Patrick Grove shares his lessons learnt from listing two of his companies successfully.

Who is Catcha Group

Patrick Grove, started his session on how he IPO-ed two of his portfolio companies by giving a background introduction of who Catcha Group is. A little background: Catcha is one of Asean’s most successful investment groups. Starting with shareholder funds of S$500,000 in 2004, the group now has oversight over online related assets worth over S$400million. The group focus on investing in and incubating proven concepts on a regional basis, and do not take the VC approach of “many bets and little value add”. Some of its co-investors have included Axel Springer, Intel Capital, Star Media group, as well as numerous fund managers.

Patrick’s entrepreneurial values

To Patrick, he abides to a set of values which managed to get him to where he is today.

Value #1: I would rather forgo a monthly salary for years if I believed I would create significant equity value for myself in the end.

Value #2: I would rather risk everything than risk nothing.

Value #3: I would rather work seven days a week on a company with people I’m absolutely passionate for than work 5 days a week on something that I have no passion for.

Value #4: I would gladly invest in hiring Rockstar talent even if they are smarter than and paid more than me.

Value #5: I would rather prove people wrong by doing something never done before than doing something that has been done many times.

Value #6: I like to dream big. Quoting the famous Donald Trump: “If you have to dream, you might as well dream big.”

IPO success formula

According to Patrick, the success formula for IPO is: company + banker + buyers, with “Absolute Preseverance” as the secret sauce. Patrick illustrated this by giving examples of how he tried to list his company publicly for the first time. For his first attempt, his portfolio company was ready and banks were also available to help facilitate the process. However, the final component, which is buyers, were lacking because the NASDAQ market crashed back in April 2000, and buyers were becoming really conservative. The public listing fell apart. To Patrick, this didnt stop him from trying again, taking away the lesson of “timing is everything” with him. Eventually, when the right time came again, Patrick managed to IPO the company on September 11, 2007, valued at S$40 million, and successfully raised S$10 million.

Biggest takeway

If there is one thing that Patrick learnt from his IPO journey, that is to never accept not possible as an answer. Patrick closed his session by advising all entrepreneurs to never ever give up.

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