What Are The Chances?

This article is written by Mohammad Eslim, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.

Teruhide Sato was a founding member of the Japanese arm of CyberCash, a U.S. online payment company (now known as Venus), and a joint venture with SoftBank Corporation. During this time, in 1997, Teru was studying at the Faculty of Policy Management, Keio University. In 1999, he was co-founder of BEENOS (formerly known as, a global internet and e-commerce business incubator.

Aurore Belfrage is a tech entrepreneur, investor, and a partner at EQT Ventures with a specific focus on Artificial Intelligence and GovTech. She is a syndicated columnist with leading Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet (SVD) and a contributor to POLITICO. She writes on issues at the intersection of geopolitics, ethics, governance, labor and future of work.

Aurore Belfrage and Teruhide Sato were special guests at Startup Istanbul 2015, where they had a fireside chat on business.

In 2015, Teruhide was more than ready to talk about his reasons for placing his bet on investment in India, Singapore and Turkey and we are about to know exactly what exactly is it that gave him the courage to take that risk knowing the stakes. 

First let’s talk briefly about investment and what it takes to invest in a company then about markets either emerging or already existing. Investment is about a person, a founder or an owner of a company, who have money that he wants to deploy into an idea or a small business if he finds the odds are on their side. So he puts his money in those companies or entrepreneurs in order to grow it into a scaling company that makes its place in the local, regional or the global market.

There are of course places in the world that are known for successful businesses which attracts investments from around the world. Silicon Valley, London and Berlin are examples of those existing markets. What is fascinating about such old yet scaling markets is that it also attractive to lots of entrepreneurs and founders from around the world due to the technology and capital and so many other reasons. So you find in Silicon Valley and London and berlin lots of other nationalities running businesses there and scaling out of their own environment and this where I want to go. 

Around a few years back, many of those businessmen started returning to their original country to start business there to. Two of the major nationalities are Indian and Turkish, as the non-residents in Germany, Britain and the US are in the state where they can sense and foresee where the businesses are going to scale and where the emerging markets are. 

As everyone can see right now there are a whole lot of startups going on and own, a lot of capital is beginning to raise in the Middle East, South Asia and India. Singapore is a hub or a gateway to the market in Southern Asia or to India, and it can be seen as a market entry point to greater China. However, in Turkey the things are different because there already exists a market and it can play as a gateway or the center point of the region. 

Where Singapore is small with only 5.5 million population, you can find Turkey with more than suitable population to develop a business to take a marketplace in the regional market, add to that the high possibility of scaling into a bigger market and participate into a larger businesses around the world and turning this emerging market into a level as Belin’s or London’s.  

As for India, the chances where high but still there was a significant growth in five or six companies in the market there. This emerging is not also attracting investors but also entrepreneurs from around the world. When entrepreneurs are coming back to a market as India then it means that great things are in the making in order to turn India into a strong place among China and southern Asia.

─ October 18, 2019