Saturday, May 2, 2020

10 Key Takeaways: Jay Eum on Ask A VC Anything

VC Jay Eum

Our 5th episode of Silicon Global Online, Ask A VC Anything, featured Jay Eum, one of the best connectors from Silicon Valley to Seoul and the world. On our one-hour program, Jay shared his view of leading technologies of the future and offered ample advice for startups in the trenches trying to dig out from the impact of the coronavirus.   

Here are several takeaways from our online chat with Jay, recorded April 29, 4-5pm PT. 

1. Startups need to act quickly to counteract the current downturn. Make the hard decisions early -- cut expenses, do layoffs. Those who make the decisions early will have a much better chance to make it through.

2. The bar will be higher to raise venture capital. Startups need to have their house in order first with a track record of revenues before seeking to raise financing. It will be a longer runway to get the funding.

3. Those who get ready now will be in a good position to take advantage of an upturn when that happens. 

4. It matters less about the valuation right now in raising finance and more about raising cash to survive to get to the next milestones.
5. This crisis period for startups will last at least six months.  

6. If few alternatives exists, founders should seek government checks to keep their startups afloat. 

7. If an opportunity comes along for investment from a corporate venture investor, consider it carefully. A strategic investor can be a good fit. But make sure your startup is ready to ramp up quickly. Oftentimes, startups have to race to meet hurdles demanded by their new investor that wants to leverage a strategic fit. 

8. Technologies that will do well in this current environment include robotics that can safely transport goods from warehouses directly to consumers. Robots will also be called upon to handle medical tasks such as cleaning up infectious areas. 

9. South Korea has been able to manage the Covid-19 pandemic effectively compared with other countries because it had experience with prior viruses that swept Asia. It was prepared with medical equipment and prevention measures to fight the virus this time and to act quickly to stop its spread. 

10. The South Korean high-tech scene is quite dynamic now and has seen many unicorns rise such as Coupang in e-commerce and Toss in fintech. Both attracted financing from Sand Hill players - Coupang from Sequoia Capital and Toss from Kleiner Perkins Gaming was an initial growth area for South Korean startups that  got going after the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s, and gave rise to gaming leader NCSoft

Bio: Jay Eum

Jay Eum is a venture capitalist, angel investor and startup advisor with more than 20 years of experience across the U.S. and Asia. He co-founded TransLink Capital, a Palo Alto-based early stage VC firm, investing in artificial intelligence, fintech/blockchain, and consumer technology. Noteworthy exits including Carbonite (NASDAQ: CARB), Coin (acquired by Fitbit), Enterprise DB (acquired by Peak Equity), and YuMe (NYSE: YUME).
Prior to TransLink, Jay was Managing Director of
Samsung Ventures, where he established and led its US VC operations, handling $50 million of equity investments in 16 startups, and overseeing introductions of more than 600 startups to Samsung business units.
Jay started his VC career at
Vertex Management, Singapore-based venture capital arm of investment firm Temasek Holdings. Jay has recently joined DTCP (Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners) to advise on growth in Asia and help with the firm's new office in Seoul.  

On-demand recordings of Silicon Global Online are available for $20 each. 

Tune in May 7, 4pm PT for our next show, featuring VC Jeff Chi of Vickers Venture Partners.
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