MOL delisting won’t hurt SEA startup ecosystem
By Goh Thean Eu April 18, 2016
- Region booming, but SEA startup culture should learn to embrace failure
- Founder Ganesh Kumar Bangah still a ‘valuable resource’ for entrepreneurs
THE delisting of MOL Global Inc from Nasdaq is not expected to cast a dark cloud over the South-East Asia tech startup ecosystem, as the region still promises high growth potential.
READ ALSO: MOL Global’s short and bumpy Nasdaq journey
“Some US$2 billion has been invested in South-East Asia since the start of the year, with Lazada, Tokopedia and Garena, so I think the region is booming and the MOL news won’t hurt it,” Golden Gate Ventures founding partner Vinnie Lauria (pic) told Digital News Asia.
Elixir Capital founder and managing director Arshad Ahmed concurred, but had a caveat.
“I don’t think MOL Global’s delisting will cast a shadow on the South-East Asia startup ecosystem.
“However, Malaysian tech-related stocks may need to have their reputation in the US rehabilitated,” he said.
When MOL Global listed, it marked a couple of milestones – it was Malaysia’s and South-East Asia’s first technology IPO on Nasdaq in over 10 years, and MOL Global was the first South-East Asia Internet company to list on the exchange.
The e-payments company’s Nasdaq journey will end today (April 18), as it will be delisted from the US stock exchange.
It also marks the end of a turbulent journey which saw its share price and market value tumbling by more than 99% since it made its debut.
However, industry observers as well as tech and startup ecosystem influencers believe that the delisting may help the Malaysian startup ecosystem.
They also believe that the delisting would not hurt the reputation of MOL Global founder Ganesh Kumar Bangah, also an inaugural Digital News Asia Digerati50.
“I thought we were trying to embrace failure into our Asian culture to promote entrepreneurship,” said 1337 Ventures chief executive officer Bikesh Lakhmichand.
“At the end of the day, [Ganesh should] take it as a battle wound or scars that you wear proudly. All that matters is him picking himself up and moving on to the next venture, with the valuable lessons of this one,” he added.
Bikesh (pic), also an inaugural Digerati50, said that Ganesh would be a very valuable resource for Malaysian entrepreneurs seeking advice.
“He’s got valid experience on running a regional, if not, global-based business, and would be able to share the good, the bad, and the ugly on his journey – especially on this listing episode,” he said.
“It’s hard not to get caught up in the party mode you are on at times, when you are riding the wave – perhaps in hindsight, the listing might have been too early.
“But now we have someone in our mix who can actually give another entrepreneur solid advice on that,” he added.
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