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Life after advertising: Jeffrey Seah

Marketing Magazine

Marketing Magazine interviews Quest Ventures Jeffrey Seah on his life after a successful advertising career.

Before he was a venture capitalist, Jeffrey was CEO of Southeast Asia & Chairman, Asia Digital Leadership Team, Starcom MediaVest Group. He brings decades of experience and relationships to portfolio companies looking for go to market strategies.

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Startups are excited about accessing the hottest economy of Southeast Asia: Q&A with Quest Ventures’ Michelle Ng

KrASIA

Vietnam, with its young and tech-savvy population, is part of Enterprise Singapore’s Global Innovation Alliance network.

“Vietnam’s startup scene is now moving into the globalization stage.” Quest Ventures’ managing partner James Tan told the audience at Enterprise Singapore’s first SG Innovation Community Day that companies of the young and dynamic country are now looking for global scale. Quest Ventures partnered with Enterprise Singapore in the “Global Innovation Alliance” to connect Southeast Asian startups with the ecosystem in Vietnam.

At the event, Tan introduced Quest’s Vietnam Global Innovation (VGI) program for post-seed and Series A-stage startups. Michelle Ng, Senior Associate of Quest Ventures, is shedding some more light on the initiative responding to KrASIA’s questions.

KrASIA (Kr): You just kicked off your acceleration program for post-seed and Series A-stage startups in the Vietnamese market. What excites Quest Ventures about Vietnam? Why should the startups be excited?

Michelle Ng (MN): Vietnam is one of the most dynamic emerging economies in Southeast Asia. Its robust economy is supported by strong domestic demand and an export-oriented manufacturing sector. It has a population of 100 million with 70% below the age of 35. It has an emerging middle class that stands at 13% and is expected to reach 26% within ten years.

A tech-savvy population coupled with a propensity to spend provides many opportunities and challenges to solve for tech startups expanding in the region. Startups are excited about accessing the hottest economy of Southeast Asia, one of the fastest growing digital economies, with opportunities for startups in the e-commerce, software outsourcing, AI, fintech, and healthtech space.

Kr: Who can apply?

MN: Quest Ventures is looking for all tech startups and SMEs which (1) have an MVP, with existing customers and partners; (2) are at seed stage and beyond in terms of funding raised; (3) are strong in MAU, GMV, or revenue traction and (4) have the potential to address market needs in Vietnam and the region.

Kr: Please guide us through the program that the selected startups will run through. What can they expect and what are pitfalls they should prepare for?

MN: Quest Ventures supports startups through a wide network of mentors and domain experts. Startups will also have access to high quality and comprehensive online training module topics, and—if global health situation allows—an in-market immersion in Vietnam to maximize exposure and establish long-term partnerships between startups and ecosystem players. In our experience managing market access programs, the most common pitfall is a lack of understanding of the market, followed by a lack of support network. The VGI changes these dynamics and places startups on better footing to begin their exploration of the market.

Kr: Many e-commerce startups have been very successful during the pandemic. Aside from e-commerce, do you see any other sectors that might offer promising products for the Vietnamese market and why?

MN: We see excitement in sectors such as logistics and supply chain. These are also closely linked to the digital economy which we focus on. Examples include PostCo that Quest Ventures introduced to the Vietnam market. They have partnered with Sendo, one of the big four marketplaces in Vietnam, and even during COVID-19, are on track to outperform.

Kr: At the event you mentioned that you were still looking for strong partners out of Singapore for this program. Who can be a partner? How can they help and what are the benefits?

MN: Quest Ventures is looking for corporations and individuals who are key in driving entrepreneurship and innovation in Vietnam. They can help by working with our highly innovative startups to bring them into Vietnam through mutually beneficial partnerships. Benefits to them would be to be plugged into the Southeast Asian startup ecosystem and innovation.

KrASIA is a media partner of the SG Innovation Community Day.

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Singaporean startup Partipost gets $3.5 million to let anyone become an influencer

Techcrunch

Partipost, a Singapore-based marketing startup that lets anyone with a social media profile sign up for influencer campaigns, has raised $3.5 million in new funding. The round was led by SPH Ventures, the investment arm of publisher Singapore Press Holdings, with participation from Quest Ventures and other investors.

