The average seed round in developed ecosystems like Silicon Valley and China is 2–5 million USD today — 2019. Founders can also raise up to 1 to 1.5 million USD pre-seed just with an idea and without anything built.
Back in 2004, Facebook’s seed round from Peter Thiel was just 500k USD.
Gone Are The Days Where Scrappy MVPs Are Good Enough
Times have changed. Back in the day, you can start with just a website with hyperlinks, and you can grow by sending email invites. Scrappy MVPs were good enough.
Today, if you need significant engagement, you’ll probably have to be a mobile app with push notifications, and develop for both iOS & Android. Our standards are also much higher, we expect apps today to be polished and well built when we first use them.
Facebook Started As Just A College Directory With Hyperlinks
When Facebook first started in 2004, it was just a website with hyperlinks that listed everyone in Harvard and what course they were taking. It’s basically just a college directory with hyperlinks.
There was no news feed, no like button or even a superwall. All of that came later as they raised more funding, acquired other start-ups and developed new features. By the time Facebook reached the shores of ASEAN in 2008, the Facebook we see is very different from the very first version launched in Harvard.
Users Nowadays Expect A Polished App From The Get-Go
Times have changed, users today expect new apps to be polished from the get-go. We have a low tolerance for buggy apps and unfriendly user interfaces.
Inflation — The Cost Of Living & Hiring Has Gone Up
Because of inflation, the cost of living and hiring has also naturally gone up. Since wages have gone up to support the ever increasing cost of living, the cost of hiring and building up a team has also naturally become more expensive.
High Demand For Software Engineers Drives Up Costs
Besides that, the increasing number of start-ups and big companies have also driven up the demand for software engineers and have driven their wages up by a huge margin.
A tech lead in a top US company in silicon valley today can earn upwards for 500k USD a year.
Unsolved Big Problems Require More Complicated Solutions
Most problems that can be solved with a simple website with hyperlinks have also already been solved. What’s left are more complicated problems that often require more complicated and custom made solutions in order to solve effectively, even at MVP stage.
Things like helping people find their right life partner and continue building their relationship after marriage so they can live happily ever after.
There Is A Lot Of Money Going Around In Mature Markets
Because of the success of start-ups like Facebook, Google, Dropbox, Airbnb, the low interest rates after the 2008 recession and a long period of economic growth that propelled tech companies to astronomical values, there’s a lot of venture capital money circulating in mature markets. More start-ups are getting funded and round sizes are getting bigger and bigger as competition to get in on exciting start-ups increases.
Infrastructure Is Cheaper But Problems Are Harder & Wages Are More Expensive
With the advent of cloud computing services like AWS and Google Cloud, infrastructure is significantly cheaper today. Websites are also easier to build because of more advanced technologies. It is much easier to build a hyperlinked website today than it was back in 2004.
However, problems that are left to be solved are much harder and require much more complicated solutions, coupled with more expensive wages and cost of hiring, the costs of just getting started and getting a functional MVP off the ground increases dramatically as well.
That’s why start-ups today need to raise bigger and bigger rounds just to properly get started.
The Situation In ASEAN Is Sad — 500k USD Seed If You’re Lucky — 2–5 Million USD Is Series A
Unfortunately, in ASEAN, you are fortunate to get a 500k USD seed round, round sizes are getting a little better in Singapore and Indonesia now, but 500k USD is still the average. In Malaysia, it’s even worse, our seed round here is closer to 500k ringgit, 3 to 4 times less.
The average Series A in ASEAN hovers around 2–5 million USD, that’s only a seed round in China or Silicon Valley.
Round Sizes In ASEAN Need To Get Bigger For 100 Billion USD Start-Ups To Emerge
Unfortunately, the costs of starting a truly innovative start-up that could change the world from ASEAN has increased accordingly also.
Here’s Why You Should Invest In Me & Wowwwz
Wages and rent might be cheaper here, but you would still have to pay a lot for the best software engineers, server costs and online tools also cost more because of the exchange rate and the lack of incentive programmes to use those services in this region.
Consumers here also expect more polished apps because they are used to a very polished version of tech products that only reach ASEAN shores typically after a US start-up has reached Series B or C and is already a big global company.
If ASEAN is to ever have a world-changing 100 billion USD start-up, round sizes in ASEAN needs to get bigger. Small round sizes are okay for local copycats or moving conventional businesses online, but not for truly innovative start-ups that are solving global problems and can become global companies used by everyone.
I hope you will help me so that I can build the tools to help everyone in this world find their soulmate whom they can grow old together and live long happy lives with.
If you have access to a brand, company, working building, community or even VCs, let me know; I can help you build a community of people who like your product or brand and introduce them to each other, or bring a community closer by introducing people at the same building or company to each other!
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or LinkedIn.
Don’t forget to SHARE this story and all related stories to as many of your friends too, we need to more people to spread the word so we can start a positive paradigm shift in our ecosystem.
Also, you can help by downloading the app, give us a good rating, subscribe to my Youtube Channel about relationships-coming soon, leave your email, join this Facebook Group and check back every few months for cool updates.
*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download
JohnsonKhooTV — Subscribe to my upcoming Youtube Channel where I will be talking about real life stories about love & relationships
FB Group To Stay Updated On Wowwwz’s Journey — Join this Facebook Group so you can stay updated on our journey, new features and new stories and new updates on our quest to build a start-up that could help everyone in this world find true love and live happily ever after
Help me out, because many people’s lifetime happiness is in your hands.
UPDATE in 2021 — The Wowwwz app is now temporarily offline as I rebuild it into a more maintainable web app (we have 5k users, people met each other and a couple got married), but it is getting hard for a 1 man team to maintain and build out the app on both ios and android — updates to ios & android alone are too time consuming — that’s why Clubhouse is only on iOS for so long. I hope you guys understand. Will only be able to build it out properly on multiple platforms once we have enough funding to hire out teams to do so.
For now, I will be rebuilding the app as a web app. Stay tuned!
Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed up, you can also start to meet other amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore who share the same values and interests as you by scanning the QR codes below.
*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download
SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur!
SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Singapore!
Do SHARE this with as many of your single friends as possible so they can find their soulmate soon, we can get more traction, and raise the funding necessary to build you more cool features that will help amazing single people meet each other and amazing couples grow their relationship!
Let’s do this together!
The world needs YOUR HELP so all of us can find true love!
You have the power to become a superhero!