Investing In Asia

Betatron Venture Group

Investing in Asia explores the unprecedented growth across the most populated region in the world. We're talking about Asia outside of China, where 44% of the world's population lives. They are young, they are digital natives, and their buying power is increasing by the day. Join your host Arshad Chowdhury, an investor with the Betatron Venture Group, as he meets investors, entrepreneurs and key players to understand the opportunities and challenges of scaling startups here. Learn more about Betatron Venture Group - Hosted by Arshad Chowdhury -

All Episodes

How is your investment strategy changing in light of climate change? Which regions and industries are poised to survive and thrive, and which face existential threats? Where should you work and live in the coming years?This episode is about investing in the future. Our special guest Parag Khanna, who is a  geopolitical scholar and the author of Move: The Forces Uprooting Us. The webinar is moderated by Arshad Chowdhury, an Asia-focused venture capitalist at Betatron Venture Group.Parag Khanna is the Founder & Managing Partner of FutureMap, a data and scenario strategic advisory firm. He is an international bestselling author of six books, has traveled to nearly 150 countries, and is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.Parag was named one of Esquire's "75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century" and featured in WIRED magazine's "Smart List."He holds a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics, and a Bachelors and a Masters degree from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.Website: @paragkhannaLinkedin:

Nov 24

1 hr 7 min

In this episode, we take a look at startups in Turkey. 2021 is shaping up to be a great year for Turkey with twodifferent companies - Getir and Dream Games - reaching unicorn status in the first half of 2021. Here to help us understand the country is Esranur Kaygın, a Dutch-born entrepreneur and investor of Turkish descent who lives in Istanbul.Esra has studied commerce, economics, and management at Saxion University and has a master's degree from NYU. In the past decade as an operator and investor, she has won many accolades and awards including Most Successful Investor 2015 in Istanbul, Turkey, and Most Successful Business Woman of the Year for 2012 in Amsterdam, Holland.Companies and entities mentioned:Peak Games: Games: Games: Kaygun Instragram: @esranurkayginLinkedin: Hosted by Arshad Chowdhury, Managing Partner at BetatronTwitter: @arshadgcLinkedIn:

Oct 11

19 min 19 sec

In this episode of Investing In Asia, we'll learn about Vietnam, where investments in startups rose by a factor of 8 between 2016 and 2019, and they continue to rise in 2021 even as the country battles Covid. We're lucky to have today's guest, Eddie Thai, who is a General Partner for 500 Startups in Vietnam. He's also a GP at Ascend Vietnam Ventures, which aims to back the next wave of iconic companies arising from Vietnam.  Eddie's portfolio companies have gone on to raise more than $1B in downstream capital from the likes of Sequoia, Google, and Greylock.Eddie did his undergrad at Harvard and holds an MBA from Yale, and we're excited to have him on today.   Companies and entities mentioned:Ascend Vietnam Ventures: https://ascendvietnam.com500 Startups: Cricket One: Corp: https://momo.vnVNPay: Axie Infinity: https://axieinfinity.comEddie Thai: by Arshad Chowdhury, Managing Partner at BetatronTwitter: @arshadgcLinkedIn:'s Website:

Aug 31

26 min 31 sec

Betatron's Website: we'll learn how new tech companies are transforming Pakistan. A young, vibrant, but often misunderstood country, Pakistan has been named one of Asia's fastest-growing economies. While the tech-startup scene is small, it's growing fast, with a 97% increase in funding between 2019 and 2020. Our guest today is Sardar Ahmed Durrani, who we all affectionately call Durrani. Born and raised in Pakistan, Durrani is today partner at the Osiris Group, a PE firm based in Hong Kong, where he's the tech and consumer sector head for Asia and the country lead for Pakistan. In his role, he oversees impact investments the firm makes in the frontier markets of Asia. Osiris invests in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. Before joining Osiris, Durrani had worked in investment banking in Asia, with various senior roles at Deutsche Bank, at RBS, and ABM Amro Bank. Companies and entities mentioned:​Osiris Group, private equity and venture capital fund focused on emerging markets in Asia: https://www.the-osiris-group.orgCareem, ride-hailing platform: https://www.careem.comK Trade, stock trading platform:, building accessible healthcare: MayaDigitalHealth.comNadra - Pakistan's national ID program: Real estate platform, unicorn: https://www.zameen.comDurrani on LinkedIn: Hosted by Arshad ChowdhuryTwitter: @arshadgcLinkedIn:

