Analyst Khor Qianyi shares her impressions of the Vietnam startup scene
2018 Jan 25
Analyst Khor Qianyi was interviewed on Vietnam Television 1 (VTV1) for her impressions of the Vietnam startup scene.
She contrasted the difference between Singapore and Vietnam startups, highlighted the importance of the Vietnamese market, and stressed the critical role of accelerators in strengthening the startup landscape. More (7:17 mark)
Venture partner Jeffrey Seah analyses Singapore Airlines digital transformation efforts
2018 Jan 22
While “digital transformation” is probably one of the most over-used terms in the past few years, to embrace it, is not easy.
Interviewed in the Marketing magazine, Jeffrey Seah, venture partner at Quest Ventures, said transformation itself means restarting the business with a new mindset and operational structure. If SIA really has transformation in its agenda, it has to “depart from the established topping up mindset” that is prevalent among many government bodies and MNCs.
The “topping up” mindset comes from adopting best practices from other companies (or start-ups) to gain ideas, and add that to the current business model. But it doesn’t necessarily mean hitting the restart button as transformation ideally should. For SIA’s transformation to work, it requires the company to have the mindset that it is changing the business from the core.” More
Quest Ventures part of launch of world’s first digital framework for Islamic economy
2017 Dec 26
Malaysia, home of the world’s largest Islamic finance industry, is taking the idea of creating a comprehensive Islamic economy a step further and announced it will launch a debut “Islamic Digital Economy Framework” by March next year as a growth backbone for its entire halal industry.
The driving force behind the Islamic digital initiative is the Malaysian Digital Economy Corp, or MDEC, a government-backed entity which is seeking to create a growth ecosystem for the Islamic economy in Malaysia in accordance with the government’s national strategy to tap the potential of both the Islamic and the digital economy.
Singapore-based Quest Ventures, which invests in Internet-related technology startups, as well as Jakarta-based Ethis Ventures, which invests in and supports Islamic crowd funding platforms, are among the three venture capital firms participating. More
Quest Ventures identified as key catalyst in Malaysia’s Islamic Digital Economy
2017 Dec 20
Quest Ventures is mentioned as one of the three investment firms that the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) is working with. Ethis Ventures, one of the other investment firms, is a portfolio company of Quest Ventures, and further strengthens Quest Ventures’ collective presence in this space.
Malaysia’s leadership in Islamic finance and the halal sector put the country in a favourable position to dominate the Islamic Digital marketplace. The Islamic Digital Economy framework is part of Malaysia’s strategy to cement the country’s leadership in the global halal marketplace and create a unique and competitive advantage to accelerate the growth of digital economy. More
Singapore and Malaysia should be comrades in global tech battles, not competitors
Southeast Asia Globe
2017 Dec 04
Singapore and Malaysia are playing catch up with global tech capitals, but their pace may be slowed by talent that’s looking too timid for the cutthroat business.
“But playing too nice can cripple the industry. James Tan, managing partner of Quest Ventures, a venture fund focusing on China and Southeast Asia, says that local startups should emulate China’s ruthlessness and “get big fast”.
“There is nothing wrong with wanting to stay as a small entrepreneur, but if so, why play in the fast-growth tech game? Tech startups have to grow by penetrating new cities or countries, including expansion by acquisition. Otherwise, you are just setting yourself up to be acquired by the Chinese or the Americans when they enter your market.
Looking ahead, Tan says, a key tactic will be for Singapore and Malaysia to remain comrades, rather than competitors. More
Venture Partner Goh Yiping honoured in The Peak’s Power List 2017
2017 Nov 01
Venture partner Goh Yiping received The Peak’s magazine Power List 2017 award along with other industry honorees. Recognised for her achievements in the last decade, Yiping’s role in building up e-commerce in Indonesia was highlighted.
“By 2012, we facilitated about $10 million worth of transactions that originated from our site and was completed at our partners’ sites,” she says. All Deals Asia was acquired by Lippo Group in 2014. In the next three years, she helped Lippo Group to build from scratch Indonesian e-commerce site Matahari Mall. While it might look like yet another online shopping site, Matahari Mall presented a new concept for its time – Online-to-Offline.
“I emphasise three things: to keep reinventing ourselves to stay relevant, to experiment constantly, and to collaborate widely.” More
Women take Asia’s economic helm in the ASEAN-China Young Entrepreneur Forum
2017 Oct 02
Delegates from China, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao, Malaysia, Myanmar, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam gathered at Siem Reap, Cambodia. Under the title “Role of Emerging Youth and Women Entrepreneurs in Economic Development”, they worked together with government representatives to plan a clear pathway for local and international economic integration of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) while discussing the challenges of young female entrepreneurs.
Singapore brought seven young, competitive representatives that reflect the power of women entrepreneurs in the rapid-growing business landscape of Singapore. Quest Ventures’ senior analyst Jasmine Toh was the head of the Singapore delegation. More
2017 Sep 29
福岡市は28日、シンガポール政府のスタートアップ支援機関である ACE（Action Community for Entrepreneurship）とスタートアップの相互支援に関する覚書を締結したことを明らかにした。これまでに福岡市は、エストニア政府、ヘルシンキ市、台北市、台湾スタートアップハブ、サンフランシスコ D-HAUS（btrax による運営）、フランス・ボルドー都市圏、ニュージーランド・オークランド市と同様の覚書を締結しており、今回の ACE を含めると8例目となる（エストニア政府とは、傘下の3つの機関と覚書を締結）。
福岡市長の高島宗一郎氏、ACE Deputy Chairman で 55tuan.com（55団）の共同創業者でもある James Tan 氏。 More
Fukuoka city and ACE Singapore signs MOU to help startups grow internationally
Startup City Fukuoka
2017 Sep 28
James Tan, managing partner of Quest Ventures, signed an MOU with the Japanese city of Fukuoka in his capacity as the vice-chairman of the Action Community for Entrepreneurship. Mr Soichiro Takashima, Mayor of Fukuoka, signed the MOU on behalf of the city.
