Asia Startup Pulse Podcast

Your looking glass into China and
Asia Startup Ecosystem

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About Us

Asia Startup Pulse Podcast — previously known as China Startup Pulse Podcast —  is an original weekly podcast for anyone interested in understanding the innovation, business, and tech landscape in Asia. We bring the best of the Asian startup ecosystem, showcasing entrepreneurial stories, insights from thought leaders, and dissecting the strategies employed by tech giants.

Backed by SOSV, Chinaccelerator, and Mobile Only Accelerator (MOX), we understand firsthand what it’s like to be an entrepreneur in Asia. Over the last decade, we have helped over 180 startups cross borders and make their mark in Asia. With that in mind, the podcast offers real, practical, and unique insights.



The Future of NFTs Beyond Collectibles, w/ Robby Yung, Co-founder and CEO of Animoca Brands

The World Wide Web was the first big tech revolution. Mobile was the second and we think blockchain is now the third. This is a period where we’re going to have a solid 10-year run of tremendous growth and adoption of this new technology. It’s going to bring enormous changes to all sectors that the technology touches upon: entertainment, financial services, e-government, and more.

All Episodes


The Future of NFTs Beyond Collectibles, w/ Robby Yung, Co-founder and CEO of Animoca Brands

The World Wide Web was the first big tech revolution. Mobile was the second and we think blockchain is now the third. This is a period where we’re going to have a solid 10-year run of tremendous growth and adoption of this new technology. It’s going to bring enormous changes to all sectors that the technology touches upon: entertainment, financial services, e-government, and more.


Understanding the business model behind open-source services w/ Neil Han, Head of APAC for PingCAP [World’s most valued NewSQL company]

The open-source model has been a big catalyst for technology businesses across the world. While it is clear how they fit into other business models, it is still unclear what the business model behind an open-source business is. In this episode, we aim to answer that and more. We invited Neil Han, Head of APAC and EMEA for PingCAP, the first open-source unicorn in China, which raised 340million USD in total.


Internationalisation of Indian SaaS Startups, with Sanjay Nath, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Blume Ventures

What is the trajectory for Indian startups expanding abroad? How do they start in India and move to the US and SEA? How can startups build and sell remotely and operate in a virtual world? What are the repercussions of localization when internationalization? Sanjay, as an active investor in the space, brings his experience in answering all these questions and more!


How to Start a Venture Fund in China, with Chris Lerner, Managing Partner at MSA Capital

What does it take to launch a VC fund in China? What are the differences between RMB funds and USD funds? And how can VC funds exit themselves? We invited Chris Lerner, Managing Partner at MSA Capital, to join us to share his experience on starting and running a successful venture fund, and also how MSA Capital has supported startups to grow and expand to different markets. Founded in 2014, MSA Capital is an independent global private equity and venture capital firm with over $1.5 billion assets under management. Most notably, 60% of its 26 early stage investments have become super unicorns.


Building Bangladesh’s Biggest Tech Startup with Hussain Elius, Founder and CEO of Pathao

While Southeast Asia remains one of the hottest markets in the region, South Asia is also catching up, especially with the likes of Bangladesh and Pakistan. The region is also home to some of the fastest-growing tech startups, and today, we venture down south to Bangladesh and talk to the co-founder and CEO of Pathao, Bangladesh’s largest tech company which is valued at over $100 million. Pathao is the leading ride-sharing, on-demand logistics, and food delivery platform in Bangladesh. Today, its motorbike and car-hailing vertical alone serves five million riders across five cities in Bangladesh and Kathmandu in Nepal.


Understanding What Impact Investment Truly Is, w/ Ilaria Chan, Group Advisor on Social Impact for Grab

The increased showboating and “greenwashing” of the term “Impact Investment” has virtually led to the term being thrown around loosely: especially, as it is hard to gauge the tangible impact sometimes startups working in this domain bring. But, what exactly is impact investment? How different is the understanding of the term in developed countries compared to emerging markets? How can startups working in this domain find the sweet spot between profitability and impact? Is tangible impact more valuable than intangible ones? Or the other way around? These are some of the many questions that arise while trying to understand the impact of investment space. And in this episode, we bring a prominent guest whose experience across Asia and the US in the impact investment space makes her the perfect guest to answer these questions and more.


Behind the Company that Catalysed Chinese Startups’ Global Ambitions, with Ronen Mense, APAC President and Managing Director of AppsFlyer

Chinese companies going global is not a new phenomenon today. But there was a time when this was relatively unheard of. And today, we talk to the man behind AppsFlyer, the company that essentially fuelled Chinese companies’ ambitions for global expansion by providing them much-needed analytics and data in a mobile-frenzy world. Why was AppsFlyer pivotal to Chinese companies? What strategic value did China possess for AppsFlyer? In a market known for intense competition, how did AppsFlyer manage to thrive unscathed and become the market leader? 


Examining the Fundamentals of the Marketplace Business Model with James Tan, Managing Partner at Quest Ventures

Marketplace is one of the most common business models in Southeast Asia nowadays. In one of our previous episodes, we talked to Aaron Tan, founder of Carro, about how he has built one of the biggest used-car marketplaces in Southeast Asia. Today, we are going to dig deeper into marketplaces again with James Tan, Managing Partner at Quest Ventures. Prior to this, James was co-founder and COO of 55tuan, a NASDAQ listed e-commerce group that grew to more than 200 cities and 5,000 employees across China.