Jul 29

32 min 24 sec

Today we're talking about Property tech, aka Proptech in Asia. Asia is the world's largest real estate market. Investments into startups servicing the industry, from construction to management to sales and rentals, went from half a billion dollars in 2013 to over 7 billion in 2020, and by all accounts, we're still at the early stages of tech adoption in the industry. Our guest is Ariel Shtarkman, an active angel investor based in Hong Kong who has been working and investing in the industry for the past 13 years. We met through a shared portfolio company, and it's my pleasure to have Ariel on today. A note to listeners, there is a bit of background noise that we were unable to edit out, so apologies in advance for that.Companies mentioned today include  Follow Ariel Shtarkman: by Arshad ChowdhuryTwitter: @arshadgcLinkedIn:

May 28

20 min 40 sec

In this episode, we meet Dr. Parag Khanna, a geopolitical scholar and best-selling author of 6 books. He's the Managing Partner of FutureMap, a data and scenario based strategic advisory firm. And his most recent book is The Future is Asian: Commerce, Conflict & Culture in the 21st Century. This episode is a must-listen for anyone investing in the region, and even for anyone living here. We cover the Asianization of the region and the world, look at the historical context of Asia's growth, consider the challenges of climate change, and look at where future growth will come from in the region. Follow Dr. Parag Khanna: @paragkhannaFacebook: @DrparagkhannaInstagram:@DrparagkhannaGet the book, The Future is Asian: by Arshad ChowdhuryTwitter: @arshadgcLinkedIn:

Apr 8

29 min 26 sec

In this episode we learn about sustainability investments in Asia. With its population density, massive urbanization, and already-strained access to water and energy, Asia is particularly vulnerable to the early impacts of climate change. With more wealth in the hands of family offices today than perhaps at any other time in modern history, family offices, particularly in Asia, have an important role to play in funding the next generation of solutions to help mitigate and survive climate change. Here today is Katy Yung, Managing Partner at Sustainable Finance Initiative, or SFI, where she works with a number Hong Kong based family offices to help craft and execute investment strategies related to sustainability. Katy Yung on LinkedIn: Finance website:, Arshad Chowdhury: on Twitter @arshadgc

Apr 1

24 min 3 sec

In this episode, we look at Asia's massive maritime industry. Nine out of ten of the world's largest ports are in Asia, where demand for products in and out of China has increased significantly since peak pandemic, and globally the industry is looking to become more sustainable and efficient. Our guest is Su Yin Anand, Head of Shipping at South32, a publicly traded, globally diversified mining and metals company doing business in Australia, South Africa, and South America. She's also co-founder of The Captain’s Table Innovation Challenge, where maritime startups compete for funding.  Su Yin Anand on LinkedIn: more about Betatron's partnership with The Captain's Table here:

Mar 31

23 min 8 sec

Today we look at Bangladesh. It's one of Asia's fastest-growing economies. We'll look at how the country is changing, we'll learn about the demographics, about finding strong startups, what some of the risks are, and where the country is going in the coming years.Our guest is Rahat Ahmed, CEO and founder at Anchorless Bangladesh, a VC fund investing exclusively in Bangladesh. After Rahat graduated from New York University’s Stern School of Business with a degree in finance,he started covering Bangladesh in 2004 for Prince Street Capital, and specialized in emerging and frontier markets with a focus on the impact of emerging technologies on consumer behavior. In 2016, he helped seed Pathao, a Bangladeshi ride-sharing/logistics startup that's raised over US$35 million. Previously, he co-founded TrinityVR, a virtual reality-based sports science platform for player development, scouting and analytics used in Major League Baseball. He serves as the Senior Advisor at Startups Next at the startup incubator for North South University, the country’s leading private university, and is the co-founder of B·deshi, an organization that connects promising Bangladeshi youths with successful professionals of the diaspora.At Anchorless Bangladesh, he's already invested in the healthtech startup called Maya,  a logistics company called Loop, and in Gaze, an API platform for visual recognition AI. @AnchorlessBDRahat on LinkedIn: on Twitter: @dequinixCompanies mentioned:

Mar 5

26 min 25 sec

Today's guest is Jarron Stephens, an investor and serial entrepreneur based in Hong Kong. His resume is incredible, so I'll try to name just a few of his companies. He cofounded  Stephens & Hollander, a consultancy that built one of the first Buy-side Algorithmic Trading engines. He also founded HighStakes, Casino-gaming consultancy, and cofounded, where they've been selling perishable food, especially meat, online in Hong Kong since 2006. Today he sits on boards and advises multiple startups, and spends most of his time at the helm of GroupChiefs, which helps companies grow their online businesses with development services, ecommerce tools, and marketing automation. This episode focuses on the meat industry. We'll cover supply chain challenges, what is and what is not changing in meat consumption, what kind of funding it takes to launch an alternative meat company, and where the opportunities are for investors. You can follow Jarron on Linked In: MeatMarket:

Feb 26

25 min 28 sec