In Southeast Asia, women investors are a growing force in the startup space

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KrASIA

Several high-profile women from the region’s active investment firms share their thoughts with KrASIA on gender diversity.

KrASIA reviewed the rosters of 34 VC firms that are active in Southeast Asia. The results were telling. Only 12 firms have one or more female partners on their investment teams.

Goh Yiping, a partner at Quest Ventures, also agrees that the bias can surface when women are perceived as being too ambitious. Sometimes, people are surprised to see her “partner” title on her business card. “But mostly because I look young—I’m not that young,” said 38-year-old Yiping. The fact that there are “too few female partners at senior positions [in VC firms] probably helps propagate the stereotype.”

Before joining Quest Ventures in 2015, Yiping had already worked in tech for more than two decades. She previously founded several startups, including All Deals Asia, an online aggregator of retail deals that was acquired by Indonesia’s Lippo Group in 2014. Last year, she was named by Harper’s Bazaar Singapore as one of the city-state’s women aged under 40 who are “paving the way in the tech and digital spheres.”

Why did she decide to cross the line and go from founder to investor? “I wanted to know whether venture capital could be my cup of tea in the future,” Yiping told KrASIA. “I want to become the kind of investor that I would have wanted to work with when I was a founder.”

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