“It (MOU) gives entrepreneurs access to information on the local market and access to a support system that provides them with all of the help they need to get their company up and running.” More
2017 Sep 22
本届KVRF分展览和会议两个模块。参展项目达170多个，覆盖了中国、韩国、日本、新加坡、马来西亚、越南、香港、台湾等亚洲国家和地区的主要VR企业和投资机构。黑匣网、汇桔网、HTC Vive、幻影星空、启赋资本、超级队长、Pico、5号空间、创客街、当红齐天、大航海VR等中国机构代表悉数到场。 More
Senior analyst Jasmine Toh represents Singapore at ASEAN-China Young Entrepreneur Forum in Cambodia
Agence Kampuchea Presse
2017 Sep 04
Quest Ventures’ senior analyst Jasmine Toh represented Singapore at the ASEAN-China Young Entrepreneur Forum held in Cambodia. Jasmine was the head of the Singapore delegation.
Cambodia’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation H.E. Luy David presided over the ASEAN-China Young Entrepreneur Forum organised in Siem Reap province from Sept. 3 to 5 under the theme “Role of Emerging Youth and Women Entrepreneurs in Economic Development.” More
Venture partner Jeffrey Seah moves into blockchain technology space
2017 Aug 24
Quest Ventures’ venture partner Jeffrey Seah has joined Gravity4 (G4), a marketing cloud platform specialising in artificial intelligence and big data. Seah will join the company’s advisory board, which is now focused on developing blockchain technologies to eliminate ad fraud.
Seah said that blockchain has the ability to address the “unwieldy and opaque supply chain” in marketing and advertising technology. Through the technology, the company aims to establish transparency and trust by creating a central and secure way to record, review and execute deals.
“With Gravity4 heavily investing in blockchain, we’ll be able to eliminate ad fraud and provide personalised experiences to eliminate the need for ad blockers, a solution the industry desperately needs,” Seah said. More
Hapz bukan sekadar jualan tiket
2017 Aug 22
Untuk mengembangkan aplikasinya, Selasa (1/8) lalu Hapz mendapatkan pendanaan senilai US$ 501.200 dari sejumlah investor. Yakni, Cocoon Capital, Quest Ventures, TinkBig Venture, dan SPH Media Fund, serta seorang investor malaikat (angel investor) yang tak diungkap namanya.
Hapz memang butuh banyak suntikan dana untuk mengembangkan platformnya. Soalnya, persaingan di bisnis tiket online di kawasan Asia Tenggara terbilang sengit. More
Singapore top draw for startup professionals? Not so simple
The Business Times
2017 Aug 08
The Startup Cities Index found Singapore to have outperformed 84 of the 85 ranked cities in five areas – startup ecosystem, salary, social security and benefits, cost of living and quality of life.
James Tan, managing partner of venture capital firm Quest Ventures, didn’t buy all the findings. For starters, he said, the number of vacation days – one of three indicators of social security and benefits – are “irrelevant” to startups.
He said: “To founders, there is often no concept of weekends or public holidays. In comparison to their multinational corporation competitors, startups neither have the luxury of time nor money. So they need to move fast. If they work one Saturday more than the large companies, these startups would have done 20 per cent more work.”
James also added that safety, often overlooked for the sake of opportunity, ought to be a key driver for people. “Our multi-cultural, multilingual and multi-religion environment creates a comfortable base from which everyone from around the world should feel welcome to start the next big thing.” More
Quest Ventures participates in panel to launch research on Singapore startup ecosystem at LaunchPad
The Business Times
2017 Aug 03
JTC LaunchPad @ one-north has matured into a dynamic ecosystem for startups, according to latest research findings by TechSG. For starters, the number of tenants (startups and facilitators such as angel investors, venture capitalists and legal firms) grew 65% to 425 from November 2015 to March 2017.
Interestingly, LaunchPad startups have a higher degree of “ecosystem engagement” compared to tech startups in Singapore. 80% of LaunchPad startups are found to have participated in at least one government funding scheme, versus 64.2% of tech startups. Nearly 40% of LaunchPad startups have received venture capital funding, versus 15.8% of tech startups.
As LaunchPad’s largest private tenant and earliest venture fund, Quest Ventures’ managing partner James Tan was invited to be on the panel to discuss the findings, along with Vinod Nair, CEO of MoneySmart; Mohan Belani, CEO of e27; Patricia Polizzi, CEO of Startup Autobahn Singapore; and Professor Wong Poh Kam, Director of NUS Enterprise. More
Hapz raises $500k seed round from investors including Quest Ventures
2017 Aug 01
Event-tech platform Hapz has raised S$680,000 ($499,595) in seed funding from Cocoon Capital, SPH Media Fund, Quest Ventures, TinkBig Venture and an angel investor.
The firm said it will use the proceeds to expand its team and build partnerships with merchants and event organisers across verticals and through the region.
A company representative told this portal that the investment rationale behind this for investors lay in it being a new market, with “no existing player in the S.E.A region who can do cross-border experience booking.” More
Quest Ventures provides seed funding for event platform Hapz
The Straits Times
2017 Aug 01
Event platform Hapz has raised seed funding of $680,000 from Cocoon Capital, SPH Media Fund, Quest Ventures, TinkBig Venture and an angel investor.
SPH Media Fund chief executive Chua Boon Ping said: “We have been involved with Hapz since their early days as it was one of our accelerator start-ups. We like the value propositions that Hapz brings to both merchants and consumers. For consumers, it means getting better deals, powered by Hapz’s dynamic-pricing algorithm. And for merchants, Hapz provides a channel to promote events.” More
Have GCC Islamic banking and financial services failed to innovate?
2017 Jul 03
Have Islamic banking and financial services innovated at the speed they were expected to? Rushdi Siddiqui, mentor at Quest Ventures was invited to comment.
