Golden Gate Ventures announces new hires to bolster startup golden triangle growth
Golden Gate Ventures, a venture capital fund in Southeast Asia (SEA) founded by Silicon Valley natives, announced the expansion of its Vietnam and Indonesia teams, as well as the addition of Silicon Valley executive and professor Stephen Ciesinski as a senior advisor.
The Southeast Asia startup ecosystem has entered a new phase, coming off a highly successful golden decade of growth. With Vietnam joining SEA's startup heavyweights Indonesia and Singapore to form a golden triangle, the region is tipped to continue its growth trajectory in spite of recent headwinds in the technology sector. As a natural growth initiative, Golden Gate Ventures continues to add key hires to its Indonesia and recently established Vietnam offices, further strengthening its SEA network.
Tram Nguyen joins the Vietnam team as Associate on the investment team. She comes with advisory experience from the Big Four accounting firms, having consulted on a number of cross-border deals in fast-growing industries. As Investment Associate, Tram will be working across Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi to identify opportunities, review deals and target cross-border synergies to cross-pollinate ideas, business models and success cases.
Nishal Hiranandani has also joined Golden Gate Ventures as Analyst in Indonesia, bringing with his startup operational experience. Of note, Hiranandani was most recently on the strategy team leading financing projects for Warung Pintar, which provides financial access to Indonesia's millions of MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) through an ambitious end-to-end digital ecosystem to transform traditional trade. He will be working alongside the firm's partners to identify early-stage investment companies and manage deals from sourcing to closure.
Vinnie Lauria, Founding Partner, Golden Gate Ventures: "We are seeing increased startup activity and ever stronger investment interest in SEA, especially across the SEA startup golden triangle of Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore. The addition of Tram and Nishal to the team comes at an important point in Golden Gate Ventures' own growth story to support the opportunities that are continuing to emerge at lightspeed. Now more than ever, we are laser focused on our FirstIN strategy – to be the first institutional investor check into startups – and drive a long-term growth strategy with them."
Golden Gate Ventures also adds Professor Stephen Ciesinski as Senior Advisor to its team. A Silicon Valley resident and former executive of a number of tech companies, Ciesinski is a current faculty member at Stanford's Graduate School of Business, as well as an advisor to several VC funds and private enterprises spanning three continents. In this role, Professor Ciesinski will share insights on global tech trends, valuable lessons from other startup ecosystems and emerging global movements to help Golden Gate Ventures' portfolio unlock growth and tap into long-term opportunities.
Professor Ciesinski brings a breadth of experience and insights across high-level technology and business trends. According to Vinnie Lauria, Founding Partner at Golden Gate Ventures, "The first decade of growth for SEA startups came from laying a strong foundation for the ecosystem. The next decade is about bringing a high level of sophistication and maturity to each portfolio company to help them innovate based on curated insights and collective wisdom. Prof Ciesinski brings experience in helping startups in other complex regions like LATAM scale – quickly and sustainably – most critical at this inflection point in the SEA startup growth story. SEA continues to have great potential relative to the other markets over the next 18 months with the IMF forecasting ASEAN's pole position in GDP growth globally for 2023."
Professor Ciesinski adds, "These are exciting times for the SEA startup ecosystem and it is very insightful for our students to have the opportunity to see inside Golden Gate Ventures as a case study that the Stanford Graduate School of Business conducted. There is so much that SEA and Silicon Valley can learn from each other and from other regions to unlock not just exponential growth but sustainable acceleration to keep building new global tech giants together."
Ciesinski, Tram and Nishal all join Golden Gate Ventures right on the heels of the firm's announcement of Tiago Alves as Entrepreneur in Residence in May, as the firm deepens its portfolio growth strategy for what it calls the '1.5 – 2nd generation' of founders emerging in Southeast Asia.