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How We Built A $24M Startup: Beeconomic To Groupon. Part 2

Chris Chong | February 24, 2019
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    How We Built A $24M Startup: Beeconomic To Groupon. Part 2
    Chris Chong

Thanks for listening, click Play! This is part 2 of a series, check out the first part if you haven’t done so already. Thank you to Elisha Tan from TechLadies and Facebook for guest-hosting this episode. Check out my interview with her here.

My brother and I had built a startup that had just been bought out by Groupon, the world’s biggest daily deal website, for an estimated USD$24 million according to The Straits Times newspaper. We made it on the front page of the national newspaper, I was busy representing Groupon on breakfast TV shows and on Channel NewsAsia, while my brother was busy moving our new offices from our shared hostel room to Harbourfront Centre. Here’s what happened after the rosy “overnight success” story, the arrival of hard times, which I mention in this episode!

Watch the latest TV show in Japan with Channel NewsAsia before COVID-19 hit.

My Bio:

Proud son of immigrants. At 20, I took a break from my law degree to co-found my first startup, Beeconomic, which was fully acquired by Groupon (a USD$24M buyout in Singapore in a record-breaking 6 months, reported by The Straits Times newspaper).

As Groupon Singapore co-founder, we created over 200 jobs and made history by helping Groupon become “the fastest-growing company ever” (source: Forbes and CNBC). After Groupon, I worked on 4 startups that failed, which taught me important lessons about failure.

After finishing my law degree, I joined a “Top 5” law firm in Australia that led to an offer in their Corporate (M&A, VC) advisory practice.

But instead I was recruited by Hong Kong’s largest circulated newspaper, The South China Morning Post, as the social media editor to execute a digital transformation strategy. When the team achieved strong digital growth, Jack Ma’s Alibaba acquired the newspaper. After 6 months of transitioning and training with the new owners, I moved on to pursue my childhood passion for cooking.

After culinary school, I became a full-time advisor for a $100M Japanese VC, who offered a small investment to experiment with starting a boutique PR firm. Then the Mumbrella saga hit and it’s been hard since.

I have served as a consultant to Governments and (in a few cases investor to) 80+ tech firms in Southeast Asia, but for early-stage startups, I do volunteer as a mentor at an incubator. I also host a free podcast that interviews Asia’s fast-growing entrepreneurs, idealists, and trendsetters on the hardships they’ve had to overcome to make it in their industry.

I am an entrepreneur who knows exactly how it feels to be guide-less and isolated. I’ve met a lot of kind people on my travels who were willing to help me and this is my way of paying it forward.

Spending my spare time volunteering in charities, mediation, cooking, and working out are my passions. I am usually in either Singapore/Penang/Bali or Hawaii/New York. After retiring from startups and boardrooms, I am now following my passion to host TV shows (I wasn’t a great chef).

Catch “The Millennial Investor“, where I get sent to Japan to immerse myself in the explosive E-sports industry- who the rising gamers are, exciting tech innovations in gaming, the startups fighting for a slice of the pie, and the industry’s unique challenges leading up to The Olympics.




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Music (CC/Royalty Free)

Lee Rosevere – 09 – Southside

Lee Rosevere – 06 – Word of Mouth

Lee Rosevere – 07 – I Thought Of Pills

Lee Rosevere – 09 – Wasn’t What I Expected

Lee Rosevere – 13 – He Missed

Lee Rosevere – 13 – I Believe in You

Lee Rosevere – 01 – Here’s the Thing

Lee Rosevere – 05 – Under Suspicion

Lee Rosevere – Night Caves

Lee Rosevere – 09 – Thoughtful

Lee Rosevere – 01 – Introducing the Pre-roll

Lee Rosevere – 10 – Knowing the Truth

  • cover play_circle_filled

    01. Not Today, Covid in Malaysia
    Christopher Chong

  • cover play_circle_filled

    02. How We Built A $24M Startup: Beeconomic To Groupon
    Aston Chia from Overdrive

  • cover play_circle_filled

    03. S2E1: Monologue, on persistence and courage

  • cover play_circle_filled

    Not Today, COVID-19

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