“There are industry insiders who have been making similar arguments for a long time now. Rushdi Siddiqui, who is now Advisor at Wall Street Blockchain Alliance and Mentor at VC firm Quest Ventures, and is an industry veteran, says Islamic finance is deeply linked to oil/commodity prices and hence remains as volatile as price per barrel of oil.
“When oil is $80/barrel, surpluses exist, infrastructure projects are many, banks are lending to SMEs, and non-Muslim countries want part of the petro-liquidity. Conversely, when the price bandwidth is $35-50/barrel, there is a lot of pain for governments, SMEs, banks, and consumerism,” Siddiqui wrote as early as late last year.” More
SPRING Singapore appoints Quest Ventures as an Accredited Mentor Partner (AMP) under Startup SG Founder
2017 May 11
Quest Ventures is pleased to announce that we are now an Accredited Mentor Partner under the Startup SG Founder program after a comprehensive, multi-agency evaluation process.
“The 17 AMPs range across different industries from manufacturing, fintech, digital commerce and medical technologies.
An evaluation panel with representatives from SPRING, National Research Foundation (NRF), Economic Development Board (EDB), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA), deliberated on the selection. The AMPs were assessed on a set of criteria which included the track record of management team and quality of development programmes.” More
Meet the VC: Quest Ventures on why Chinese founders are tougher than Singaporean entrepreneurs
2017 Apr 21
“James Tan, Managing Partner of Quest Ventures, expounds on the strengths and shortcomings of Singapore startups and the state of the Chinese tech ecosystem.”
“Needless to say, the founders (of Quest Ventures) know first-hand how difficult it is to build and scale a startup sustainably. e27 spoke with Tan, who is currently based in China, to gather his thoughts of the state of Singapore’s tech ecosystem, and how it matches up to the US and China.” More
Mapping out growth
2017 Apr 10
“Since the time that James Tan started Quest Ventures in 2011, it has funded some of the top startups in Southeast Asia including Carousell, 99.co, ShopBack, Ethis, Xfers, and Oddle.me, among many others. It remains focused on startups that have scalability and replicability in large Internet communities.”
“We continue to scan the horizon for the next big thing to bet on. We are usually the first cheque or investment into a tech startup so this means we are unusually forward-looking and can take a long term view on investments that few can,” says James. “Our DNA is deeply entrepreneurial. All our staff are hands-on and work hard side-by-side with entrepreneurs whom we consider part of our family. The Quest family is very close knit.” More
Impact on tech with changes in US visa rules
The Straits Times
2017 Apr 07
The Straits Times asked Quest Ventures’ managing partner, James Tan, for his opinion on the changes surrounding the issuance of H1B work visas for employment in the United States.
Asked if the changes in visa rules and cost will affect tech workers based in the US or force tech workers to reconsider the US as a work destination, James said, “If one qualifies for the visa, why wouldn’t it be worth it to stay on, especially in tech and in the Bay Area? While the visa is important, its cost nonetheless pales against the opportunities and costs of living in the US.” More
2017 Apr 03
James said, “Before, China was a few years behind the West. Now, it is a few days behind… Chinese money moves faster, is more aggressive and makes decisions more quickly.”
Commenting on the financial front, however, Tan noted that the ‘white hot’ startup scene is headed for a correction in valuation. “You’re already seeing it in India, but it hasn’t occurred in China.”
Singapore No. 1 in world for start-up talent: Report
The Straits Times
2017 Mar 22
The Straits Times covered the latest report from Startup Genome and remarked that “perhaps the biggest surprise coming out of a 150-page research report covering 10,000 start-ups and 300 partner companies worldwide is that tiny Singapore has overthrown tech centre Silicon Valley as the world’s No. 1 for start-up talent.”
“The Republic also has the sixth-highest percentage of immigrant founders at 35 per cent.
“Singapore is an open society and welcomes entrepreneurs from around the world to create the next big thing here,” said Mr James Tan, managing partner of Asian technology venture fund Quest Ventures.”
2017 Mar 22
S$20m for first-time entrepreneurs under Startup SG initiative
2017 Mar 22
A budget of S$20 million will be set aside under the Startup SG initiative to support first-time entrepreneurs. This was announced by Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon on Wednesday (Mar 22) at an event marking the opening of three new blocks at JTC LaunchPad @ one-north.
As Deputy Chairman of ACE and responsible for driving internationalisation, Quest Ventures’ managing partner James Tan co-hosted the launch and site tour together with Poon Hong Yuen, CEO of SPRING Singapore; Alvin Tan, Assistant CEO of JTC; and other senior representatives. More
Startup Genome quotes Quest Ventures in report on global startup ecosystems
2017 Mar 21
In a wide-ranging report that covered startup ecosystems around the globe, JF Gautheir, Founder and CEO of Startup Genome, said, “our (startup) culture is special and truly global… people who are busy working on their own ideas and organisations frequently take the time to make (introductions, favours, connections)”.
Beijing and Shanghai appeared in the report for the first time, and immediately leaped into 4th and 8th respectively, pushing Singapore to the 12th position from its previous 10th.
Singapore has the 6th highest Percentage of Immigrant Founders in the world at 35%. It also has the 3rd highest level of Global Connectedness of all top 20 ecosystems outperforming even Silicon Valley.
Invited to provide a human perspective to the data, Quest Ventures’ James Tan was quoted: “Singapore is an open society and welcomes entrepreneurs around the world to create the next big thing here.” More
Cafebond.com on bringing Australia’s best coffee beans to Singapore
2017 Mar 09
Accessing the world of fashion and contemporary culture through an Asian lens, Buro 24/7 interviewed Cafebond.com co-founders Eugene Chen and Keyis Ng.
They described how their experience with great coffee in Melbourne inspired them to go “online to find a way to purchase coffee from Melbourne, only to find out that some cafes do not ship outside of Australia. For those that did, the shipping fees ended up costing more than the bag of beans itself.”
