Candice Su, Investor Relations Manager (蘇郁茹 / 投資人關係經理)
Candice keeps AppWorks Funds investors (LPs) up-to-date on how their investments are performing as well as making sure they derive the most strategic synergies out of the AppWorks Ecosystem. Prior to joining AppWorks, she was a deputy manager at Fubon Securities’ Investment Banking Department where she primarily focused on equity financing, IPO, and SPO related transactions and helped many companies gain better access to the capital markets by providing both financial and operational solutions. Candice received her B.A. in Accounting from Fu Jen Catholic University. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and experiencing different cultures through their cuisines and wine.
Before joining AppWorks, I worked at Fubon Securities’ investment banking department to assist companies with IPOs (Initial Public Offerings) and SPOs (Secondary Public Offerings). To recognize the true value of the company and act as the bridge between founders and the regulators , I was blessed to have the chance to learn directly from the founders and be inspired by them.
Generally speaking, companies that are preparing for an IPO have a relatively mature business model, so I wouldn’t be able to witness the 0 to 1 founder journey. This made me start to think about possible ways to observe founders from a different angle. That’s when I came across Jamie’s Post. Out of curiosity, I looked up more about AppWorks, and realized that AppWorks adhered to a spirit of “By founders, for founders.” While capital markets care more about the profitability of a company, AppWorks cares more about the delta of a founder and the problem they are trying to solve, which really resonated with me.
Why investor relations?
In contrast to investment associates or analysts that work directly with founders, IR engages more with investors in the fund, such as keeping AppWorks Funds investors (LPs) up-to-date on fund performance as well as making sure they enjoy strategic synergies from the AppWorks Ecosystem. Through synergies, I believe this is also a way to help founders from a different angle. Just like you need all supply chains to form an industry, I hope to help our founders succeed while unlocking advantages for AppWorks LPs.
Last but not least
There’s still a lot to learn and discover along the way, please don’t hesitate to share your story with me and inspire me with your founder journey!
Jack is an Analyst covering AppWorks Web3 Arm. Before joining the team, he was a co-founder and early team member at two InsurTech startups, where he developed a passion in user experience and product development. Previous to his startup journey he worked as a commercial property underwriter at Chubb Insurance in New Zealand. Jack graduated with a Bachelor of Music from Waikato University where he studied classical piano. He loves to cook, read and is a practicing stoic.
Looking back at the first half of 2022, it is understandable that many investors turned bearish— with the global economy entering a cycle of raising interest rates, capital markets shedding market cap, and currencies around the world getting hit by the one-two punch of inflation and depreciation against a strong US Dollar. Despite these macro uncertainties, founders and developers have not succumbed to such sentiments, demonstrating strong determination and resilience to continue building and reiterating. Thanks to their efforts, the global web3 ecosystem continues to flourish with new ideas and business models. Looking at the bigger picture, this winter will pass. Web3 remains one of the biggest paradigm shifts over the next 10 to 20 years, and Greater Southeast Asia (ASEAN + Taiwan) will play a critical role as one of the world’s most exciting and dynamic markets. More than ever, now is the best time for founders to take the entrepreneurial plunge.
We are optimistic about the long-term outlook for web3, and believe that now is the best time to start a web3 project, based on our experience transcending market cycles. Since AppWorks was founded in 2009, and launching our semi-annual AppWorks Accelerator in 2010, we have built a startup ecosystem and founder community home to 457 active startups and 1,448 entrepreneurs. In 2018, AppWorks Accelerator entered the web3 arena, and launched AppWorks Fund III the same year to invest in web3 startups in Greater Southeast Asia and beyond. At present, 93 active startups, or more than 20% of the AppWorks ecosystem are in web3, launched by 181 founders pushing things forward in this pioneering space.
Within AppWorks’ web3 ecosystem, there are many exciting projects created during the last bear market cycle in 2018 and 2019. For example, Dapper Labs, which was founded in 2018, successively launched the Flow blockchain and built NBA Top Shot to become one of the most successful NFT developers, ushering in 2021’s NFT Summer. Despite the prevailing headwinds in the first half of this year, Flow’s trading volume and active accounts hit new all-time highs in June. Meanwhile, Animoca Brands acquired The Sandbox in 2018 and developed a blockchain version, making The Sandbox a trailblazer in the blockchain game arena.