The funding will be used to grow Partipost’s current operations in Singapore, Indonesia and Taiwan, and expand into Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia, other Southeast Asian markets with heavy social media usage. Since launching its mobile app in 2018, Partipost says it has added about 200,000 influencers to its platform, and that over the past 12 months, it has helped conduct 2,500 social media marketing campaigns for more than 850 brands, including Adidas, Arnott’s, Red Bull, Chope and Gojek.

According to benchmark report released in March by Influencer Marketing Hub, the influencer marketing industry is expected to be worth about $9.7 billion in 2020, with companies spending increasing amounts on social media campaigns and working with more “micro-influencers.” To serve them, the report said that more than 380 new influencer marketing agencies and platforms were launched last year, joining a roster of companies that already include AspireIQ, Upfluence, BuzzSumo, SparkToro and Inzpsire.me, to name just a few examples.

While most of these companies focus on helping brands identify the influencers with the widest social media reach, Partipost lets anyone sign up to take part in a campaign.

“Partipost’s main difference is that we believe that everyone can be an influencer,” founder and chief executive officer Jonathan Eg told TechCrunch. “Even if you have 200 followers, you can be one. We want to create a new market that we believe will be the future. Everyone can post on social media, write a review or give some feedback and be paid for it.”

“We want to empower everyone to monetize off their own data and influence and not just allow the big tech companies to do so,” he added.

As part of the funding, SPH Ventures chief executive officer Chua Boon Ping will join Partipost’s board, while Quest Ventures partner Jeffrey Seah will become an observer.

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An Apprentice takedown for One Championship?

The Business Times

Venture capitalist Jeffrey Seah, a media and advertising veteran, said: “In marrying the Chatri brand with The Apprentice’s established franchise-machine, the collaboration can potentially unlock the commercial potential… and might bring in the quality cash revenue streams ONE Championship has been seeking the past few years.”

The challenge will lie in distinguishing the show from newer content formats. “Digital-economy content models might cast a shadow on the aged media model of The Apprentice,” Mr Seah added.”

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Partipost bags USD 3.5 million funding in a SPH-led Series A round

KrASIA

Influencer marketing platform Partipost announced July 22 that it has raised USD 3.5 million in an SPH Ventures-led Series A, with participation from investors including Quest Ventures and others.

“Our latest fundraising round will enable Partipost to develop even better technology and collect more data to help us achieve our goals of helping brands connect to the right crowd of influencers as well as empowering these influencers with ability to be rewarded,” said the company’s founder and CEO Jonathan Eg in a statement.

The influencer marketing industry is set to grow to USD 9.7 billion in 2020 according to a report by Influencer Marketing Hub, a website dedicated to influencer marketing. Partipost also aims to accelerate business expansion into Vietnam, Philippines, and Malaysia while strengthening the current operation in Singapore, Indonesia, and Taiwan.

In addition to the funding, SPH Ventures CEO Chua Boon Ping will join as a director in Partipost’s board of directors. Quest Ventures’ partner Jeffrey Seah will also board as the company’s observer.

Founded in 2016, Partipost acts as a matchmaker for brands and influencers ranging from a few hundred to millions in follower size. Utilizing data insights collected through its in-app polls and user behaviour, the company helps find influencers with the highest brand affinity.

Since the launch of the Partipost mobile app in 2018, the startup has seen an average of double to triple-digit percentage month-on-month growth to more than 200,000 influencers, and has facilitated 2,500 influencer marketing campaigns for over 850 brands around the world in the past 12 months.

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Partipost raises $4.81m funding led by SPH Ventures

Singapore Business Review

Crowd influencer marketing and commerce platform Partipost has secured an investment of $4.81m (US$3.5m) led by SPH Ventures, according to an announcement. Quest Ventures and other investors also participated in the funding.

Partipost’s founder and CEO, Jonathan Eg, has assembled an investor base with deep domain knowledge in content, artiste management, data and advertising, as well as extensive industry networks which are critical for market expansion plans. Partipost counts singer and celebrity Will Pan as one of its earliest investors.

