Copy Of Meet The Investors Part 1

As we inch closer to the first edition of Female Founders Mentoring Hours on Tuesday, July 21, we want to ensure all female founders get the maximum value out of each mentoring session they attend with investors. Today, we’re excited to introduce to you the second group of investors at Cocoon Capital, Cherubic Ventures, Insignia Ventures Partners, Golden Gate Ventures, 500 TukTuks and Playfair Capital.

Read on for insights into their background, their investment strategy, what they enjoy discussing with founders and their top tips for office hours below:


Ine Jacobsen, Cocoon Capital

Ine Jacobsen Cocoon Capital

Ine Jacobsen is an Associate at Cocoon Capital. At Cocoon, Ine is focused on helping portfolio companies across Southeast Asia scale in a fast, sustainable and agile manner by applying and adapting the best practices from mature companies. Over the years, Ine has gained extensive experience from various positions in PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) in Oslo, ranging from auditing to corporate governance consulting. Before moving to Singapore, Ine was part of the team that helped Zwipe AS, a biometric tech company, raise USD 23m and list on Merkur Markets at Oslo Børs.

What is unique about Cocoon Capital? 

Cocoon Capital is an active early stage seed fund that only does up to 6 investments a year. It allows us to spend time with our founders and adapt our approach individually. We are also experienced in the early stage woes and can identify common problems across our portfolio and enable founders to learn from each other. 

What investments do you enjoy looking at? 

As part of a B2B and deep-tech focused fund, I enjoy looking at investments that are solving an important problem for a lot of people. Passionate founders that can articulate the problem they are solving always seem to be contagious! 

Which part of an investment do you enjoy most discussing with a founder? 

I like strategy in general so discussing routes to market and discussing business opportunities is always enjoyable. I also like understanding how co-founders met and how they identified the problem. There are always some key learnings and take-aways from the way this story is told!

What are your 3 top tips on how to make the most of the mentoring hours? 

1. Do your research – Read up on the investors that you will be talking to. 

2. Have an ask – Have a clear plan about what to ask each investor for: is it to pitch for investment, is it to ask about a partnership, introduction or do you need help with a specific problem?

3. Practice – 13 minutes is quick, so make sure that your pitch is prepared and that you do not waste your time on things that do not bring value to the conversation. 

What advice are you giving to startups on how to navigate COVID-19? Are you giving the same advice to scale-ups (post series B)? 

My main advice is to take the situation seriously and think long term. Nobody knows what the impact will be, but people will still need to solve problems. Make sure that you are working sustainably and that your whole plan doesn’t hinge on “things turning around in 2 months”. 


Tina Cheng, Cherubic Ventures

Tina Cheng Profile 2018

Tina is the Managing Partner at Cherubic Ventures and leads Cherubic’s global investment and partnership. She has extensive experience working in the education and technology sector. Her past employers include Yahoo, Cisco, Trianz Consulting, and Ogilvy & Mather. Tina holds an MBA degree from UCLA Anderson School of Management. She received her bachelor degree in Advertising from National ChengChi University in Taiwan. (Not related to founding partner Matt Cheng in any way, just happened to have the same last name.)

What is unique about Cherubic Ventures?

Cherubic Ventures is one of the very few seed fund that invests in both Greater China and the US, the two biggest venture markets in the world. Some of our notable investments include Calm (, Flexport(, Hims ( We are seed investors of all three unicorns. We are often the first institution investor of the companies we invest in.

What investments do you enjoy looking at?

Excellent founders who are using a unique approach to solve an important problem and bring positive impact to the world. 

Which part of an investment do you enjoy most discussing with a founder?

Learning about how they became a founder in the first place, what inspired them to start a company, why they picked this problem to solve, and what’s so unique about their approach. 

What are your 3 top tips on how to make the most of the mentoring hours?

– Effective communication: get to the point. 

– Do some research about the investors you are meeting with and ask them something that’s within their domain of expertise. 

