All That Matters festival took place in Singapore on May 22 to 26. One could say it is the SXSW of Asia. Of course, it is still a much smaller festival if we consider the number of participants and events. At the same it is much easier to navigate, find relevant events and meet people at All That Matters. The event covers many areas like digital, music, and gaming. The event had many top level speakers and participants in this year, like Lady Gaga’s Manager Troy Carter, Advertising Maven Cindy Gallop, legendary producer Bob Ezrin, Tod Machover from MIT Media Lab, Ken Parks from Spotify, and many other top names of digital business, music and entertainment.
Grow VC was invited to speak about new funding and business models in the digital business. Jouko Ahvenainen from Grow VC participated in the panel that covered topics from crowdfunding and new revenue models to the Venture Capital market and exit market in Asia. As with anywhere, there were especially two important questions in the panel: 1) what are the earning models in digital business when so much free content and services are available, and 2) how to get funding, especially in the early phase, when very little risk money is available. SingTel Innov8′s William Bao Ben told that a couple of problems for Asian VC’s is the shortage of really innovative companies, many of them are copycats and a weak exit market. He told that the biggest VC funded startup exit in SEAP (outside China) has been USD 30 Million.
A question from the audience started an interesting discussion, how to build a startup until it is ready to get VC funding. Today, investors want to see first products, market traction and good team before the company is able to get funding. But if you are just one or two entrepreneurs with an idea, how you get to the funding phase. There is no single answer to this, but this is something we have discussed many times earlier in Grow VC blog too. Some answers came up in the discussion, like Work Investment (‘sweat equity’) to build the first alpha or beta version, crowdfunding and a startup really needs doers to the core team (i.e. not only people who think visions and strategies).
Some other interesting comments from All That Matters presentations:
- Cindy Gallop: “Fear is the worst in business, it puts you to follow others, not to be unique.”
- Lachie Rutherford, Warner Music: “people in 20′s change a device 27 times an hour when they consume content, how to keep them.”
- Spotify has over 700 Million play lists created by users.
- 51% of Digital Matters delegates think games will be the biggest apps revenue stream, 17% believe in music and 6% in news.
- Panel comment: “news have never been a good business, also in traditional media news were often subsidized from other content.”
- Phil Chen, HTC: “sensors are the most important development in mobile in this year”
You can find many more quotes and comments in Twitter with hashtags #dm12 and #mm12. You can also read more from Virtual Strategy Magazine and more photos in Grow VC Facebook page. All That Matter is definitely an interesting event and we hope it is growing and takes a really important role to develop startups, digital media and the content business in Asia as SXSW has taken in the USA. The Asian creative and content business might not be globally well known yet , but it is definitely coming and taking a more important role as many other things from Asia.
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This entry was posted on Monday, June 4th, 2012 at 2:30 pm and is filed under Business Updates, Entrepreneur Inspiration, Seed Capital. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.