Seoul is pretty cold in September. It was a welcome change from the heat and humidity of Singapore. I was at the SongEun ArtSpace in Gangnam for Hanwah S&C’s Dreamplus Day and needless to say, I had been inundated with Gangnam style jokes the whole day and couldn’t bear another one, so I retreated to the relative sanctuary of the reception area and waited for my next interviewee.
At exactly 2 PM, an unassuming man took a seat in front of me. This, of course, was no ordinary Joe but leading Asian venture capitalist, Mark Hsu, Partner, Pinehurst Advisors. Hsu’s portfolio includes the likes of Sina.net and Cubie and he was there to give me his take on the current startup and VC scene in the region.
Like most interviews, the first thing I did was try to get to know the man better; this is normally accomplished by understanding his investment philosophy. Hsu simply said, “Moneyball”. He sensed my confusion, “You know, the movie, with Brad Pitt,” he tried. I had some vague recollection of baseball and sitting in a curious smelling movie theatre.
He explained that like the concept of the movie, he too values statistics, analytics and that every move he makes is based on research and logical sense. He is not a believer of gut decisions. “Investing is about being methodical and most of all, being sure about what you are doing,” he noted.