In connection with this investment, Chua Boon Ping, CEO of SPH Ventures will join Partipost’s board of directors as a director and Jeffrey Seah of Quest Ventures will join as an observer.

The funds raised are said to further develop Partipost’s tech platform and accelerate business expansion into Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia, as well as strengthen current operations in Singapore, Indonesia and Taiwan.

Jonathan Eg adds that this latest fundraising round will enable Partipost to develop even better technology and collect more data to help brands connect to the right crowd of influencers as well as empowering influencers with ability to be rewarded.

Since the launch of the Partipost mobile app in 2018, the startup has seen an average of double to triple digit percentage growth MoM to more than 200,000 influencers. With the rapid traction, Partipost has been able to see through 2,500 influencer marketing campaigns for over 850 brands across geographical markets in the past 12 months.

Critically, the mobile app is said to allow Partipost to activate thousands of influencers for a single campaign within 24 hours. Partipost is set to hit over 1,000,000 influencers within the next 18 months.

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SPH Ventures leads US$3.5m Series A fundraise for Partipost

The Business Times

CROWD influencer marketing startup Partipost has raised US$3.5 million in a Series A funding round led by SPH Ventures, the corporate venture arm of Singapore Press Holdings, the startup announced in a Thursday press release.

The fundraise was joined by local venture firm Quest Ventures, among other investors. SPH Ventures chief executive Chua Boon Ping will join Partipost’s board, while Jeffrey Seah of Quest Ventures will join in as an observer.

Partipost said that its latest investors have “deep domain knowledge in content, artiste management, data and advertising, as well as extensive industry networks which are critical for market expansion plans”.

Jonathan Eg, Partipost’s founder and chief executive, said that his firm’s latest fundraising round will enable it to develop better technology and collect more data to help brands connect to right influencers, as well as to empower the influencers.

“Having strategic investors, such as SPH Ventures and Quest Ventures, will provide us with domain expertise and market networks to realise our growth vision faster,” Mr Eg added.

Julian Tan, chief of digital business at SPH (which publishes The Business Times), said the company is constantly looking to invest in digital businesses that can “add value and synergy” to its media segment.

“Partipost has built up a strong crowd influencer platform and we are working with them to see how best to offer their unique solution to further enhance our offerings to our users and clients,” he said.

Mr Chua of SPH Ventures added: “We are impressed by Partipost’s strong traction in Singapore, Indonesia and Taiwan as a young startup and look forward to partnering it to scale to new markets.”

Mr Seah of Quest Ventures believes that Partipost will be able to expand its base beyond the traditional influencer crowd, to include other public-facing figures, to “create vertical unlimited-volume content channels”.

“Partipost’s potential resides in its ease of onboarding quality content influencers with loyal follower bases. Besides millennial socialites, we believe Partipost will be able to onboard and scale the follower bases for established celebrities, news anchors, society spokespersons and literary writers,” he said.

“Partipost will drive a new era of commercial content monetisation partnerships. They are an excellent team of passionate technology entrepreneurs and have our full support,” Mr Seah added.

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SPH Ventures leads $3.5m funding in influencer marketing firm Partipost

Deal Street Asia

SPH Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), has led a $3.5 million funding round in influencer marketing startup Partipost, according to a statement.

The financing was joined by Quest Ventures and others undisclosed investors.

Partipost matches brands with influencers to drive word-of-mouth marketing. It uses data insights through its in-app polls and user behaviour to crowdsource influencers.

Partipost operates in the influencer marketing industry, which is forecast to hit $9.7 billion in 2020, according to a report by Influencer Marketing Hub. The industry has seen a spike in the last two years as brands and governments shift their marketing efforts online to target Millennials.

In Southeast Asia, the influencer marketing sector was believed to have reached $638 million last year and is expected to quadruple within five years to reach $2.6 billion by 2024, according to influencer marketing agency IMA.

Quest Ventures partner Jeffrey Seah said Partipost’s potential resides in its “ease of onboarding quality content influencers with loyal follower bases.”

Following the investment, … Seah will join Partipost’s board as an observer.

