Over the last five to ten years, the world has witnessed a surge in various investment opportunities, riding on trends such as the Internet, the sharing economy and even the recent AI craze. These opportunities do not suddenly appear out of thin air. General investors and businesses, however, often lack the foresight, causing them to miss out valuable opportunities.

What exactly goes through the minds of professionals in asset management and executives when it comes to preemptive deployment to uncover gold amid the gravel, and identify unicorn companies that will shape the next generation amid the vast forest of opportunities? The podcast show《Side Chat》 invited Angie Lin, Co-founder and Chief Investment Officer of Assured Asset Management, along with Business Yee’s Editor-in-Chief, Po-Fong Lee in conversation. They will talk about how to navigate the investment markets and find the way of survival from distinct perspectives.

Key strategies of Assured Asset Management’s global market deployment and sustained profits over the long run 

Assured Asset Management (Assured) has maintained a long-term focus on tech-related private equity and credit investments, primarily in Asia and the United States. “We begin with technology as our foundation, combining it with specific sectors such as finance, healthcare, business and education, to identify industries benefiting from technological progress, creating synergies or driving positive change”, explained Angie Lin. 

Assured has invested in several new economy enterprises in the Asian region. In recent years, Assured has extended its reach to the US market. In addition to targeting tech sector they are familiar with, the company has also ventured into NextGen industries such as space technology and AI, as well as consumer and healthcare industries. 

Taking Assured’s experience in Asia and the US as an example, Angie Lin further shares her unique investment insight through three key dimensions. First, she underscores the market factor – both the US and Asia have distinct market advantages such as creativity strength, market mechanism and capital market capacity, which naturally attract investment funds. When it comes to the selection of companies, the emphasis lies in identifying companies with untapped potential for the future. “The extent of a company’s future potential signifies the potential size of the market it could capture” said Angie Lin. 

Lastly, before entering any market, “risk” factor becomes a primary consideration. Understanding “how long” and “how” to exit is crucial. If the market cannot provide sufficient and reliable information, or if there are significant policy uncertainties or excessive risks, Assured opts for gradual fund recovery and shifting focus to more manageable and similar markets with lower risk.

As global investment trends evolve, how can businesses seize opportunities ahead through Assured Asset Management? 

Business Yee’s Editor-in-Chief, Po-Fong Lee then explained the preferences and shifts in investor trends over the past decade. Over the recent years, projects highlighted in startup Demo Days and accelerator programs have largely centered around the so-called “ABC industries” – AI, Blockchain, and Cloud. This year, a new project emerged – ChatGPT, a generative AI.

If we shift our focus to the general capital market, AI and servers remain the focal points of interest this year. It indicates that in the coming years, these two fields will continue to be the focuses. Also, there will be an increasing number of companies scaling up or transitioning into related areas for development.

When businesses are in the process of scaling up at the time of lacking necessary funding or professional guidance, Assured’s extensive investment experience can offer them with strongest support. With years of investment in both the Asian region and the US, Assured has a deep understanding of the tech field, regional and market differences. Through its network and resources, Assured can help facilitate connections, integrate assets, and support businesses in achieving their overseas investment goals efficiently, so as to promote their rapid growth.

Angie Lin pointed out three considerations before engaging in overseas investment: “mindset, prudent selection of international investment partners and direction”. Differences in mindset may significantly impact subsequent exit strategies and valuation. Therefore, it is essential to first define whether the investment is purely financial in nature or involves integration with upstream and downstream business activities.

In addition, it is also an important aspect of overseas investment when it comes to the selection of the right partners. Larger partners are not necessarily better. They should be able to meet a company’s own investment needs and style. Lastly, each “General Partner” (GP) and collaborative partner represents different resources and ecosystems. Before making overseas investment, a company needs to decide the field or environment they want to enter.

How to transition from a local presence to an international one and foresee the opportunities of the next decade? 

Po-Fong Lee also commented corporate overseas investment: Looking back at Taiwan’s industries, sectors with strong hardware capabilities (such as semiconductors, industrial manufacturing, etc.) are Taiwan’s major strengths in the international arena. Everyone should understand their role in the industry chain. In subsequent entrepreneurial endeavors, they should have a clear understanding and demonstrate the expertise to address these gaps.

However, these issues can sometimes become excessively gigantic, even involving entire industry chains and requiring urgent solutions, meaning more input of resources, capital and time. Taking the bicycle industry as an example, many parts and components require international certifications, or there are companies aspiring to penetrate the supply chains of international brands. In such cases, partners like Assured are crucial for assistance to ensure smooth progress.

Angie Lin also pointed out, “Our experience in the US market has taught us that fostering positive development within an industry ecosystem can more easily drive the growth of underlying businesses. This is why we have returned to Taiwan to explore more possibilities and strategically plan ahead”. In the future, while continuing to monitor the development of financial technology, healthcare, ESG and NextGen industries, Assured aims to assist more enterprises in scaling up and venturing abroad to achieve mutual success.

“In 2023, major US companies like NVIDIA and AMD have come to Taiwan, showing Taiwan’s substantial advantages which attract the attention of global enterprises” Po-Fong Lee commented. In a rapidly changing and fiercely competitive global market, companies increasingly need to identify suitable partnerships, integrate relevant resources, and prepare for the promising decade ahead on a global scale.