Meet the team: Heng Xuan
1. What do you focus on at B Capital?
As a strategy & operations associate with the Platform team, I cover different roles that support B Capital’s portfolio companies. I focus on helping our portfolio companies in Southeast Asia scale their business in new product lines and markets, monetization initiatives, industry benchmarking, and even hiring! It brings me joy when I can be part of the problem-solving process for these businesses and see it to fruition.
2. What attracted you to working at B Capital?
B Capital’s unique approach to VC is extremely attractive. To go beyond the investment and provide founders with support, resources, and networks to help them succeed in their business. The idea of working directly with founders, who are at the forefront of shaking up traditional industries and creating new ones, was an exciting opportunity! The focus on humility was something that stood out to me through my interview process. That value creates opportunities to learn and to be reminded that we don’t know everything in the space. It keeps you on your toes.
3. If you weren’t in this career, what would you be doing?
I would love to say ‘Selling Tofu’ as I love fried tofu. However, I lack the skills to make good tofu (I tried and failed four times). Food aside, I would be strategy or operations at a fintech firm as I am always intrigued about how the disruptors are shaking up the space and challenging the way we think about finance.
4. What is most interesting or unique about working in venture capital?
We get to meet different founders who are extremely passionate about their business and are always hungry to learn and serve their customers in the best way they can. That passion rubs off on you and makes you wonder why you have never thought of approaching the problem in the way that they did. It is humbling and grounding to work in VC as we are always learning about the latest developments. The unique thing about working in venture capital is also that it involves a lot of reading – reading to understand trends, reports and books about the industry and start-ups.
5. What is something someone might not know about non-investing roles at a VC firm?
Being on the platform team requires one to not only track the financial performance of the portfolio companies but also to get to understand the qualitative side of the business. Being in a non-investing role requires one to balance between becoming too numbers-oriented vs becoming too qualitative. It is really a dance between the two areas as we engage with the portfolio companies. We juggle between being an investor and an advisor, making it a fulfilling challenge.
6. If you were to become an investor in one of B Capital’s sector or sub-sector targets, which would you choose and why?
Telemedicine under Healthcare. I think that there is much to be done for healthcare in Southeast Asia not just in terms of treatment but also preventive and post care. Our approach to healthcare in this region has many opportunities for scaling and enhancing both lifespan and health span of the people. With internet penetration increasing in SEA, telemedicine’s ability to reach the underserved populace is both exciting and inspiring.
7. What’s something many people may not know about you?
I have a book reviews Instagram called the.walkingtofu. I started this channel as a couple of friends say that they do not have time to read or can’t find books that they like. Hence, I created this channel to help curate books that are helpful to understand the world better. This channel keeps me on my toes to churn good, concise content that matters to people. On a personal level, it is a great way for me to reflect on what I have read and where the gaps are in my knowledge.
Connect with Heng Xuan on LinkedIn!