Ffmh 2nd Edition Meet The Investors Part 1 (2)

We’re excited to introduce an awesome line-up of mentors joining us for the 3rd Edition of Female Founders Mentoring Hours, from JAFCO Asia, Go-Ventures, Vulpes Investment Management, Altara Ventures and MassMutual Ventures! As each session is only 13-minutes long, founders, please do your due diligence and read up about insights into the mentors’ background, their investment strategy, what they enjoy discussing with founders and their top tips for office hours below.

In the third edition of Female Founders Mentoring Hours, we’re heartened by the number of returning mentors and new mentors alike joining us to achieve the same vision. As Cocoon Capital plans to run FFMH every 4 months, do drop Lauren (lauren@cocooncap.com) an email to find out how you can join us as a mentor to kickass female founders!

Please check out the rest of the series from the first two editions of FFMH here!



Amy Do Jafco

Amy Do is the Investment Manager in JAFCO Asia Singapore office. Amy covers Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia across different sectors from seed to series B. Amy has long been in the venture capital industry. Prior to joining JAFCO in 2020, she worked for Expara Ventures in their Singapore office, focusing on seed and pre-series A investment.

In addition, Amy has experience running acceleration programmes and start-up consultancy services for large government institutions like A-Star. She has solid skills in market research and financial analysis in TMT and consumer industries. Amy earned her Bachelor Degree in Economics from University College London (UCL).

What is unique about JAFCO Asia?

– JAFCO Asia prides ourselves on the strong network of successful startups that we’ve helped go public as investor. We have strong presence in Japan and therefore will bring enormous value add to our investees shall they plan to expand to Japan market. We typically look at companies from Seed-Pre B so it’s quite a wide range, allowing us to do the first cheque as well as follow-on funding.

What investments do you enjoy looking at?

– We are sector agnostic so we look at all industries. There are however a couple of sectors we are more keen on, like Ecommerce Enabler, Social Commerce, Logistics, Insurtech, Edtech, Fintech

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

– Discussing about the strategy for expanding into new market or developing a new product

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

– Focus on 3 main problems that you (founders) need help with, share the deck with investors in advance to help them get a good look at the business before the discussion, follow up with investors post the mentoring hour to keep them updated if the time runs short

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)?

– If you are fundraising, plan it ahead of time, much more than before Covid

– Be willing to find other sources of funding besides VC, for example, venture debt

– If your industry of operation is not doing well during Covid, focus on cash reservation mode and improving product rather than expanding so you’ll have a better comeback when the crisis is over


Nigel Quah, Go Ventures

Nigel currently leads coverage for Southeast Asia ex. Indonesia for Go-Ventures, a US$175 million early-stage VC fund. Previously, he was an Investment Associate at Singtel Innov8, the US$250M CVC arm of the Singtel Group. Throughout his time in Venture Capital, he has worked with many early and growth companies including Halodoc, CXA Group and Mobile Premier League.

What is unique about Go-Ventures?

Our fund is specialised in Indonesia, and we are able to value add through our relationship with our LP, Go-Jek, to supercharge growth of companies that we partner through Go-Jek’s super-app ecosystem.

What investments do you enjoy looking at?

B2C companies pioneering new business models or is specialised within a large vertical market

B2B vertical-focused companies

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

Product and growth strategy

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

Most importantly, choose investors with the right domain knowledge, then come prepared with questions and know your own numbers / customer feedback 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)?

Being a black swan event, Covid actually provides startups with an opportunity to rethink and restructure products to significantly improve unit-economics. For those facing headwinds, I would ask them to take the opportunity to hunker down and identify levers to improve profitability once markets open up again. For those lucky enough to get tailwinds, I would ask them to go for a land grab and focus on retaining customers post-pandemic.


May Myat Noe Oo, Vulpes Investment Management

Headshot May Vulpes

May is an analyst at Vulpes Investment Management. Her role is to support the management of the VC investment arm across the different stages of the investing process. She leads the deal sourcing across South East Asia & Australia and supports the due diligence process for companies in a broad range of industries.

What is unique about Vulpes Investment Management?

The thesis of the fund (Vulpes Special Opportunities Fund) is to be on the front foot when a lot of venture funding has pulled back during the Covid Pandemic. We are moving quickly with accelerated due diligence and weekly Investor Committee (IC) meetings, where the startup founders have the opportunity to present directly to the IC. Two of our IC members have been successful founders previously, who are very passionate about engaging directly with the CEOs and get into the nitty-gritty details.

As an ex-hedge fund, we look to be opportunistic and look at various deals from Seed to Series C across multiple sectors. Vulpes has a broad range of experience across several industries and asset classes and can therefore add value across the spectrum.

What investments do you enjoy looking at?

It is always interesting to see how companies in different industries are adapting to the new norm and the effect of their decisions on the business. To give an example, companies that have conducted cost-cutting (e.g. marketing expenses) to focus on the fundamentals, have been able not only to survive but to experience a strong bounce back in revenue with cashflows.

I also enjoy looking at companies that will shape the future, especially post-pandemic.

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

Firstly, it is about the founder themselves and what drives them. Secondly, on their Covid Resilience Strategy- how well they have dealt with the challenges of COVID. Thirdly, the problem they are trying to solve, for whom, and their solutions to it.