Asked about the “most interesting person” they have met on the job, they answered, “It would be James Tan, the managing partner of Quest Ventures – Cafebond.com’s first investor. James is also one the very first investors to bolster top local start-ups such as Carousell, 99.co, and Burpple. He has been very supportive. Given his wealth of experience, we’ve learnt a lot from him as an investor and mentor.” More
Singapore startup founders talk about their first investors, and the meetings that started it all
2017 Mar 06
“Needless to say, not all investments pay off due to many reasons, but there are some investors who somehow have the Midas touch when it comes to identifying potential successes.”
The common investor across these companies? James Tan of Quest Ventures. More
Singapore company creates karaoke device named Popsical that fits in one’s hand
The Straits Times
2017 Feb 03
The Straits Times covers a new piece of hardware backed by Quest Ventures.
“Shaped like a disc, weighing a mere 150g and fitting into the palm of your hand, Popsical does not look like the average karaoke machine. But plug it into any sound system and TV and you can be belting out your favourite songs to background music.
Popsical works with a mobile app that contains an ever-expanding music library of more than 30,000 ditties ranging from the classics to the latest hits in more than eight languages including English, Mandarin, Malay, Tamil, Hindi and Thai.
About $475,000 in investments has come from companies such as Quest Ventures, the venture capital firm that backed online marketplace app Carousell.” More
Large corporates raise the game
The Straits Times
2016 Dec 27
The Straits Times asks VCs to round up key developments in 2016 and look ahead to 2017’s biggest trends.
It notes that while the sector has grown immensely, in both breadth and depth amid a maturing venture capital landscape and a rising number of companies displaying regional or global aspirations, it still needs to develop in deep-tech areas like robotics.
“Fintech has been significantly hyped up by the ecosystem. More attention will be put on fintech and on attracting foreign teams to set up in Singapore,” says Mr James Tan, managing partner of Quest Ventures, “There is a push for ‘deeper’ tech but I am not seeing interesting start-ups in areas such as robotics. We need to focus on the areas that are tackling real-life problems in this region, and not just Singapore.” More
23 influential people in tech putting Singapore on the world map
2016 Nov 09
Quest Ventures’ Managing Partner James Tan made the list of 23 “influential people” in the technology scene who are putting their marks on the world and making Singapore proud at the same time.
Quest Ventures has “invested heavily in many recognisable tech startups in Singapore, some you have already seen on this list (99.co, Carousell), as well as some others like Shopback, Carro…”
James “has steered Quest Ventures into becoming one of the leading VC firms in both China and Singapore, especially when investing in tech related startups.” More
2016 Oct 28
To do an MBA or not, that is the question
The Sunday Times
2016 Oct 16
Quest Ventures’ Managing Partner James Tan was mentioned in this article on the value of an MBA. Dave McClure of 500 Startups was quoted, while Grab founders and public officials were highlighted.
“In the public sector, notable examples include Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Chan Chun Sing, who was in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s 12-month Sloan Fellows programme, as well as Senior Minister of State for Defence Ong Ye Kung, who has an MBA from the Institute of Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Ms Grace Fu, the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, has an MBA from NUS.
For those interested in joining start-ups or looking for a partner to start one, business school seems like a good place to begin.
Other examples include Grab founders Anthony Tan and Tan Hooi Ling, who met at Harvard Business School and came up with the idea that won them runner-up position in the school’s business plan contest, as well as Mr Roger Egan and Mr Vikram Rupani, who met at Insead and went on to start online grocery service RedMart.
Another success story is Mr James Tan, co-founder of China’s second-largest group buying site 55tuan, now called Wowo.
It listed on Nasdaq last year, raising about US$37.3 million. Mr Tan hit on his winning idea when he went to Tsinghua University in Beijing for a two-year MBA in 2008 and met his four co-founders.” More
As JFDI pivots to corporate sector, does the start-up scene need to do the same?
The Edge Singapore
2016 Oct 03
Quest Ventures’ Managing Partner James Tan was interviewed for his opinion on the recent closure of the Joyful Frog Digital Incubator’s (JFDI) accelerator programme, one of the earliest accelerators in Southeast Asia.
James said that “accelerators provide a ‘soft landing ground’ for start-up founders, and those who fail to build their own start-up would have gained experience for their next venture” and that “through SG-Innovate, there will be more accelerators tackling different verticals.”
Alex Lin, head of Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd (IIPL); Ken Ng, CEO of insurer NTUC Income; and Lim Kuo-Yi, managing partner of Monk Hill’s Ventures also provided their opinions. More
ACE Silicon Valley Chapter to help Singapore tech start-ups tap into US networks and in-market expertise
2016 Sep 24
In conjunction with Singapore Day in San Francisco, California on 24 Sep 2016, the ACE Silicon Valley Chapter was launched by Singapore Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, Mr Teo Chee Hean. With this initiative, ACE will be partnering with the Bay Area Tech Singaporeans (BATS) to help Singaporean tech start-ups tap on in-market expertise and networks in the US so as to provide access to the US market with greater ease.
As Deputy Chairman of ACE and responsible for driving internationalisation, Quest Ventures’ managing partner James Tan, with the chairpersons of BATS and SingaporeConnect, launched the chapter together with DPM Teo. More
Back to School – Views from Alibaba’s Jack Ma, Quest Ventures’ James Tan and others on Asia’s appetite for education
2016 Sep 16
As students head back to school after the summer break, CNBC Asia interviewed entrepreneurs and investors for their views on education.
Alibaba’s Jack Ma described the education landscape in China and what he wanted to do for education in the rural areas. He was followed by James Tan, managing partner at Quest Ventures. James described the EdTech landscape in Southeast Asia, the scale of the difference in investments between China and the US, and the opportunity to use technology to level the playing field for students in frontier markets who may not have access to good local education resources. More
Mobile classifieds startup Carousell makes first acquisition weeks after raising $35M
2016 Sep 01
Watch Over Me has been acquired by Carousell. As the first investor in both companies, Quest Ventures was actively involved in the exit and is delighted with the possibilities that this acquisition brings for both companies.
