Candid stories and lessons from builders and innovators.
Discover what founders have learned about resilience, growth, creativity, and innovation from their own personal journeys.
Samira Shihab - Bootstrapping an Fashion Marketplace
Samira Shihab is the co-founder and CEO of Tinkerlust, a secondhand fashion marketplace in Indonesia. Shihab spent much of her youth in Pennsylvania and then moved to Silicon Valley to get her MBA. After moving back to Indonesia, she started her first company and learned that taking a western concept and applying it to Indonesia isn’t as easy as cut and paste.
After living in Indonesia a few more years, she got the inspiration to start Tinkerlust. She and her co-founder bootstrapped the company until they started growing to the point they needed outside capital. In my discussion with Samira I learn how she bootstrapped Tinkerlust, balanced growth and marketing between their fast fashion and luxury items, and how the business has transitioned into a venture backed startup.
Cleo Randing: Making Insurance Simple
Roughly 2% of all Indonesians have insurance. While fintech gets a lot of the headlines, insurance has an equally large opportunity in Indonesia. Cleo Randing is the founder and CEO of PasarPolis, an insurance startup using tech to simplify the process of buying insurance in Indonesia.
In this episode we discuss why Cleo decided to pursue an insurance startup, how PasarPolis has grown despite so few people having or understanding insurance, and how he has been able to scale his skillset as the company has scaled beyond just a few employees.
Pamitra Wineka - The Accidental Entrepreneur
Today's guest is TaniHub Group co-founder and president, Pamitra Wineka, otherwise known as Eka. TaniHub is on a mission to help Indonesian farmers get more reliable and higher income from each of their harvests. They do this through three core business units: TaniHub marketplace, TaniFund P2P lending, and TaniSupply logistics.
In a short amount of time, TaniHub has demonstrated that the farming industry can be streamlined and become more fruitful for the hard working farmers of Indonesia.
For Eka, entrepreneurship wasn’t a life goal or ambition. To him, starting a company seemed like the most logical step to solve a problem he discovered working at the World Bank.
Nipun Mehra - Powering Indonesian Retail
Today’s guest is Nipun Mehra, co-founder and CEO of Ula. Ula is on a mission to help offline retail shops with their wholesale purchasing. It’s hard getting reliable products at wholesale prices and there are many different people and companies to buy products from, making operations fragmented for these small, low-tech businesses.
Ula is developing a marketplace to make the purchasing of products significantly easier and more reliable for offline retailers. Nipun and I discuss why Indonesia, how they solve problems for low-tech retailers, and how he approached building out his founding team and raising capital.
Hiro Kiga - From VC to Founder
Hiro Kiga is the co-founder and COO of Wallex, a B2B fintech company. His career started as a developer at a bank and moved into venture capital before getting the itch to build something.
We’ve heard entrepreneur stories here and last week we got a glimpse of VC life last week. But Hiro is the first founder we’ve had who has had experience on both sides of the table. He has early experience with the Indonesian tech ecosystem, as he was one of the investors in Bukalapak’s Series A round at $3.2 million post money valuation. Bukalapak is now a billion dollar ecommerce company in Indonesia.
Hiro and I talk about how his startup, Wallex, which helps businesses transfer money across borders, got started without a license, how they built trust with customers as an early fintech company, and lessons he learned as a founder that he wasn’t aware of as a VC.
Shiyan Koh - Backing Hilariously Early Founders
Venture capital is both over glorified and misunderstood. VCs are an important part of the tech ecosystem. You need capital to build a business and venture capitalists will invest in highly risky, early stage startups when traditional banks will not. Companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Twitter, are all examples of companies that accepted venture capital to grow. But many people, including entrepreneurs, don’t really understand how the business of venture capital works.
Today’s guest is Sidedoor’s first venture capitalist. Shiyan Koh is a general partner at Hustle Fund, an early stage venture capital fund that’s located in San Francisco and Singapore. Shiyan gives us a first hand look at how VCs think. We discuss the opportunities in SE Asia, how Hustle Fund operates, and what she looks for in startups.