I’m back! The last time I wrote, it was about having crossed the one year mark at Grab. Fast forward another 15 months, and here I am: another funding round closed, and onto my third year at Grab with some exciting news to share.
Fundraising On Board The Ridesharing Rocket Ship
Fundraising and investor relations have been truly thrilling in the ridesharing climate of the past 2 years, and I can’t think of a better time and place to have been leading the charge on those things. My team and I supported Anthony and Grab to raise more than US$1.35 billion over 3 equity funding rounds in 2 years. And so, together with the rest of my outstanding teammates at Grab out-executing in each of their roles, we have continued to earn Grab’s rightful place in the ridesharing war. Looking back, I’ve grown so much since I excitedly climbed onto Southeast Asia’s biggest rocket ship 2 years ago, accepting an ambiguous offer to “handle investors and maybe help to raise money” in what was then a little-known taxi startup.
The Third Year Itch For Change
Having said that, going into my third year at Grab, I knew I needed a change. My growing restlessness was a sign that the learning curve in corporate finance had started to flatten. Combining my years in investment banking, investing and fundraising, I’d clocked enough hours on corporate finance and deal-making, and felt deeply the impulse to move on to experience and learn something new. I wanted to work on something that would bring me closer to my long-term aspiration to build a business from scratch and run it successfully. I also needed a new challenge to grow both personally and professionally into a more multi-dimensional business leader who can scale teams and functions better. It was time to learn a set of new management and leadership skills to become, in Anthony’s lingo, “Qiuyun 2.0″.
Going Into My Third Year At Grab With GrabPay
And so, I’ve landed in GrabPay in my third year at Grab. I feel a similar sense of excitement and drive as I did when I first joined Grab more than two years ago to take Southeast Asia’s ridesharing space by storm (which we did). GrabPay checks all three boxes of a move for me: right role, right product, right people. I have an interesting strategic role that challenges me, and I’ve already started to build new leadership and management skills in the first six weeks. At the same time, mobile payments is an extremely interesting and exciting problem to solve for busy, cash-wielding Southeast Asians.
But perhaps most importantly, I like and respect the team of people building GrabPay. Startup life is not easy, but if you like the people you work with, it makes the journey much more fun and worthwhile, and it makes you stronger through the tough times. But also, as Drew Houston said, you’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Or as Anthony likes to say, iron sharpens iron. For me, as is probably secretly the case when anyone takes on a challenging role, I occasionally get panic attacks around whether I’d be able to live up to expectations in this new challenge. But regardless of whether I succeed or fail in my new role, I figured it’s worth it to get the chance to observe, work with, and learn from some of the best people along the way. The old fundraising and investor relations team also joined GrabPay, so I honestly couldn’t be more pleased with the people who surround me on this new ride!
I’m excited to be in building mode again. It feels a bit like my third startup experience, after Zalora and Grab, even though GrabPay is actually a startup within Grab. I’m older and wiser, but there are new problems to solve, so much to do and so much to learn. I hope to write more in the coming months as I learn and grow.
Are you getting out of your comfort zone and challenging yourself to a steep learning curve? I’d love to hear from you.