“Less than a month after raising $35 million in new financing, social commerce and classifieds startup Carousell has made its first acquisition. The Singapore-based company has picked up most of the team from Watch Over Me, a safety app for principally for women that is based in Malaysia, in an acquihire deal that beefs up its engineering chops.” More
Startup Weekend Singapore draws huge interest from aspiring entrepreneurs
2016 Jul 24
Quest Ventures managing partner James Tan joins Vishal Harnal of 500 Startups, Arthur Brejon of Lazada Singapore, Rob Finlay of DBS Fintech incubator and Nicolas Chaussin of Aviva on the final day of the 2016 Startup Weekend Singapore to be part of the judging panel.
At his opening remarks, James highlighted the track record of Startup Weekend Singapore in discovering startups that have gone on to great heights, specifically Carousell (started as SnapSell by Startup Weekend participants) and VulcanPost (started by Startup Weekend organisers) that Quest had invested in. More
YT Start-Up Deal Tracker: The Fight For Funds
2016 Jul 07
Indian Startup Ecosystem Versus China – More Similarities Than Differences
2016 Jul 07
Sneha Banerjee, Senior Correspondent at Entrepreneur India, interviews James Tan for a feature in one of India’s most well-read magazines.
“On the qualities the firm looks for in an entrepreneur, James said that he doesn’t particularly check whether an entrepreneur is a product or a business person because ultimately every founder has to have a team. “No one is an all-rounder. Even Jack Ma has a team behind him. We want to see whether the team members of a startup compliment each other and there must be a little bit of “healthy” competition between so that they drive each other along”, he added.“ More
Investors rush to fund China tech start-ups
The Straits Times
2016 Jun 27
The Straits Times interviewed two venture capitalists in China, GGV‘s Jenny Lee based in Shanghai and Quest Ventures’ James Tan based in Beijing, for their thoughts on the funding landscape in China, and the opportunities and risks that are present in this gold rush.
“According to research firm Preqin, private investors had poured around US$26.2 billion (S$35 billion) into 796 Chinese tech firms as of the middle of this month.
Beijing-based James Tan… find Chinese tech firms to be very good at localising new ideas from Silicon Valley and achieving superior results on the mainland.” More
Quest Ventures now a co-investment partner with Malaysia’s Cradle Fund
2016 Jun 24
Quest Ventures inks co-investment partnership with Cradle Fund, an agency under Kementerian Kewangan Malaysia (Ministry of Finance), becoming a part of the MYR200 million (USD50.92 million) co-investment war chest for Malaysian tech startups. More
Dana Pelaburan Bersama Cradle Bernilai RM161.2 Juta Dengan 6 Lagi Rakan Kongsi
2016 Jun 23
Firma dana modal teroka, Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd bekerjasama dengan enam lagi rakan pelaburan bersama untuk menyokong syarikat permulaan teknologi Malaysia, menjadikan dana pelaburan bersama kini bernilai RM161.2 juta berbanding RM159.2 juta dalam kumpulan kelimanya pada Februari.
Enam rakan kongsi baharu itu dan Quest Ventures — menjadikan Cradle Fund mempunyai 25 rakan pelaburan bersama ekuiti berbanding 19 pada masa ini. More
His startup survived 5,000 rivals in China to list on Nasdaq. Here’s what he learned.
Tech In Asia
2016 Jun 15
Managing partner James Tan was interviewed by Tech in Asia on execution and going public. James was the first Singaporean founder in the C-suite to list a Chinese tech company on NASDAQ. This came after several hurdles were crossed, including new Chinese regulations on ownership that affected all foreign-listed entities (eg, Baidu). Going public with about $1 billion in gross merchandise volume, 55tuan was the first O2O Chinese company to list, and the first tech IPO of a Chinese company on NASDAQ that year. More
Essential online shops for farm-to-table produce
Michelin Guide Singapore
2016 May 27
Cafebond, a new e-commerce startup aims to bring the liveliness of the Australian coffee culture to specialty coffee lovers in Singapore. Their website started taking orders on June 1, and the startup already has plans to penetrate coffee markets in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong with the backing of Chinese investment giant Quest Ventures. More
Quest Ventures selects 2016 WIT Indonesia Start-Up of the Year
Web In Travel
2016 May 18
An “admittedly intimidating judging panel of industry experts, including Kei Shibata (Venture Republic), David Peller (Booking.com), Brett Henry (AngelVest) and Timothy Hughes (Agoda), Kusumo Martanto (GDP Venture), Steven Vanada (Cyber Agent Ventures), and James Tan (Quest Ventures)”, selected Deepdive as WIT Indonesia’s Start-Up of the Year after several rounds of pitching competition. More
2016 May 06
Quest for the Best
The Edge Markets
2016 Apr 30
Quest Ventures Managing Partner, James Tan, tells The Edge Markets what he looks for in startups, why he enjoys kopitiam sessions and why he thinks you should drop out of school if you need to.
“Although small, it has an impressive track record… When selecting start-ups to invest in, Tan says he looks first for ideas that are both scalable and replicable. “We try to differentiate between scale and replication,” he says. “If you go from a $1 million business in Kuala Lumpur to a $10 million business, that’s scale. But to move from KL to Penang, and from Penang to Bangkok, that’s replication. That’s not scaling.” More
We’re Karl Mak & Xiao Ming, co-founders of SGAG. Ask us anything!
