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An Interview with An Do, Patamar’s newest Partner

Posted on May 4, 2022
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We are delighted to announce An Do’s promotion to Partner at Patamar Capital, as we continue to strengthen our platform to be the trusted partner for impact-driven entrepreneurs across the region.

An joined Patamar in 2020 as Principal to help expand the firm’s reach and execute its on-the-ground value add strategy in Vietnam. An has been a powerful leader on our team, and an indispensable source of connections and counsel for our portfolio companies since she joined. An has forged strong relationships with key stakeholders in Vietnam’s startup ecosystem by leveraging her extensive investment experience, deep market knowledge, and unending curiosity and passion for assisting visionary entrepreneurs to re:imagine South East Asia. She has led and executed investments in Vigo, Mio, Kim An, Saladin, Mapan, and MyShubhlife and served as a Board Observer for several of these companies. 

Prior to joining Patamar, An spent a decade as a private equity investor at DWS, where she won several prestigious industry awards, including several global and regional Private Equity Deals of the Year.

“An’s proactive approach in providing both strategic and tactical support makes her a valuable partner to all entrepreneurs,” said Santhosh Raghunathan, CEO and Founder of Vigo Retail. “We have benefited greatly from her ability to quickly sift through market noise and assist us in identifying variables that can truly deliver superior business performance. Her ability to look at a business from the ground up as well as from 35,000 feet above is a significant asset as an investor.”

To get know An and her areas of interest a little better we asked our new Partner a few questions:

An, congratulations on your promotion to Partner, could you please tell us more about your investment philosophy at Patamar?

We are on the lookout for gritty and visionary founders that seek to generate better economic outcomes for either the mass-market consumers or the small-and-medium enterprises in South East Asia. Being an investor at Patamar necessitates wearing two hats at the same time: one of a venture capitalist and one of an impact investor. That means that, in addition to the standard due diligence that any other VC would perform, we will also conduct a detailed impact evaluation. As we invest in technology companies from pre-seed to Series A across a wide range of sectors, we would like to work with our founders not only on their value-creation journey but also impact-creation roadmap.

How do you and your team navigate each local market’s vast universe of investable opportunities?

Being citizens of the region, our investment team members are immersed in the local culture and commerce. We keep a finger on the market pulse by spending a significant amount of time interacting with local consumers and merchants to understand their wants and needs. We are particularly proud of our thesis-driven and field research capabilities, which have proven to be our most valuable assets in due diligence.

In addition, the proximity to investment opportunities and the depth of our on-the-ground expertise enable us to identify investment opportunities and add strategic value to portfolio companies. Our insights have, on many occasions, proven to be helpful in supporting our founders to shape their strategic thinking and planning.

Going forward, are there any specific sectors that you will be looking to invest in?

We are industry agnostic and our investment thesis is predicated on the challenges inherent in South East Asian economies. The VC funding landscape in South East Asia has evolved significantly, which requires investors to adapt with speed while not skimping on fundamentals. To that end, our investment team identifies key sectoral themes to focus on each quarter and preemptively conducts field research to sharpen our investment hypotheses. This approach gives us the agility we need to sift through market noise and a high volume of deal flow. Currently, I am focusing my efforts on agritech, SME digitisation, and resource efficiency.

Finally, when you are not working, what are we most likely to find you doing?

I have been fortunate to have many great mentors along the way, and I am committed to paying it forward. I am currently a mentor for the Luong Van Can Scholarship Fund, which supports highly motivated university students from low-income families in preparing for their first job.

On weekends, I enjoy taking trips to Ho Chi Minh City’s outskirts, not only to get away from the city’s hustle and bustle, but also to better understand the mindset of true Vietnamese mass market consumers. 70% of Vietnamese people live outside of Tier 1 metropolitan areas, and immersing myself in their lives is critical to truly understanding their problems.