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凭AI搜索 本地公司要当法律知识界谷歌

联合早报

今年4月,INTELLLEX获本地风险投资者Quest Ventures所领导的几个基金联合注资210万美元,成为相信是本区域首家获得这等投资额的法律科技公司。公司创办人深知搜索资料的不易,立志于运用人工智能技术(AI)改善法律知识管理领域的运作。

新加坡法律采纳普通法系,特点是需要反复参考判決先例,但要如何从海量的普通法文献和判词中,找出一份包含信托、地皮公司、私生子和遗产继承几个元素的判例?

立杰律师事务所的前律师曾子谦(34岁)深知搜索资料的不易,立志于运用人工智能技术(AI)改善法律知识管理领域的运作。

2015年,他与四名好友李剑欣(32岁)、陈峙汎(34岁)、黄怡慧(32岁)和许展阁(35岁),联合创办AI法律科技公司INTELLLEX,成立专业知识管理系统,并设下目标,要成为“B2B(企业对企业)专业领域的谷歌”。

几经耕耘,这家也服务金融业、企业和税务领域的科技起步公司,团队已扩大到16人,并在英国伦敦设分公司。

公司逐渐赢得口碑,客户包括本地大型律师事务所、政府机构和国际律所。

今年4月,INTELLLEX甚至获本地风险投资者Quest Ventures所领导的几个基金联合注资210万美元(约292万新元),成为相信是本区域首家获得这等投资额的法律科技公司。

曾子谦说,公司准备用这笔资金扩大亚太和欧洲的服务,并研发新产品。

“资讯的爆炸及人工成本的提高,促使专业知识领域未来必须依靠人工智能的辅助。风险投资者的注资,证明了他们认可法律科技领域是方兴未艾的领域,日后仍有发展潜力及增长的空间。”

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Intelllex saves lawyers from ‘reinventing the wheel’

The Edge Singapore

The glamour and big bucks of the law has long been a key pillar of the “Singapore Dream”, but the trials and tribulations of the legal profession have often been cause for second thoughts. A day in the life of a high-flying attorney involves poring through piles of legal documents written in arcane language under severe time pressure. Small wonder, then, that three out of four lawyers leave the profession within 10 years.

Memories of stressful all-nighters, dealing with difficult bosses and having meals at odd hours remain vivid in the mind of one young lawyer. “You will also become heavily reliant on coffee or energy drinks, and drink copious amounts of alcohol on nights off to combat the stress and calm the nerves. Your social life will suffer. And trust me, you are going to be cancelling a lot of lunch and dinner appointments,” says RV, a member of the Law Society’s Young Lawyer’s Committee in an op-ed for its Law Gazette publication.

Much of this stress stems from how law firms manage the reams of information that come their way. As Singapore’s common law legal system requires lawyers to cite legal precedent from past cases, attorneys need to deal with large amounts of information gleaned over several years.

Borrowing a line made famous by former US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, former lawyer Chang Zi Qian says that attorneys often “don’t know what they don’t know”. The process by which they obtain information from databases and colleagues is often uncoordinated and manual.

Intelllex has met with significant success so far, winning US$2.1 million ($2.9 million) in startup funding despite weak investor confidence following Covid-19. Led by Quest Ventures, investors include Thomson Reuters, Creative Technology founder Sim Wong Woo, and early Razer investors Chandra Mohan and Chong Chiet Ping. “We like that Intelllex’s ‘brains with AI brawn’ offering is well-positioned to resolve age-old productivity and delivery problems across multiple B2B industries,” says Quest Ventures partner Jeffery Seah, who will join Intelllex’s Board after the funding round.

The legal industry appears to agree, with Intelllex boasting a star-studded portfolio of clients. Besides government bodies and several of Singapore’s “Big Four” law firms — Allen and Gledhill, Drew and Napier, Rajah and Tann, and WongPartnership — Intelllex also works with one of Britain’s prestigious “Magic Circle” law firms in the UK, Hong Kong and Singapore. Smaller law firms are also well-represented among the start-up’s clientele, with such outfits constituting the bulk of its earliest clients since its founding in 2015.

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