What advice are you giving to startups on how to navigate COVID-19? Are you giving the same advice to scale-ups (post series B)?

We customise our advice based on each company’s unique situation and impact to COVID-19. But in general, if COVID-19 is hurting your business, obviously you need to SURVIVE: cut costs, increase your runway as long as you can, and try to pivot your business.


Joolin Chuah, Insignia Ventures Partners

Joolin Chua Insignia

Currently a Principal at Insignia Ventures Partners, managing 10+ portfolio companies and looking for great founders who want to grow their companies with Insignia. Since joining Insignia as the first investment team hire in 2017, she has developed full-stack investment expertise, from sourcing to managing companies in various industries including fintech, logistics, and commerce across Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

What is unique about Insignia Ventures Partners?

Insignia takes a ground-up and hands-on approach to investing in fast-growing technology companies in Southeast Asia. We pride ourselves in finding unstoppable founders early on and supporting them through thick and thin as their companies scale-up. Our hands-on approach to supporting our portfolio focuses on growth from all angles, from finances to technology to hiring and marketing, with the expertise and network of our team.

What investments do you enjoy looking at?

As a firm, we have always had a preference for platform companies. We believe the platform approach makes for businesses that can both scale fast and endure. But regardless of the model or approach, the founders we really love to work with are those who have clarity in an immense vision for Southeast Asia and the leadership to steer their company to this vision. This applies to any sector, but in particular, I have been focused on commerce, logistics, D2C, gaming, and agrifood tech companies.

Which part of an investment do you enjoy most discussing with a founder?

I love going into the nitty-gritty and the specifics, from market segmentation and metrics to the operational decisions. Being able to look at the company as close as possible to how the founder sees it always makes for a more compelling perspective and productive discussions with the founder.

What are your 3 top tips on how to make the most of the mentoring hours? (for founders)

Be prepared with context. Just like doctors need a medical history or ask about preexisting conditions before undergoing treatment or surgery, it’s important for mentors to have a clear picture of what the business is about or where the issue is in order to provide truly meaningful feedback. This requires preparation and clarity coming into the session.

Ask, listen, evaluate. It boils down to your decision whether or not to follow advice from the mentoring hours. That said, it’s important to understand the insights mentors are sharing and where they are coming from as well. Don’t be afraid to ask as many tough questions as possible to make sure you can evaluate their insights and advice later on.

Go beyond the mentoring hours. These mentoring hours are not just an opportunity to get answers to questions but to build relationships. It can lead to a deal down the road, and even if it doesn’t, building these relationships can open doors for the business in other ways as well.

What advice are you giving to startups on how to navigate COVID-19? Are you giving the same advice to scale-ups (post series B)?

Navigating COVID19 as a fast-growing company is a balancing act on two levels. It’s about balancing defensive measures to keep burn rate as low as possible while coming up with creative ways to take advantage of growth opportunities in market. It’s also about balancing this short-term response with long-term vision.


Andri Wardhani, Golden Gate Ventures

Andri Golden Gate

Before joining Golden Gate Ventures, Kartini Andri Wardhani had experience working as a Senior Associate at Venturra Capital, covering seed-stage startups in Southeast Asia. She began her career as an M&A lawyer at the Jakarta office of Allen & Overy LLC, where she first found her love for startup investments and acquisitions. Outside of work, she has an interest in human rights, where she has also dedicated her time working for Amnesty International Indonesia in the past.

What is unique about Golden Gate Ventures?

Golden Gate Ventures is a truly diverse firm. Out of our partnership, two are from the US, one from Europe, and one from SEA. With this diversity, we bring global connections to the SEA founders that we back and we love making these introductions.

We are genuinely founder-friendly. We have a human approach to the founders that we meet, whether during sourcing, negotiating term sheets, or in board meetings post-investment. We are very hands on with our portfolios–as you can see, the majority of our staff is focused on portfolio support–and we are happy to accommodate requests for help in acquiring talents, giving feedback in new product iterations, etc.