Tech In Asia
2016 Apr 21
Quest Ventures-backed SGAG joins Tech In Asia Ask Me Anything (AMA) session. Today SGAG’s content is consumed by over 3 million people weekly across our 6 content distribution platforms with the mission to make every Singaporean’s day a better one. Ask them anything! More
5 bootstrap alley startups that stole the show at Tech In Asia Singapore 2016
Tech In Asia
2016 Apr 13
Quest Ventures-backed Cafebond named “Most Decorated Booth” at Tech In Asia Singapore 2016, out of 200 aspiring startup booths that exhibited at the Boothstrap Alley. More
A Singaporean acquisition story you have never heard
2016 Apr 11
Before Block 71, before heavy government support, AllDealsAsia was paving the way for startups in Singapore; and now it has been acquired. Co-founder Goh Yiping is a venture partner at Quest Ventures. More
Echelon Indonesia 2016
2016 Apr 05
Goh Yiping, founding member & CPO of MatahariMall.com and venture partner of Quest Ventures discusses best practices in product management for startups at Echelon 2016 in Jarkata. More
New app to track big players’ shares trades
The Straits Times
2016 Apr 02
Backed by Quest Ventures, Spiking, a home-grown app that gives investors up-to-the-minute information on share trades went live yesterday. Spiking allows investors to make better sense of spikes in stock prices by sending instant information to their phones on trades made by company directors and substantial shareholders. More
WIT Ajak Startup Founders Ikuti Startup Pitch Competition
2016 Apr 1
Penyelenggara mencari ide-ide terobosan dan menerima pengusaha yang pintar dan cerdas untuk ambil bagian. Ini adalah kesempatan bagi para startup founders untuk dilatih oleh para praktisi dunia digital dan mendapat spotlight pada Konferensi WIT Indonesia 2016. Adapun juri dari kompetisi ini antara lain James Tan (Managing Partner, Quest Ventures), Steven Vanada (Cyber Agent Ventures Indonesia), Kei Shibata (CEO, Venture Republic, Japan), Kusumo Martanto (COO, GDP Venture). More
ChinaBang Awards 2016
2016 Mar 30
Quest Ventures’ Associate Director, West China, Cheng Lei joins VC Meetup session at ChinaBang Awards in Chengdu, China. The annual ChinaBang Awards searches for the most promising and valuable startups in China with the aim of founding China’s innovation. More
Online Panel: Startup ecosystem in China
Tech In Asia
2016 Mar 22
China has always been on the radar scopes of many in the startup industry. Tech In Asia puts together a panel of experts to answer any questions you have about the ecosystem in China. This Online Panel lineup features: James Tan, Managing Partner of Quest Ventures, Rui Ma, and Junde Yu. More
2016 Asia Beat Xiamen
2016 Mar 18
Quest Ventures’ analyst joins Asia Beat 2016 as a judge at its startup battle. Asia Beat 2016 gathered over 3000 participants, around hundred Asian startup projects and representatives of numerous investment firms from China and around the world. More
2016 Feb 02
2016 Jan 29
社群經濟再進化 旋轉拍賣率先導入社群概念 推出全新社團功能
2016 Jan 12
Top 10 Ask Me Anything Sessions in 2015.
Tech In Asia
2015 Dec 31
2015 Dec 11
Burpple digital food guide gets US$6m in funding
The Straits Times
2015 Dec 01
Burpple, a digital guide to restaurants and cafes in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur has received up to US$6 million (S$8.45 million) to expand into other Asian cities. Launched in 2012 by three Singaporeans, the company’s existing shareholders include Neoteny Labs, Silicon Straits, NUS Technologies Holdings and QuestVC. More
Online panel: Ask our panelist anything about Indonesia
Tech In Asia
2015 Oct 30
Goh Yiping, co-founder and CEO of AllDealsAsia, venture partner of QuestVC, and CPO of MatahariMall.com, joins a panel that includes Ong Peng Tsin of Monk’s Hill Ventures and Teddy Himler of Softbank to discuss everyone’s favourite topic: Indonesia. More
“Winter is coming” – Chinese startups face market downturn
2015 Sep 10
James Tan, managing partner of Quest Ventures, titled his talk ‘Winter is coming.’ He said 25% of Chinese startups were funded in just the past year and a half, growth that not only couldn’t continue but that would reverse amid China’s stock market sell-off… More
Chinaccelerator 8×8 Beijing Autumn 2015
2015 Sep 04
QuestVC analyzes China funding landscape at 8×8 forum organised by Chinaccelerator in Beijing. More
NUSRI-FLEX Global Business Plan Challenge Successfully Concludes
2015 Aug 31
Organised by the “China-Singapore (Suzhou) Innovation Center”, the NUS Research Institute – Flex Global Business Plan Challenge held its finals in Suzhou. Finalists tackled smart city issues such as pollution, water resources and IOT. The panel of judges was chaired by QuestVC managing partner James Tan and made up of representatives from the Suzhou government, venture capital firms and Flex. More
2015 Jul 20
I’m James Tan, Managing Partner at QuestVC. AMA!
Tech In Asia
2015 Jul 29
James Tan, Managing Partner of QuestVC, takes part in Tech In Asia Ask Me Anything (AMA) session. He took questions on his entrepreneurial journey, the startup and investment scene in China and living in China, generating more than 200 comments by the time the session concluded. More
Quick tips about entering China and Singapore if you’re a startup
Tech In Asia
2015 May 06
Jerry Ku, partner at international law firm Gunderson Dettmer, and Chinese venture capital firm QuestVC managing partner James Tan attempted to paint a picture of setting up a business in China. It’s a tougher proposition than Singapore, but one that can be very rewarding due to sheer market size. More
Winners of the Global Mobile Challenge Emerge
4YFN, Mobile World Congress
2015 Mar 3
Concluding half a year of acceleration and competition in many countries in Europe, Middle East, the US, China and Asia-Pacific, regional finalists gathered at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, to compete in the grand finals of the Global Mobile Challenge. QuestVC managing partner James Tan participated as a jury member together with members of the board of the Applied Innovation Institute (non-profit organiser of the GMC).