Another reason to be optimistic about the development of web3 in Southeast Asia is the potential for digital leapfrogging. Out of Southeast Asia’s 700 million people, more than 70% of them remain unbanked or underbanked—with limited access to financial services. This provides optimal conditions for the mainstream adoption of DeFi, cryptocurrency investment, and crypto asset management. In providing financial services to the public, users will bypass traditional banks and go directly to web3.
Web3 development in Southeast Asia has already demonstrated remarkable growth potential, including the development of many consumer-oriented applications in web3. According to the Chainalysis 2021 Global Crypto Adoption Index report, Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines are ranked 1st, 12th, and 15th in the world in terms of cryptocurrency adoption. Meanwhile, in terms of the proportion of crypto holders to total population, according to statistics by TripleA, crypto has reached a penetration rate of 20.27% in Vietnam, 6.47% in Thailand, 6.13% in the Philippines, 4.92% in Singapore, and 4.45% in Indonesia, ranking 1st, 12th, 14th, 18th and 20th in the world respectively. In terms of the development of NFT applications, Southeast Asia has also taken a leading position. According to statistics by Statista, Thailand is home to 5.65 million NFT holders, with Vietnam at 2.19 million, and Indonesia at 1.25 million, ranking 1st, 5th, and 8th in the world respectively.
These favorable conditions have provided a boost to Southeast Asia’s nascent web3 startup ecosystem, attracting a steady inflow of international funds and driving the active deployment of Web3 giants across the region. According to a report by White Star Capital, there are currently 627 web3 startups headquartered in Southeast Asia. During the first half of 2022, Southeast Asian web3 startups have attracted US$979 million in investment allocations, with this year’s investment total on pace to surpass 2021’s US$1.45 billion.
As the high tide of the capital market receded, tourists watching the excitement from the shore and competitors wading without bathing suits retreated from the waters. For founders who really want to make a dent in the universe, the current market is in fact the best time to start a web3 project. American writer Mark Twain famously said: “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” In the history of technological development, many great companies were born or came into prominence during bear cycles, for example, Amazon and Google after the .com bubble burst in 2000; Facebook after the 2008 financial crisis; and Tesla after the 2018 debt crisis. For web3 founders, a bear cycle is the BUIDL cycle. When the next wave of mass adoption comes, Greater Southeast Asia will be a must-win market for determined web3 founders.
Appendix: Notable Web3 Founders in Greater Southeast Asia
web3.GSEA Snapshot 22H1 is brought to you by AppWorks. For any comments for the author, please contact us at [email protected]
If you’re a founder working on web3 / DAO, AI / IoT, or Southeast Asia, you’ve come to the right place! Applications for AppWorks Accelerator
2009 年成立，由「創業者」為「創業者」設立的加速器，以及基於加速器發展的新創社群與創投機構，致力在大東南亞地區協助下世代的創業者，抓住數位革命的成長機會。正如同 Mobile Internet 帶來了巨變，我們相信 ABS – AI、Blockchain 與 Southeast Asia 是今日的三大典範轉移。我們認為，創造一個偉大事業的過程中，團隊是主角，而投資人則是配角，我們專注扮演配角，從種子時期開始支持有想法的團隊，一路陪著他們打造區域級、世界級的偉大企業。AppWorks 目前共提供 Accelerator、Funds 與 School 等三項主要服務。更多資訊：appworks.tw
AppWorks’ highly anticipated Demo Day brings the best of both AppWorks Accelerator #24 and Wistron Accelerator #2.This particular demo day will feature 20 (13 + 7) startups, with many in the web3 / NFT space to give you a glimpse into the innovative application of blockchain technology and the decentralized future. At the same time, many teams from the AI / IoT field are utilizing frontier technologies to transform our business and life. Among these rising stars, we’ll also have international teams joining us from Hong Kong, the US, and India.
This past half year, AppWorks Accelerator recruited 24 teams across AW#24, of which 12 are focusing on web3 specifically. There are 51 founders in total who span across 12 different markets including Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, the US, etc., and almost half of which are serial entrepreneurs.
We’re also pleased to introduce Wistron Accelerator #2. Over the past year, AppWorks has been working with Wistron, one of the world’s leading ICT manufacturers, to identify and cultivate startups that can help the organization charter new avenues of growth over the next decade, whether that’s through technology partnerships or PoCs.
You can find a brief introduction to each pitching team and founder below:
AppWorks Accelerator #24
1. BitShine 幣想: Fiat on-ramp and off-ramp for companies
If you are an investor or corporate representative and need more detailed information about the teams or want to connect with AppWorks Accelerator #24 or Wistron Accelerator #2 founders, please email us at [email protected].