SGE’s Gwendolyn Tan on Joining Tech in Asia and Her Views on Startups in the Region
As we reported earlier today, Singapore-based tech blog SGE has been acquired by relative newcomer Tech in Asia following its recent round of investment from IMJ Fenox. The acquisition value is undisclosed but SGE’s two key people will be joining Tech in Asia and the door is also open for SGE’s contributors. We had a little chat with SGE’s Gwendolyn Regina Tan about the acquisition and how the region has developed since she started SGE in 2005.
Tan, who will be responsible for business development at Tech in Asia, told us that SGE had been approached by many interested parties looking to acquire or invest in the blog but it was Tech in Asia’s Willis Wee who won her over. “Indeed, we have been approached by many over the years to be acquired or invested in. Willis and his team at Tech in Asia have truly built a great product and has grown very fast. Willis’ drive is highly admirable and after several casual coffee chats, we realized that combining forces would be fantastic for both parties – a super great fit”.
For the past two years, SGE has essentially been a two person blog but this past year Tan had brought on board a number of contributors who are now welcomed to write for Tech in Asia if they wish. As for the transition to Tech in Asia, the team expects a full switch over by 15 September at the latest.
“I brought on quite a number of new team members this year – the thing is we have always just been two full-time staff, and only the last two years – we are like a 2-year-old startup. The new members are mostly part-time and volunteers. They’ve all been super awesome. Tech in Asia welcomes SGE’s other writers and scouts to contribute if they want”.
Having been overseeing and reporting on the Southeast Asian technology scene since 2005, Tan has seen a lot of progress, changes, and developments. “It has changed so much since I started SGE. It has been amazing watching the increase in vibrancy in the region – from more funding availability, more serial entrepreneurs and investors coming to check out Southeast Asia, more aspiring entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs trying things”.
With roughly 500 million in population, Southeast Asia is of course a very large and diverse market and there won’t be a single strategy or approach for companies to start a business in the region. Given such a diversity, how should companies aim for the region?
“There is still so much room for Asia as a whole to grow. Of course, we still need to differentiate amongst the different market economies, and the two kinds of Asia: urban and rural. There is so much potential yet to be unlocked almost everywhere”.
[Header image courtesy of Gwendolyn Regina Tan]
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