Big firms will acquire aggressively after the pandemic, says Quest Ventures Jeffrey Seah

KrASIA

Quest Venture has since made its foray into Kazakhstan, the largest economy in Central Asia. In June, it kicked off an accelerator program in Kazakhstan to dive into the landlocked country’s growing tech ecosystem and connect local startups to the global market. Quest Ventures recently led a USD 750,000 funding round in Kazakhstan-based HR tech platform Clockster, a cloud-based system to coordinate employees’ work schedules across different time zones.

“After nine months of COVID-19 and with the vaccine coming soon, the learning phase for the world will go on for the next one and a half year. Big corporate companies that have survived the pandemic will acquire aggressively, because those who have money will buy everything. I would bet that companies able to survive are the ones equipped with good technology.

Meanwhile, there will be a lot of corporate guys trying to build new capabilities. This will be the best time to acquire new capabilities, or even talents. You could get a bunch of talents with a fairer price compared to a year ago, so there’ll be a lot of streamlining and equity acquisitions, which also mean that startups’ founders will level up and raise the quality of their people. COVID is a period of market validation for startups’ business models. It makes it easier for VCs like us to assess their go-to-market viability. They will be able to maintain their valuations if they thrive during this period. We look to invest in such businesses.”

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