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

Be honest about the problems you are facing
Keep the presentation short and straight to the point
Have your questions at hand

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 first advice is to re-look at the revenue model and see if any part of the business can generate recurring revenue. Secondly, be flexible and re-evaluate your fundraising strategies: do not worry too much about squeezing the best valuation out of investors at this stage but instead focus more on getting the business in shape.

Huiting Koh, Adrian Ho, Altara Capital

Huiting Altara

Huiting is VP of Investments at Altara Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm focused on SEA. She has experience in managing and turning around global businesses, defining go-to-market strategies and determining product-market fit. She has made investments into Deep Tech, Fintech, Enterprise Software.

Adrian Ho is a VP at Altara Ventures. With 10 years global experience in M&A and PE investing across Europe, Africa, Singapore; Adrian was an ex-startup founder of a travel hostel and F&B brick-mortar concept.

What is unique about Altara Ventures?

Altara has one of the deepest native-to-SEA GP benches in SEA, each with a different industry expertise. The entire investment team has the unique combination of operating, finance/investment and/or founding experience. Altara’s vision is to define what “best-in-class” looks like for Southeast Asia and to establish a world-class venture ecosystem in SEA.

What investments do you enjoy looking at?

Adrian: SEA – Early stage: Pre-A, A, B – Fintech, Edutech, Healthtech, Consumer, Enterprise Software, Mobility/Logistics

Huiting: Consumer, deep tech, fintech, logistics & mobility

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

Huiting: 1) The how and why their product/service will be used/is needed, 2) What is the real problem being solved?

Adrian: Really understanding how the business is different from other similar players out there, and what exactly gives it defensibility or a moat.

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

Adrian: Short and sharp presentation about the business given the time constraint! Leave enough time for Q&A. Find the right fit investor whether its market, sector or stage.


1) Have a clear idea on what areas you want the mentor to provide feedback/insights on,

2) Do not pitch your mentor as though you’re pitching an investor. Share enough information needed such that the mentor has a clear enough idea of your business in order to help answer your questions (point #1 above),

3) Keep an open mind to the mentor’s feedback and have an open authentic discussion about the feedback during the hour.

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)?

Huiting: Make sure there is at least 18-24 months of cash runway! The same applies to post series B companies

Adrian: Never waste a good crisis. It’s usually the time of the birth of some of the greatest companies the world has ever seen eg. Alibaba, Facebook, Airbnb, etc. And it will be the same for COVID – we see acceleration of digital businesses whether it’s in healthcare or education or finance brought about by sheer necessity, and there will be winners that come out of this crisis stronger than ever eg. Zoom. It can be a time for defence or offence. General advice is the same to all startups: take a deep breath and access how this crisis impacts the business in short term and in long term. Then based on a set of clear and logical assumptions, plan for base case and contingency, communicate consistently, lead well and make sure the team understands what needs to be done, act rationally and courageously.


Carlos Jo-LooCheryl Teo, MassMutual Ventures

Carlos Mmv

Carlos is an Associate at MassMutual Ventures (MMV), the return focused venture capital-arm of MassMutual, a Fortune 100 mutual company. MMV manages $450M with offices in Boston and Singapore. Before joining MMV, Carlos was a Senior Associate at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked extensively with BCG Digital Ventures, where he co-founded two start-ups in the energy and industrials sectors. Before BCG, Carlos spent two years working as an Equity Research Associate in BMO Capital Markets. Carlos holds an MPhil in Finance from the University of Cambridge and a BSc in Economics (First Class) from the University of Sussex.

 Cheryl Mmv

A lawyer by training, Cheryl started her career in commercial and construction litigation before moving to a business development role in a corporate insurance broker. She recently completed a Master’s degree from Imperial College London and is now a venture capital analyst in MassMutual Ventures.

What is unique about MassMutual Ventures?

We are an investment subsidiary of MassMutual Life, a Boston based life insurance company. Still, we are structured like a traditional VC fund; our team’s sole mandate is to seek superior investment returns. We can broker introductions to the parent’s ecosystem, but commercials discussions will happen on an arms-length basis.

What investments do you enjoy looking at?

We enjoy finding local champions with aspirations to expand globally, especially companies within Financial Services, Digital Health, and Enterprise Software. Given MassMutual’s global presence, we have positioned ourselves as partners to companies that seek to expand to the US. For example, we have recently helped a digital health portfolio company migrate its HQ from SG to Boston. We leveraged our parent’s HR, real estate functions, and relationships with payers and healthcare providers to set up the port co for success.

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

1/ The product allows us to understand customer pain points and the value proposition. 2/ Go-To-Market strategy allows us to understand how the company plans to scale 3/ Key Metrics allows an investor to understand a company’s performance and potential trajectory.

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

1/ It’s not a pitch; have an open conversation on issues that are top of your mind.

2/ Mentors can get a lot out of mentees too, do share your insights.

3/ If the mentor is not well versed in your issue, ask for an intro to someone that might.

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)?

Don’t be afraid to be opportunistic during this uncertain period. We have had two digital health companies re-purposing their technology to provide COVID related solutions. It has been a great way to help patients in need and validate new use cases for their technology.

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 for funding on our portal here.