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MOBILE & TELECOMMUNICATIONS | Mobile Software & Services / Social
spottly.com

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Stage

Seed VC | Alive

Total Raised

$850K

Last Raised

$850K | 7 yrs ago

About Spottly

Spottly makes it easy for users to create and share notes of travels. Spottly functions like a 'Pinterest for places,' and as such, it works much like one would expect. After registering, users can search for their favorite places using Spottly's database (taken from Foursquare's open API), snapping photos, and adding notes. Notes are limited to 400 characters, and users can add hashtags to improve the visibility and categorization of their posts.

Spottly Headquarter Location

Hong Kong

Latest Spottly News

Do investors with no startup experience suck?

May 19, 2015

— Spottly (@spottly) May 6, 2015 Advice aplenty Ahn broadly agrees that there’s a lot more to the issue of why some VCs are not as effective as others. He sees that a founder-to-VC mismatch is what hurts the most. It’s important, he stresses, to “define the philosophical growth metric” of a startup, which helps ensure that the investor and the founder are on the same path. “It comes down to a good founder-investor fit,” he adds. Rather than taking sides on this issue and turning it into a fiery debate, it soon became clear that Ahn and Ng were in accord that entrepreneurial experience itself was not a major factor in the efficacy of an investor. With that cleared up, the experienced duo offered nuggets of advice to the Tech in Asia Singapore 2015 audience – a great many of whom were entrepreneurs or prospective founders – in the session chaired by our blogger Nadine Freischlad. VCs don’t mirror a founder’s knowledge, they complement it Here are some of those nuggets in paraphrased form: Ng pointed out the obvious by saying that a VC’s job is to complement founders where their knowledge is lacking and to contribute on those fronts where a startup is weak. “A startup has different needs at different stages, so different VCs can contribute at particular points in the evolution,” said Ng. A non-founder VC, in Ng’s opinion, can have important advice for the startup because the VC brings in experience from a particular field. Ahn suggested that issues might arise when founders are not given the space to find their own path because VCs get in their way and dictate it. That problem of being dictated to can worsen when the same VCs stay on to cover further stages, such as expanding to series A and beyond,” he said. Relationship counselling The debate soon turned to the importance of the relationship side of the founder-investor dynamic. The pair also had plenty of advice on the relationship side of the founder-investor dynamic: “VCs, just like any human, need to be empathetic. Lack of empathy is what causes problems,” Ng said, suggesting that a VC without the experience of founding their own company could benefit from trying to understand the particular pressure that comes with the job. 500 Startups’ Khailee Ng. “For founders, it’s beneficial to understand who’s the LP of the VC, as that will help you understand their pressures and expectations,” adds Ahn. “Horizons can be longer and shorter for various VCs,” suggests Ng, “so it’s sensitive for founders to know a VC’s motivation in order to get along well.” Returning to the question of where a relationship can go bad, Ahn says that the founder-VC relationship can be too parental, and in those cases both parties need to work to turn it into more of an equal partnership. “My personal way is, I tend to drop the money and run. It’s better not to interfere too much with founders – and yet many VCs do. Some interfere a lot, even right into the products. That rarely works out for startups,” he adds. Ng offered another helpful metaphor to define the relationship. “Founders should treat investors like employees – give them homework; keep them busy.” That way, Ng explains, a VC is “delivering value,” which helps form a better relationship. “Maybe the VC gets too deeply involved simply because he thinks he has to contribute something to be valuable,” Ng suggested. “Treating VCs mainly as mentors is not good and creates a weak situation for the founder,” said Ng. “A deeper and more authentic relationship” can arise when founders are well prepared. In summary… Ahn and Ng were also in agreement on the topic of how VCs should operate and give advice. Ahn said that quality mentorship and guidance is good so long as it’s very specific – that’s why Rakuten Ventures likes to be focused on certain areas in which it has the expertise. Ng concurred and stated that 500 Startups also prefers to contribute in particular areas and likes to co-invest with other relevant investors. — Mei Lee (@HiMeiLee) May 6, 2015 The onstage session ended with the two VCs, having got the crowd on their side after dishing out so much useful knowledge, giving a summary of their top tips to startup founders: Ng: Know yourself and build the right kind of relationships that are aligned with what you’re working on. And remember to give investors homework. Ahn: It’s like a marriage – find a way to be open with each other; bare your soul; say what hurts and work things out. This is part of the coverage of Tech in Asia Singapore 2015 , our event which ran on May 6 and 7. Editing by Nadine Freischlad and Paul Bischoff Read More

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