What investments do you enjoy looking at?

While being sector agnostic, we are a generally consumer-focused fund.

We love looking at digital products that cater to the mass market or anything that help digitize offline populations, transactions, and purchases. Good examples would be our investment in Vis (core banking for koperasi) and Bukuwarung (simplified accounting platform for warungs).

We also have multiple investments in supply chain, social commerce, and fintech. Additionally, we are currently exploring sectors including micro-investments, space optimization, edutech, and healthtech.

Which part of an investment do you enjoy most discussing with a founder? 

It’s always interesting how founders interpret problems in the market and figure out a possible fix for that. It’s especially interesting in red oceans like payments and edutech, where new founders are figuring out new takes on how to tackle such a market and what the current players are missing.

What are your 3 top tips on how to make the most of the mentoring hours?

Make sure to prepare your questions before the session so that you won’t waste time thinking about it once the session has begun;

– Do a background check on the fund and the individual you’re talking to, so that you would know what questions to ask to who, i.e. asking edutech to a fintech-focused fund wouldn’t be too productive;

– Find a simplified way to describe yourself and your business in the beginning of the session, not exceeding 5 minutes. Otherwise, you have significantly less time to have a conversation with your mentors.

What advice are you giving to startups on how to navigate COVID-19? Are you giving the same advice to scale-ups (post series B)?

We have published quite a few guides for COVID-19; a couple of examples are linked below or attached:


Pat Naranpat Thitipattakul, 500 TukTuks (Startups Thailand)

Pat 500 Tuktuks

Pat is an Investment Manager at 500 TukTuks – a micro-fund under 500 Startups, focused on promising early-stage startups in Thailand and Southeast Asia. We strive to empower local startups with the best of Silicon Valley’s education, thinking, talent to provide unfair advantage in the market. Her responsibilities include sourcing promising deals, assessing investment opportunities, handling deal operations, managing global partnerships, providing various support to 70+ portfolio companies in Southeast Asia, driving collaboration among stakeholders, and bridging the gap between startups and corporations.

What is unique about 500 TukTuks? 

Our fund focuses on early stage companies, we are sector agnostic and mainly focus on start-up founders in Thailand. Our team consists of ex-Googlers, and experienced people from the corporate and the start-up world from both B2B and B2C. We foster a family-like working culture and provide hands-on support. Our portfolio companies can reach out to us with any issues they have. We are one the most active investors in the region, with investments in 70 companies within Thailand and SEA. Our first fund includes 50 companies and the second fund supports 20 companies so far.  

What investments do you enjoy looking at? 

We are sector agnostic, and I enjoy talking to people from different industries and learning from each other. We like to see how businesses adapt to the new normal and cherish people that fight hard to reach their goal. We are looking for fighters who is passionate about their business and founders who can overcome any challenge. 

Which part of an investment do you enjoy most discussing with a founder? 

I enjoy talking about the problems founders have identified and the solutions they propose to solve these problems. I want to learn the logic behind their solution and why they are the best team with the best market knowledge and technical expertise to start this business. I want to see proof of how the founders solve the problem at hand and that the problem is painful enough that it needs to be solved right now. There needs to be a clear problem and solution fit. 

What are your 3 top tips on how to make the most of the mentoring hours? 

Firstly, founders need to be honest, and not treat the mentoring hours as a fundraising session, but rather as an opportunity to bring up questions and issues. This is an open session and I want to help and contribute to any problem in any way I can. I encourage founders to open up. Secondly, I expect founders to be prepared. For example if I ask about the market size, have a back-up slide ready. And finally, prepare a list of questions in advance, and structure the meeting. 

What advice are you giving to startups on how to navigate COVID-19? Are you giving the same advice to scale-ups (post series B)? 

The market will be shifting post-COVID, and industries will be different. Reimagining your business and where you are in the market is very important. Continue to look for new opportunities and grow the business even more. 

