If you want to start a financial company, instead of spending two years and millions of dollars in forming tons of partnerships, you can get all of that as a service and get going.
Andreessen Horowitz

Embedded Finance refers to non-financial companies that have value propositions that are significantly enhanced or even transformed through the associated financial products and services embedded within.

Essentially, these are companies that are embracing the trend that non-fintech companies are venturing into being involved with financial services, and the first, second, and third-order implications of such a macro-trend.

We want to answer three main…


I got an award from Forbes recently for the startup/VC work I’ve done, and this comes with attention that I want to redirect to something more important than me — how we think about the state of mental health and normalizing getting help for it.

This seems fitting because while we celebrate achievement — we should also talk about the costs of achievement and about one of the more important things I did to get there that we don’t talk about — working on being mentally healthy.

If you would like, you can also donate to my fundraiser campaign for…


Why we featured Covid Interns:

COVID introduced a lot of uncertainty and it was always great to hear stories of people who stepped up to try and help others. To find out that not only did the Covid Interns founders themselves graduate into a difficult job market but built a project that has now become a side-hustle business was an impressive mark of side-hustling.

Cofounders Rob Muldowney and Paddy Ryder

Hello! What’s your background, and what are you working on?

Rob Muldowney: I finished my undergrad in May last year. I studied business studies at Trinity College London. As soon as we finished college, my close friend and I from uni started Covid interns.

How did you get the idea for Covid Interns and how did you get started?

Rob: The initial idea was to help…


My thesis is simple:

Circa early 2000's/10's, the world (first the West and then the East), largely faced Internet 1.0, which was a great place. Fundamental foundations of the internet and digital economy was being built everywhere. In the East, I joined Rocket Internet and helped clone e-commerce companies in South Asia. Those business models made sense.

Localization was always crucial but manageable with Internet 1.0 business models. Along the way came the Great Internet Divergence.

The Great Internet Divergence saw Governments, Culture, Regulations and various pieces of complex parts of local society react to technology in a way that fundamentally caused divergence in…


The passion economy is here and the long-tail of influencers, bolstered by various social media platforms, has emerged in a big way. As the distribution and growth of reach has professionalized, how will the development of the monetization infrastructure look like?

We focus on the history of influencer monetization, its core value proposition, and what the new monetization layer looks like in the influencer/tech world.

Let’s go back 50 years. Influencers (celebrities when the mode of media distribution was more traditional/centralized) had agents/managers that helped with everything that was not the acting-side of acting. …


Why we featured In A Perfect World:

When people think of online side hustles one of the first things they think of is an e-commerce store. But with the wide variety of items to sell, what should one pick?

In A Perfect World is a jewellery-focused e-commerce store started by 2 millennials almost straight out of university.

Hello! What’s your background, and what are you working on?

Erica: Hi! My job role is currently in business development and I lead strategic partnerships for a microblogging app.

Sarah: And I work in the finance industry, managing marketing campaigns and handling branding & communications. …


Over the weekend, Akshay (SIG) and myself (Saison Capital) were talking about the future of social commerce — diving specifically into the difference between platform-led vs agent-led social commerce models. We ended up diving into the role of gamification on e-commerce platforms.

PingDuoDuo games — Source: Turner Novak

We wanted to nail down the value proposition of the gaming features on an e-commerce platform, and came up with:

  • Retention
  • Brand Perception

An analogy for the role of gaming on e-commerce platforms was the IKEA hotdog stand that is present in IKEA.

The IKEA hotdog gives people an additional reason to linger and increase the repeat visit…


Why we featured Connescape:

COVID affected a ton of businesses globally, including Cong Le’s previous side hustle, a physical escape room. Undeterred, he built a super interesting virtual escape room experience that has been by consumers and companies all across the world.

In a world deprived of physical meet-ups and company retreats, Connescape looks to be solving an interesting problem, all the while being a side-hustle among friends!

Hello! What’s your background, and what are you working on?

Cong Le: Hello! I am currently an MBA student in London Business School, and I am also in charge of business development at Connescape, our side business.

Prior to my MBA, I worked at Garena, a…


The Goldilocks problem applies to any transaction fee-based platform in the passion economy, but I want to use Substack as the main model to break down here.

The principle problem is how to justify taking an increasingly absolute commission in fees over time, as the influencer becomes more and more popular. We also want to understand the types of business models where a transaction fee approach makes more sense, and the types of business model where a transaction fee approach makes less sense.

The premise of the passion economy is that you are able to find long-tail influencers, and grow…


One of the best productivity hacks I used that ended up being especially helpful in the post-covid remote working age was Working Sessions.

A Working Session is where members in a project [typically 3–5] would hop on a 60–90 minute video call with the audio and video on, and work on sections of a common project together. Typically in silence, sporadically cut with clarifications on the work being done.

The idea is to facilitate two things:

  1. Allocated group-enforced productivity time dedicated to moving the needle for one specific project together.
  2. Drastically shorter iteration, and reduced back and forth, by allowing…

Chia Jeng Yang

Principal @ Saison Capital | Consumer/fintech investing | Angel/Operator | work with smart people on projects: http://chiajy.com

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