Understanding the Hype around NFTs with Mia Deng, Partner at Dragonfly Capital

NFTs in 2021 has become what ICOs were in 2017: the biggest buzzword in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. Even though NFTs as a concept is not something entirely new, it is only now that they have become more hyped. But what exactly are NFTs? Why are they gaining so much popularity today? Which industries stand to gain the most with the rise of these non-fungible tokens? How will this industry evolve? And most importantly, is this another bubble ready to burst?


Investigating China’s Anti-Monopoly Enforcements on Tech Giants, with Rui Ma, founder of Tech Buzz China

Recently, Chinese regulators hit Alibaba with a $2.8 billion fine in its anti-monopoly investigation, which amounts to about 4% of the company’s 2019 domestic revenue. China’s leading internet companies, such as Baidu, ByteDance, and also issued commitments to obey antitrust laws and conduct self-inspections.

What’s the trigger for these regulations? What are the reactions from the public and what impact has it created in the ecosystem? Will the regulation be detrimental to innovation or helpful in fostering competition?


Founder Brain Food: Building Trust with Customers, and Non-market Strategic Thinking; w/ Victoria Hoang and Jack Ren

Welcome to another episode of the Asia Startup Pulse! This week, we will continue with our 8×8 Global Speaker Series and bringing talks from two exceptional speakers from diverse backgrounds to share some interesting brain food for founders. We have Victoria Hoang, Data Partner at Bristol Myers Squibb, and Jack Ren, Managing Director of Eminence Ventures.


Setting your Startup for Success: VCs Perspective on Chinese startups expanding across borders, Becoming Investible, and Leveraging Investors; w/ Rui Ma, Kal Patel and Nichapat Ark

Today, we have a special episode from our 8×8 Global Speaker Series where we bring 8 notable speakers to talk about their experiences in building, operating, and scaling businesses across Asia and beyond. In today’s episode, we are bringing three incredible speakers and seasoned investors: Rui Ma, Kal Patel, and Nichapat Ark, to share their insights on what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur building cross-border businesses. 


Inside the Mobile Esports Business in Southeast Asia, with Allan Phang, Regional Head of Marketing PR at EVOS Esports

We discuss the differences between esports and traditional sports while debunking the common myths about professional esports. Furthermore, Allan talks about his opinion about the roles of different stakeholders in the whole esports ecosystem, the unique proposition of Southeast Asia market in the esports sector, and also the next big thing we can expect in the industry.


Building the Biggest Used-car Marketplace in SEA, with Aaron Tan, founder of Carro

In this episode, we will mainly discuss about how to build and scale a two-side marketplace in Southeast Asia and Carro’s playbook of expansion across the region. Moreover, we will put the spotlight on how Aaron’s previous experience in venture capital industry has impacted his decisions, and also how he takes inspiration from Chinese business models and applies the insights in an SEA context.


Why Experimentation is Imperative to a Startup’s Success with Mukesh Bansal, Co-founder of Phable, and Riaz Mehta, Founder of allrites

In this episode, we invite Mukesh Bansal, Founder and CEO of Phable, a healthcare startup from India that recently raised a $12 million Series A; and Riaz Mehta, Founder and CEO, of allrites, Asia’s leading B2B marketplace for film and TV content. Our guests bring with them a cumulative 40+ years of building, and running businesses across Asia. We dive deep into what makes experimentation a prerequisite to running a successful startup and how small changes can have a colossal impact on the business.


Evaluating the Rise of SaaS in China with Shao Lee, Partner at Global Founders Capital

In this episode, we invite Shao Lee, Partner at Global Founders Capital, who spearheads their China operations. We talk about GFC’s investment thesis and their unique proposition of Geographical Arbitrage. We dive deeper into understanding the Chinese ecosystem and the drivers of enterprise SaaS in China. As a leading investor in the TMT/ SaaS space, Shao shares his insights on how GFC evaluates enterprise SaaS companies in China.


Secret Sauce of ByteDance’s Massive Bloom with Matthew Brennan, Book Author of “Attention Factory; The story of TikTok and China’s ByteDance”

In this episode, we invite one of our special friends Matthew Brennan, author of “Attention Factory; The story of TikTok and China’s ByteDance”. He is often featured in global media and has delivered presentations on Chinese digital innovation to global firms such as Google, Tencent, DHL, etc. Having monitored the Chinese tech ecosystem closely for a number of years, Matthew is well-positioned to answer our questions, dig deeper into ByteDance’s remarkable success, and share his insights on the mobile-tech environment in the East and West.


The Rise of Technification in Southeast Asia, with Peng T. Ong, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Monk’s Hill Ventures

In this episode, we talk about Peng’s journey as an investor and how he perceives the great potential in Southeast Asia. More importantly, he summarizes a very important trend in SEA’s startup ecosystem, “Technification”. We also talk about the impact that China’s Internet giants have on SEA through investments and M&A.

Listen to older episodes


Insights into the market

Living in China, it’s fascinating to hear first hand experiences and insights of leaders carving the path in China. Lot’s of insights on how to navigate the Chinese market and best practices. Wether your interested in China or fascinated by the world of startups, this is my weekly dose of inspiration!


The motivation-espresso during my commute to work

Both informative and entertaining content. The business and tech-hacks shared by guest and both Hosts, Ryan Shuken and Oscar Ramos, keep me motivated for the workday ahead, as well as providing me with a health-dose of China knowledge. Keep it up and running!


Best China Startup Podcast

Ryan and his team do an amazing job on China Startup Pulse. Great speakers, China-specific content and an easily digestible and entertaining format. Whether you’re based in China or elsewhere, whether you’re an entrepreneur or a wantrepreneur, this is a fantastic gateway into a very exciting business scene.



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