AppWorks & Investing in Web3 with Jamie Lin

AppWorks & Investing in Web3 with Jamie Lin
Jamie Lin shares the story of AppWorks, the accelerator & venture capital fund across Taiwan & Southeast Asia & offers his thoughts on Web3 investing.

Fresh out of the studio, Jamie Lin, chairman and partner of AppWorks, an accelerator and venture capital form shares the backstory of the company and how it started his investments across Taiwan and Southeast Asia and grew to its present state today. Jamie shares the investment thesis of the firm and the key traits of entrepreneurs and verticals which they can invest into. Last but not least, Jamie shares his perspectives in how venture capital will be transformed by web3 and offers his point of view on how AppWorks will position itself in this new era.  


"So as of today, I think the choice between DAO and equity is how bullish you are in the project. So if you're thinking that companies launching its first or second project, there's still a highly likelihood that it's not gonna be hugely successful and you want to bet on the entire life cycle of the company, then right now, maybe equity is still a better tool. If you're really bullish on the project, but you're not as bullish on the company that maybe the DAO is a better way to go." - Jamie Lin

Introduction

  • Jamie Lin, Chairman and Partner, AppWorks (@MrJamieLin, Linkedin, personal blog)
  • As you are on Analyse Asia for the first time, we want to dive into your origin story, how did you start your career?
  • From your career journey, what are the key lessons you can share with my audience?
  • Given that you are a venture capitalist, what is a typical day like for you?

AppWorks

  • Introduction: AppWorks is both an accelerator and a venture capital firm in Taiwan and Southeast Asia. Started in 2009, the fund has a total of US$212m assets under management, with three funds to date, with the recent fund III of US$150m.
  • What is the inspiration behind AppWorks and what is the origin story of how it evolves to the present state?
  • Coming to today, what is the vision and mission of AppWorks?
  • What are the areas of investments that AppWorks focus on and what are the ticket sizes for the investments you place in companies, as I understand that the firm does from seed, series A to C.
  • What is the investment thesis of AppWorks? What are the verticals which you are looking into?
  • Why did the fund decide to expand from Taiwan into Southeast Asia?
  • Does the fund now have an office within Southeast Asia?
  • How does the Appworks accelerator work? How would a founder be selected to go into an accelerator and will the VC fund follow on from there?
  • Can you provide examples of companies in both Taiwan and Southeast Asia under your portfolio?
  • What are the red flags which will deter you from investing in them?
  • What does great look like for AppWorks for the next 5 years?

Investing in Web3 (Blockchain, DeFi & NFTs)

  • To baseline this part of the conversation, what do you define Web3 given there are cryptocurrencies, blockchain technologies, decentralized finance and NFTs?
  • One interesting feature of Web3 is the concept of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), where even the investors can form decentralized funds like Friends with Benefits DAO. Do you think that this will uproot the current VC fund model which is more ideal for the current web2 model?
  • What are the most interesting trends in Web3 which will shape your investment thesis in 2022 and beyond?
  • As I have done a couple of web3 investments, there are different models to fund the Web3 entity: 1/ the equity model with the web3 entity being a company, 2/ the token + equity model with the company able to have a token generation event (or what they call ICO) or 3/ go full token model. How do you look at these different ways of investing in a web3 company?
  • Even the exits are becoming interesting for a web3 company, if the company goes into token generation, there needs to be a strategy to manage the VC firm’s treasury and how the tokens will be distributed to the LPs. That makes it interesting as the successful funds in Web3 tend to have a combination of hedge fund and VC fund structure, what are your thoughts on that?
  • What are the most interesting problems that you believe Web3 will solve and change how the current Internet industry is moving towards?

Closing

  • How do my audience find you?

Podcast Information: The show is hosted and produced by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin) and Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin, LinkedIn). Sound credits for the intro and end music: "Run it" by DJ Snake, Rick Ross and Rich Brian and the episode is edited by Geoffrey Thomas Craig.