Claco Music, Erdo, Jetbay win SEAMAC Mobile App Challenge 2014
Deal Street Asia
2015 Feb 11
After months of grueling competition, Claco Music (Taiwan), Erdo (Taiwan) and Jetbay (China) emerged winners at the inaugural SEAMAC Asia Pacific Mobile App Challenge. More
SEAMAC Asia Pacific Mobile App Challenge Winners Announced
ACN News Wire
2015 Feb 10
After months of competition, three teams emerged victorious in the inaugural SEAMAC Asia Pacific Mobile App Challenge. The panel of 10 judges who selected the three winners from a field of 26 finalists included Jeffrey Paine, Founding Partner of Golden Gate Ventures; David Dacus, Founder & CEO of HitPlay; James Tan, Managing Partner of QuestVC… More
Travel News – eTravel World at ITB Berlin 2015 to be attended by over 50 exhibitors from 19 countries
Travel Biz Moniter
2015 Feb 02
James Tan, Managing Partner of QuestVC, will talk about how foreign tour operators can share in China’s inbound travel market. China is also the focus of the topic of online marketing. More
5 reasons Indonesia should use China as an ecommerce blueprint
Tech In Asia
2014 Dec 01
Managing partner at QuestVC, James Tan discusses how Indonesia can learn from developed startup ecosystems overseas at the Startup Asia Jakarta 2014. More
Singapore’s Carousell raises $6M, gets Sequoia as new investor, squashes competition
Tech In Asia
2014 Nov 27
Carousell has raised a series A round worth US$6 million led by prominent venture capital firm Sequoia Capital and investment will be used for expansion into Malaysia, Indonesia, and Taiwan. Early investors include QuestVC and NUS Enterprise. More
StartupAsia Jakarta Highlights of Day 1
Tech In Asia
2014 Nov 26
At Startup Asia Jakarta, managing partner James Tan takes the stage with Rebright Partners and Silicon Valley Asia Technology Alliance.
James Tan said “China is unique but closed” in terms of language and the prohibitions put on the market. But the unique Chinese landscape still holds lessons for Indonesia in terms of localization, as seen with the local success of firms like Alibaba and Baidu. More
Should Indonesian founders be taking their cues from Silicon Valley? (#StartupAsia preview)
Tech In Asia
2014 Nov 24
Managing partner of QuestVC, James Tan, founder of the Silicon Valley Asia Technology Alliance, Sonita Lontoh and founding partner of Rebright Partners venture capital firm, Takeshi Ebihara, will take the stage to discuss the Indonesia tech ecosystem. More
QuestVC joins DBS BusinessClass’ panel of advisors
2014 Oct 07
DBS launches programme to help start-ups and SMEs grow their business and network across Asia. Start-ups and SMEs can now seek business advice and opportunities across Asia with DBS BusinessClass.
Lim Chu Chong, Head of SME Banking, DBS Bank said, “… fast-growing SMEs need help connecting with investors and experts when they are scaling up their business… we hope to help SME owners build social capital and sharpen their competitive edge.” More
E-commerce en Chine : les spécificités de ce marché en fort développement
2014 Mar 20
En Chine, le passage au numérique des secteurs traditionnels continue de manière implacable. Ce qui est hors ligne va passer en ligne. Ce n’est qu’une question de temps. More
Innovation in E-Commerce
EN Ecommerce 1to1
2014 Mar 20
QuestVC participates in Ecommerce one to one, sharing the stage with Accel Partners to discuss international e-commerce trends. As the only representative from Asia at the event, managing partner James Tan described the fast-moving landscape in Asia and the challenges and opportunities available. More
Supersizing the start-up
2013 Oct 03
Venture capitalist James Tan believes local tech enterprises need to think big to thrive.
“It will take more than money to produce the next Google or Facebook, argued Mr Tan. Unwilling to break out of their comfort zone in Singapore, many start-ups fail to think big and move into large markets, such as China or the United States.
Mr Tan should know what he’s talking about… The firm has since expanded – organically and through acquisitions – to almost 4,000 staff across 150 cities.” More
2013 Sep 10
Carousell and SPH Magazines partner to launch SheShops Marketplace
2013 Aug 20
Carousell has announced it is partnering with SPH Magazines to launch SheShops Marketplace. With the launch, readers will be able to shop for over 20,000 brand new or pre-loved items. More
Innovation and Entrepreneurial Policy, Asia Perspective
UC Berkeley College of Engineering
2013 Aug 06
Due to growth needs, pains, and challenges, China policy is fueling entrepreneurship at a massive scale and with intense competition. According to James Tan, GEL speaker and Managing Partner of QuestVC, Beijing is… More
These 5 Baidu Hackathon Finalists Make Your Life Greener and Simpler
Tech In Asia
2013 Jul 29
The Singapore event had nine teams competing for the prizes, supported by local partners such as InfoQ, SegmentFault, QuestVC, and World Wildlife Federation (WWF). More
The Business Times
2013 Jul 29
QuestVC’s Managing Partner, James Tan, provided the following quote to The Business Times on encouraging entrepreneurship in Singapore.
“While there have been many new start-ups, our biggest weakness seems to be the inability of the businesses to scale up. Perhaps it is a general lack of global exposure – not perceiving how small the Singapore market is, not appreciating the vast potential of markets beyond our shores and a lack of understanding in how to enter these markets. We need to enable aspiring entrepreneurs to plan their business with scale in mind.
We should also give our youth more prolonged global exposure during student exchanges, study tours and overseas internship stints, and let them network with successful Singaporeans there.” More
2013 Jul 25
ETPL SDKs and Prizes for Baidu-QuestVC Hackathon
2013 Jul 19
The Baidu Open Cloud Hackathon is organised by the Baidu Developers Club and co-organised by QuestVC and SegmentFault. The event takes places in the key cities of Beijing, Chengdu, Wuhan, Taipei and Singapore. More
Kickstarters: China’s Innovation Incubators
2013 Jul 03
Mentorship forms another cornerstone of the capabilities of China’s incubators. Chinaccelerator incubator has more than 60 mentors, among them James Tan, founder and Managing Director of the leading Chinese venture-capital firm QuestVC.
