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Daily Markup #489: Why Ion Mobility chose Indonesia; Christine Tsai’s idea of a successful pitch; Transcelestial on connectivity as a human right

Ching Yee Ho



Credit: Today Online

A new ride for Indonesia

  • Why did Singapore-based 500-backed electric motorbike startup Ion Mobility launch in Indonesia instead of where its headquarters is located? It’s all in the market opportunity. Unlike Singapore where cars are the main mode of transport, the motorbike is ubiquitous in Indonesia.
  • Founder & CEO James Chan added that Indonesia has laid out ambitious plans for electric vehicle (EV) adoption, which includes incentives for imported and domestically produced EVs.
  • “We will begin opening pre-orders in Indonesia by the second half of this year and hopefully start delivering the bikes by the end of this year,” he said.
  • The startup plans to expand to other Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam and Thailand in the future.
  • Read the full feature here.

Credit: Across The Lines

Unearthing the next big thing

  • Founders seeking to fundraise today may find that the venture capital market is slowing down. Pools of money are becoming smaller, which presents a crucial opportunity – partnering with an investor who truly understands the business.
  • Christine Tsai, CEO and Founding Partner at 500 Global shared that the firm is investing more time in one area – Web3.
  • “We are particularly excited about opportunities to further build Web3 infrastructure and interoperability and create a more inclusive, equitable ecosystem for wealth creation at a global scale,” she told TechCrunch.
  • What’s the best way to approach 500 Global? To Christine, there is no fixed method. Whether it is through recommendations from existing founders or a cold e-mail, the firm is focused on discovering great teams with diverse backgrounds and expertise.
  • A valuable advice from Christine: “Take the time to make your pitch personal and connect with the other side of the table. So often, meetings feel purely transactional and become a one-way conversation. Especially with the increase in virtual meetings, it is more difficult to tell whether the investor is engaged.”
  • Read the full interview on TechCrunch.

More than fiber-like, it’s our right 

  • Is connectivity a human right? Rohit Jha, Co-founder & CEO of 500-backed Transcelestial, believes so, and that undersea cables are rapidly becoming inadequate to provide for this need.
  • “In the last two years, we have created more data than all of human history combined,” he said. And he projects that the data growth will continue to be exponential in our lifetime.
  • Transcelestial uses the same technology that runs in these cables but the startup has made it wireless. This means an entire city can be connected just via lasers.
  • Rohit shared that on average, a kilometer of fiber optic cables usually takes a few weeks to a few months to install, and costs $80,000 to $100,000. Transcelestial’s device takes less than a day to set up and costs 1/10 per kilometer.
  • Listen to the full interview here.

Ching Yee Ho