinyurl.com/sarahchenglobal
    Join the community: https://sarah-chen.ck.page/billiondollarmoves

    FOLLOW SARAH:
    LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/sarahchenglobal
    Instagram: https://instagram.com/sarahchenglobal
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahchenglobal

    • 45 min
    LP View: Breaking Bias to Drive Returns w/ Joanna Kuang, Illumen Capital

    LP View: Breaking Bias to Drive Returns w/ Joanna Kuang, Illumen Capital

    “We believe an inclusive and optimal asset management industry will be the cornerstone of an equal and equitable future.” - Illumen Capital
    While organizations explore ways to embody diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), authenticity and clear, measurable outcomes are essential for effectiveness. 
    This week, we're joined by Joanna Kuang, Senior Vice President of Product Development and Impact at Illumen Capital. We delve into the significance of impact investing and strategies to ensure tangible efforts are made to drive meaningful change in venture, in our society.

    TIMESTAMPS / KEY TAKEAWAYS
    0:00 - Intro
    02:18 - Joanna’s backstory as the daughter of immigrants; living experience in Mississippi Delta that drove her to join Illumen Capital
    04:02 - Genesis of Illumen Capital as a fund of funds
    05:42 - Study alongside Stanford SPARQ: Race influences professional investors’ financial judgments (2019)
    09:16 - Diversity efforts in venture today; DEI policies
    13:10 - Quantitative data to drive accountability; best practices to remove biases in pitching and diligence processes
    18:06 - Illumen Capital’s stand under the backdrop of many anti-DEI laws
    21:19 - Diversity drives performance: investment strategies and performance measurements
    24:41 - Established and emerging managers as the next key strategy for Illumen Capital
    28:18 - Portfolio construction as a fund of funds and ticket sizes
    30:42 - The winning factors versus common mistakes in diverse fund managers; impact washing
    32:47 - Looking ahead 2024 private market; advice for fund managers
    35:38 - Billion Dollar Questions
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    About Illumen Capital
    Illumen Capital is an impact fund of funds addressing systemic inequity by reducing racial and gender bias in investing.
    Working closely with the world’s leading social psychologists at Stanford SPARQ, they combine investment capital with evidence-based tools and training designed to reduce implicit racial and gender bias in order to unlock latent return and multiply impact.
    More about Illumen Capital: https://www.illumencapital.com
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    PODCAST INFO:
    Podcast website: https://billiondollarmoves.com
    Watch on Youtube: https://tinyurl.com/sarahchenglobal
    Join the community: https://sarah-chen.ck.page/billiondollarmoves

    FOLLOW SARAH:
    LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/sarahchenglobal
    Instagram: https://instagram.com/sarahchenglobal
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahchenglobal

    • 39 min
    Building Billion Dollar Business with Strategic Marketing w/ Ross Simmonds, Foundation Marketing

    Building Billion Dollar Business with Strategic Marketing w/ Ross Simmonds, Foundation Marketing

    Berkshire Hathaway and the famed investor Warren Buffett himself are often the topic of discussion when it comes to achieving success in the world of venture. 
    Nevertheless, despite the almost unassuming marketing strategies compared to today’s eye-catching everything, Berkshire Hathaway illustrated incomparable strategic marketing that yielded loyalty and reputation.
    This inspired today's Billion Dollar Bite, where we delve into the topic of strategic marketing and how us in the venture world can learn a thing or two.
    Ross Simmonds is the founder of today's leading content marketing firm, Foundation. Ross leads the team at Foundation, specializing in helping B2B and SaaS brands build content marketing engines that generate millions of visits a year, resulting in millions worth of new business.
    We covered a range of topics from A.I. and marketing reskilling your workforce to breaking down some amazing case studies from billion-dollar businesses like MasterClass and Berkshire Hathaway.