“Powerful mentors are rare in China,” says Josh Ong, tech-industry watcher for The Next Web site. “Guidance and insight to aid a start-up in overcoming challenges are some of the most important services an incubator can provide. It helps start-ups understand the value they can bring to the ecosystem.” Having world-class mentors onboard also boosts the incubator’s prestige, helping it to build its own products and brand, Ong adds. More
2013 Jun 15
2013 May 30
Will Korea’s entrepreneurial engine continue to deliver? Innovation & entrepreneurial policy – Asia perspective
UC Berkeley Blog
2013 May 08
Due to growth needs, pains, and challenges, China policy is fueling entrepreneurship at a massive scale and with intense competition. According to James Tan, GEL speaker and Managing Partner of QuestVC, Beijing’s Zhongguancun area next to Tsinghua, is the… More
2013 Mar 01
Food Discovery App Burpple Now Available On Android
2013 Feb 04
Backed by Quest Ventures, Burpple, the social discovery app that seeks to connect food lovers from around the world, just released their Android app in public beta. More
Taking the VC role when raising funds for your startup
2013 Jan 28
3 real startups (Frogo, Mashup and Kailoo), currently at a fundrasiing stage, and 3 real VCs (QuestVC, ZhenFund and Phillip Chow) helps out at SLP workshop. More
2013 Jan 11
下午在网络点亮生活高峰论坛上，华视传媒VP朱华慈、新意互动移动互联网营销部总经理王甡、求索创投CEO陈中、31会议网CEO万涛、91无线高级市场总监郭云以及泰山兄弟&泰山天时创始合伙人陈亮一起就“互联网企业怎样转向移动互联网”、“下一阶段移动互联网创业趋势”发表了自己的观点。 . More
2012 Dec 30
Food Discovery App Burpple Adds Photo-Editing With Six Filters
2012 Dec 23
Food journaling and discovery app Burpple has released its new Burpple Camera, which features six filters specifically designed to enhance photos of food and a tilt-shift blur effect. More
2 Completely Different Ideas – 2 Winning Presentations
IE Business School
2012 Dec 18
James Tan, QuestVC’s Managing Director, judges at the IE Venture Day. More
2012 Dec 12
Neoteny and QuestVC feeds Burpple US$500K in funding
2012 Dec 12
Social food diary, Burpple, receives US$500,000 in funding, led by Neoteny Labs together with QuestVC. Burpple, the social food diary app, today announced their latest funding leg by Neoteny Labs together with QuestVC to the tune of US$500,000… More
SA startup wins top honours at pan-European event
2012 Dec 07
James Tan, from QuestVC in China, one of the jury members, added: “Waytag is a brilliant yet simple solution to improve how people interact and navigate on smartphones, it is much easier to use a unique one word address to find someone than a 5 line address… More
2012 Dec 01
2012 Nov 20
2012 Nov 05
Studying in China helpful for business
The Straits Times
2012 Oct 29
Veteran Straits Times reporter Grace Chng interviews James Tan. “To take on the giant Chinese market, it might be best for a Singaporean entrepreneur to start as a student. That is the advice of Mr James Tan, 37, co-founder of China’s second largest group-buying site, 55tuan. Today, 55tuan.com has eight-figure US revenue per month, with double-digit growth month-on-month… 55tuan.com sells a variety of things, such as beauty and travel products and clothes. It employs 3,900 workers and has expanded to 150 cities.”
2012 Oct 29
2012 Oct 29
“资”本携手“智”本，狮城ICT初创企业来华谋求新机遇 – 公司
2012 Oct 25
2012 Jul 16
New initiative by ACE Beijing Chapter to support China-bound entrepreneurs
Tech in Asia
2012 Jun 17
James Tan, managing partner at QuestVC, signed the agreement on behalf of ACE in his role as chairman for internationalization.
“Singapore’s Action Community for Entrepreneurship Overseas Chapter in Beijing (ACE Beijing Chapter) recently announced collaborations… to provide China-bound Singapore entrepreneurs greater access to opportunities in Beijing and China.
James Tan… signed Letters of Intent on 4th July with the Managing Director of HDC, Du Peng, and the Director President of Coway, Dr Tan Hongxin. Singapore’s Minister for Education Mr Heng Swee Keat was also present at the occasion as a Guest-of-Honour.
Alongside him was Singapore Minister of State for Trade and Industry and ACE Chairman, Teo Ser Luck. The signing ceremony was attended by representatives from ACE, Tsinghua University, HDC and Coway, as well as the China and Singapore business communities.” More
Singapore start-ups in Beijing get fresh government backing
Singapore Business Review
2012 Jun 17
“ACE Beijing provides a ‘by Singaporeans, for Singaporeans’ softlanding platform where mentors and entrepreneurs can sharpen their ideas and execution, thus improving their chances of success. We hope to eventually replicate this model in other cities,” says Mr James Tan, Chairperson of the ACE Overseas Chapter sub-committee. More
Startup event in Spain draws interest from Silicon Valley and China
2012 May 10
QuestVC managing partner James Tan joins Jeff Clavier of SoftTech VC and Ali Partovi, co-founder of iLike & LinkExchange and an angel investor in Dropbox; and other notable investors and entrepreneurs at the IE Venture Day held in Madrid, Spain. More
Singaporean Startup Scene getting attention from VCs in China
2012 Feb 15
This week, we talked to James Tan from QuestVC, a venture capitalist firm based in China. QuestVC is China’s leading seed to angel fund for technology companies that have scalability and replicability in large internet communities. The founders… More
Coffee Chat with James Tan: A Singaporean Entrepreneur in China
Tech In Asia
2012 Feb 02
Willis Wee spoke with James Tan, the co-Founder of 55tuan who we have written about before and managing partner at QuestVC. James discussed his own experiences going to China to do business there, and explained that while his experience there has been a… More
IE Venture Day goes “one step beyond” and launches in China
IE Business School
2012 Jan 09
Our guest speaker, as well as a Jury member for the event will be Mr. James Tan, a well-known Angel investor based in Beijing and Singapore who will address the group on Startup Activity in China. More
2011 Dec 06
Co-founder of 55Tuan to discuss China and entrepreneurship at Startup Asia Singapore
Tech In Asia
2011 Nov 24
Willis Wee: I’m a keen admirer of James Tan. Many of you guys in Singapore might not know him because he is making his fortune in the big pond, China. More