For scale ups, I would give the same advice. The key learning is that you always need to adapt at every stage and after every learning. A winner will implement any feedback from the market very quickly and grab opportunities/ market share immediately.


Henrik Wetter Sanchez, Playfair Capital

Henrik Playfair

Henrik Wetter Sanchez is an associate at Playfair Capital. Prior to joining, he studied French and Spanish at Cambridge and worked in the M&A team at Bank of America. While at university, he founded a meet-up & discovery app and an access-led tutoring platform. Henrik has also built a portfolio of c.40 small equity crowdfunding investments over the past five years, including Monzo, Revolut and Camden Town Brewery. He speaks fluent French and Spanish, and is learning Portuguese and Python.

At Playfair, Henrik enjoys the variety of looking at companies in any sector, with any business model, with BioTech and hardware the only exceptions. He is particularly interested in deep technologies, technology as infrastructure and fintech. He sits on the board of Recycleye, a computer vision solution for the recycling industry.

What is unique about Playfair Capital?  

Playfair invests in pre-seed and seed-stage tech companies that aim to rethink the way we live and work. We are driven not just by delivering strong financial returns, but by being a force for good and living our values. Everything we do is intended to maximise our positive impact in the ecosystem, especially with first time and underrepresented founders.

We are defined by our ‘angel DNA’, being founder-focussed, and seeking and orchestrating collaboration. Each team member has specific domain expertise that they bring to our founders spanning sales & marketing, hiring, and commercial and financial strategy. We invest because we share each founder’s passion for their business — we love getting hands-on and our fund size is optimised to allow us to spend quality time with each founder.

What investments do you enjoy looking at?

At Playfair we love being agnostic investors because it means we can always meet the most innovative, passionate and big-thinking founders, whatever market they’re looking to build in. The best founders present a market opportunity that I didn’t previously appreciate or fully understand, but come away with that a-ha moment where I need to find out more. That said, I am particularly interested in enabler and frontier technologies, deep tech on the software side, and anything related to the financial and insurance ecosystems. 

Which part of an investment do you enjoy most discussing with a founder? 

At a first meeting, the details behind the problem and the solution. I love to come away with an understanding of the status quo in the market, where the greatest value lies along the problem chain, and a clear vision on how this company is building a product to solve it. Combining this with a practical short-term plan to add some substance to the big picture is even better! 

What are your 3 top tips on how to make the most of the mentoring hours?

1. Know your asks. Go into any meeting with a clear agenda, regardless of the length. For a short 15-minute office hours session, I would usually recommend a max 5 minute intro to you and the business, followed by 5 minutes of general discussion and 5 minutes of specific questions. Of course, this is totally up to you though!

2. Be prepared. This means knowing your pitch and questions inside out. Be snappy and to the point, save the detail for a follow-up. Research your investor and their firm so you know their areas of expertise. 

3. Get the follow-up. Make sure you end the meeting with a follow-up. This might be clarity that this isn’t an opportunity the investor will pursue, it might be a longer meeting with the same investor or a member of their team, or it might be a connection to someone else in their network. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

What advice are you giving to startups on how to navigate COVID-19? Are you giving the same advice to scale-ups (post series B)? 

This is very company dependent. At the earliest stages, now is actually a great time to focus on product and tech, so double down there. We have noticed an extremely strong talent pool so take advantage of this if you can. If you are at a later seed / series A+ stage, then often cash will be king, depending on whether your business is positively or negatively impacted by the move to digital. If yes, then take the same hiring approach and use the opportunity to build you competitive advantage. If no, then cut back where you can and ride it out, while using the time you’re buying yourself to pivot (large or small) to a new post-covid strategy.

To read about tips and tricks on how to impress the mentors, check out A Guide to Getting to What You Want written by Alexandra Baranowski from Playfair Capital. 

Do keep an eye on our LinkedIn and Facebook pages and blog for updates!

If you’re a male founder and would still like to pitch us, please submit your application on our open-to-anyone website pitch page.