Since its inception in 2009, East Ventures has met—and invested—in hundreds of startup founders from Southeast Asia, Japan, and other parts of the world.
We’ve accompanied these founders in the past 10 years on their startup journeys, and felt the ups and downs together. There have been many challenges, but we’ve continued to thrive because we share the same mission: creating innovation to improve human life.
We talked to some of our startup founder about their journey so far, and here’s what they have to say.
William Tanuwijaya, Co-founder and CEO of Tokopedia:
“East Ventures is one of our very first investors and we thank them for believing in our vision and mission since the early days. Over the years, the foundation of our trust is strengthened throughout the good and bad times. Willson understands our struggle because he has been with us since the beginning. We are not only a business partner but also a close friend. We wish East Ventures a great success and Tokopedia is always part of East Ventures’ big family.”
Ferry Unardi, Co-founder and CEO of Traveloka:
“The support we received from East Ventures during Traveloka’s formation years proved to be invaluable to the success of our company. Willson and East Ventures have always been a reliable and loyal partner we can count on through thick and thin. Our relation with East Ventures has gone beyond commercial partner, but we forged a strong friendship. To other East Ventures’ startup founder, we feel like one big family.”
Adamas Belva Devara and Iman Usman, Co-founders of Ruangguru:
“As our very first investor, East Ventures has been instrumental in Ruangguru’s journey. They have been very active in connecting us with other investors, players, stakeholders, and potential partners. They also have been a great support to founders and always available anytime we need. More importantly, they care about what we do and the impact we are trying to make above all the metrics that we have to hit.”
Winston Utomo, Co-Founder and CEO of IDN Media:
“East Ventures plays a very significant role in IDN Media’s journey. Besides expanding our connection to a broader network, East Ventures helps us grow to become a world-class company with strong fundamentals. Today, IDN Media successfully impacts more than 50 million Millennials and Gen Z in Indonesia every month. This will never happen without the tremendous help and support from East Ventures. Thank you for everything, East Ventures. Thank you for believing in our vision to positively impact society. One step at a time, for a better Indonesia.”
Christopher Madiam, Co-founder and COO of Sociolla:
“Since day one, Willson has been our biggest supporter and a great mentor to us as a startup. Throughout our ups and downs in running our company, he has always been there to support us. For us, he’s more like a friend than investor. We have witnessed the positive impact that he has brought to the startup ecosystem and also to each individual founders in our EV circles. I believe with his capabilities and experiences, he can extend the potential of the industry and grow it much further.”
Read Also: Meet East Ventures’ 22 Inspiring Startup Founder Listed on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 List
Henry Chan, Co-Founder and CEO of ShopBack:
“We are thankful to have met East Ventures early in our journey. Willson and EV team have awesome networks of partners, local/global investors and insights that increases the chances for an early stage startup to succeed. East Ventures is also fast in investment decision-making and with founder-friendly terms, it saves precious time and effort for us, founders.”
Alan Schmoll, CEO and Co-Founder of Zave:
“East Ventures is so much more than just an economic investor, they literally start their own companies and invest direct human and not just economic capital in them.”
Jiawen Ngeow, CEO and Co-Founder of Megafash:
“I think there are three key differences between most VCs and East Ventures.
- The speed they move at. Willson Cuaca (Managing Partner of East Ventures) doesn’t sit on things for too long. If he sees a good opportunity, he goes for it.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
- The humility and approach to founders. Willson is always approachable even though he has backed unicorns and businesses 10x bigger. He is never arrogant and I always feel OK giving him news, even if it’s bad news.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
- The trust in founders. Willson is aware that markets sometimes change and things don’t always go according to plan, but he trusts the founders to find their way.”