This play on words is apt, comparing the challenges and rewards of investing in Asian startups with the challenges (the smell! the spiky hard skin!) to the rewards (the fruit, which is an acquired taste). Despite the inherent difficulties in making small investments in early stage companies overseas McClure is one of the most active angels when it comes to international startups, and the most recent accelerator batch boasted the highest ratio of international to U.S. companies yet.
He is constantly on the road visiting with founders around the globe, and this strategy rumor has has gotten him into wildly successful international companies like 9GAG and IconFinder while their valuations were still low.
In an interview with Entrepreneur India McClure was asked why he chose to enter India, and said:
“I have had an affinity for Asia and particularly India, for a long time now. I had also started a company along with some Indians 20 years ago. I have generally felt very comfortable with Asia and South East Asia because of its demographics and growth. Most of Europe has not seen any growth while Asia is growing very well. I also have a number of friends from India. This makes it natural and easier for me to invest here. India is one of the biggest markets for us primarily because of the advantages: it is English-speaking, has a lot of connections with the US, and is backed by strong talent and cooperation between the two countries. I came here first in 2011, but I feel I have been here for over a decade. Since I came to India, we have made about eight investments in the country.”
Asia is a big place, and it will be interesting to see if Dave can make 500 investments on that continent alone in the coming years.
wheels up Haneda -> Beijing. fun times Tokyo, see u again soon
— Dave McClure (@davemcclure) May 26, 2013
wheels up BLR -> BOM. Mumbai here we come! #goap
— Dave McClure (@davemcclure) February 24, 2013
wheels down Bangalore, 3am local time. next: customs, luggage, hotel, sleep. #goap
— Dave McClure (@davemcclure) February 20, 2013
— Dave McClure (@davemcclure) November 26, 2012
Don’t knock the hustle.