    TIMESTAMPS / KEY TAKEAWAYS
    0:00 - Intro
    2:47 - AI for marketer; takes on AI replacing marketer’s job
    6:24 - Biggest lessons from MasterClass: building around Google search intent
    10:33 - MasterClass’ marketing strategy
    12:18 - Glassdoor’s content creation and SEO strategies
    13:33 - Leveraging AI, the best approach to expand globally as B2B business
    16:36 - Mr.Beast; Berkshire Hathaway; should all businesses be creators?
    19:11 - Leaders as the voices on platform like LinkedIn
    21:32 - Content creation in leadership position is a waste of time?
    23:30 - How do we engage with public reaction on social media?
    24:42 - Takes on nonpolitical versus political leader; common mistakes made by companies on social initiatives
    28:00 - Billion dollar questions
    -
    About Ross Simmonds
    A marketer, keynote speaker, SaaS & B2B tech investor, writer and the CEO of Foundation. Ross is multitalented and devoted his work to help, inspire and teach the underdogs of the world how to use research, creation, distribution and optimization to unlock new levels of growth and opportunities.
    Ross’ content marketing agency, Foundation, offers content marketing services to a diverse clientele spanning the globe. We’ve worked some of the most successful SaaS companies in the world and work as partners for multiple publicly traded cloud companies who have redefined entire industries. 
    More about Ross and Foundation: https://rosssimmonds.com/
    -
    PODCAST INFO:
    Podcast website: https://billiondollarmoves.com
    Watch on Youtube: https://tinyurl.com/sarahchenglobal
    Join the community: https://sarah-chen.ck.page/billiondollarmoves

    FOLLOW SARAH:
    LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/sarahchenglobal
    Instagram: https://instagram.com/sarahchenglobal
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahchenglobal

    • 31 min
    Unveiling Unicorn Pathways: How to Become a Unicorn w/ Leah Barto, Endeavor Global

    Unveiling Unicorn Pathways: How to Become a Unicorn w/ Leah Barto, Endeavor Global

    In venture capital, pattern recognition is a valuable skill. 
    Investors often analyze various pieces of a puzzle, employing pattern recognition to assess whether a company might be on the path to success.
    This week’s Billion Dollar Bite features Leah Barto, Senior Director of Research at Endeavor Global, who leads a team to redefine pattern recognition through the lens of data journalism.
    Endeavor has dedicated its mission to uncover unicorns worldwide, employing a data-driven approach and producing a comprehensive study titled “Where Do Unicorns Come From?”
    We’ve discussed the intriguing findings of this robust research, unveiling the factors that drive entrepreneurial ecosystems to thrive, and challenging stereotypes about what success should look like. 
    You won't want to miss this!

    Timestamps/ Key Takeaways
    0:00 - Intro
    2:15 - Endeavor’s mission, data journalism, “Where Do Unicorns Come From?” & the multiplier effect in startup ecosystems
    5:37 - Takeaway #1: Educational backgrounds & debunking the myth of the elite educational pedigree.
    6:29 - Takeaway #2: Entrepreneurial experience & age 
    7:58 - Takeaway #3: Global citizens - mostly with a migration background & advice for funders
    9:35 - Takeaway #4: Pattern recognition - backgrounds and innovation made by unicorn founders from US versus emerging markets
    11:30 - Takeaway #5: Solution to underrepresentation of female founders
    14:33 - Takeaway #6: Hande Cilingir’s success story
    16:32 - Takeaway #7: Scaling & paying it forward 

    About Endeavor Insight
    Endeavor Insight is the research division of Endeavor that provides data-driven analysis and visualizations showing what makes entrepreneurial ecosystems thrive. Our research team of economists, data scientists, and policy analysts specialize in understanding the needs of high-impact entrepreneurs and evaluating the networks that enable them to scale and pay it forward.

    Where Do Unicorns Come From?
    Link: https://endeavor.org/unicornpathways
    -
    PODCAST INFO:
    Podcast website: https://billiondollarmoves.com
    Watch on Youtube: https://tinyurl.com/sarahchenglobal
    Join the community: https://sarah-chen.ck.page/billiondollarmoves

    FOLLOW SARAH:
    LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/sarahchenglobal
    Instagram: https://instagram.com/sarahchenglobal
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahchenglobal

    • 19 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
17 Ratings

17 Ratings

S_tamman ,

Deep conversations every leader needs

Practical yet vulnerable conversations that every C-level exec needs to tune into!

The STAGENT!!! ,

Powerful conversations to scale your leadership

Just wow! Insightful, in-depth conversations with high profile guests that have shaped my thinking as a C-level leader working in global markets. Cannot recommend enough!

Paul_LEK ,

Global perspective with local depth

Insightful podcast that delivers unlike any other. As a finance professional that deals in the global markets, I enjoy learning from the candid views of other leaders revealed through Sarah’s thoughtful lines of questioning.

Highly recommend to the ambitious leader!

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