A talkshow deconstructing the Billion Dollar Moves of the top founders, funders and execs across the US-Asia, raw & unfiltered: their triumphs and their failures as they move from underestimated to iconic.



Think Oprah meets Guy Raz with a touch of BBC HardTalk, Billion Dollar Moves is a conversational interview where we’ll dive deep into the personal and business journeys of each leader featured to date, the trends they’re keeping tabs on and more. Sarah uncovers more depth than any interviewer!

Disclaimer: This podcast is an expression of personal opinion and does not represent the opinion of the host Sarah Chen-Spellings (SCS) as an investor personally, her firm Beyond The Billion (BTB) or any company discussed. These discussions are for informational purposes only, including any mention of securities or venture funds; and does not constitute any investment, legal, tax advice. SCS or BTB may hold currently, or in the future, direct or indirect interests in the featured companies or funds. No guarantee of any kind is implied or possible where projections of future conditions are attempted.

THE COST OF INFLUENCE & BILLION DOLLAR AMBITIONS, an online marketplace that once stocked over 400 brands across Southeast Asia, became a major regional player in the fashion industry but, by 2022, she had wound the venture down, shifting her focus to her own in-house modest fashion brands, dUCK and Lilit. The silver lining? By 2022, Yusof had built a network of 14 physical stores across Malaysia and Singapore and sold more than 3 million scarves from just one of her brands. Today, we unpack Vivy’s journey, the cost of building a brand around herself, her regret on not acting on her gut and her BILLION DOLLAR AMBITIONS for her next decade in the modest fashion industry.


We’ve heard a lot about scaling tactics for businesses, but have we paused to think about what it takes to scale ourselves as leaders at the helm? In this episode, Kim Yao, shares with us about how each chapter of her companies demanded different versions of her as a leader, and the future of ‘virtual’ or ‘ghost’ kitchens, i.e. delivery-only restaurants that proliferated during the pandemic and is set to be a $1 trillion industry by 2030.


Despite Lu Zhang’s accelerated path from researcher to founder to investor (with close to $100 AUM) — by age 30 —she still reveals how she feels like a failure everyday! This episode is one you’d want to tune into.

turning fear to power

Exiled from the only place she knew to be home, Iranian singer, Gola (Golazin) shares her story on how her first hand experiences of life under the oppressive Iranian Regime shaped her as a fearless, international women’s rights advocate. Fighting everyday to have her voice heard since female solo singers are not allowed to release songs or perform publicly in Iran, Gola shows us what pushing boundaries and true bravery means; and how at the edge of your deepest fear could lay your greatest potential.

the exit: i am more than my startup

And we are back with a bang in Season 2! This week we dive deep into discussion on the ethics of AI, emotional intelligence, finding inspiration and executing on that founder’s vision while finding purpose along the way, even post-exit, with the global pioneer of Emotional AI, Rana el Kaliouby. One of the few women leading a disruptive AI company, and an Egyptian-American, Rana gets vulnerable about what that all means to her and her view on the portfolio career. You don’t want to miss this!

how we've been approaching partnerships all wrong

From reluctant CEO, to seeding and scaling the original generation of venture capital funds in Malaysia as a limited partner investor as MAVCAP’s 4th CEO, to Managing Director of $1.2 Billion Pan-Asian VC fund, Jamal Bujang covers it all from how he took different leaps in his career, to how new venture capital funds can actually succeed with trust at the center of partnership, to the potential of Malaysia as the country heads into elections. You don’t want to miss this!

building through startup chaos

“The team was not cooperative with me. I was trying to manage them, doing the right thing for the company. And this is what she said ‘Tiwa, you understood the words but did not understand the meaning’. I wasn’t really listening to my team and why they were frustrated with me: I was thinking that I was doing the right thing, but I wasn’t hearing what they were trying to tell me… there’s a sense of silent stubborness I was up against”



is enterprise eating venture capitial?

We travel today to the West Coast of the United States where it’s becoming increasingly clear that Enterprise Tech is dominating venture capital — where every company is becoming a software company. From retailers to established financial institutions and even health providers, the underlying technology has enabled everything from payments to CRM, information management, and so, much more. But how did we arrive at this inflection point and what next?

executing on your purpose & making eggs without chickens

From the rise of Impossible Foods to McDonalds announcing their McPlant menu, plant-based food has undeniably taken the market by storm. Beyond the mainstreaming of veganism, fast-forward to 2021, a global crisis and global lockdowns drove consumers to reassess what they eat and their impact on the planet. Riding this wave is Clara Foods, a Silicon Valley venture-backed company making animal protein without the animals. Led by Arturo Elizondo, Clara Foods is disrupting food technology, developing performance protein products and making the world’s first animal free egg white protein. Using advanced fermentation to brew protein that is cleaner, greener and kinder to our environment today, this week, we take a personal deep dive with the man behind the vision of eggs without chickens.

asian startups on overdrive - real fundamentals or are we drinking our own kool-aid?

From sky high valuations to the sell-offs of SPACs, This week, we dive deep with Rajive Keshup in Singapore, Investment Director at Cathay Innovation, an early and growth stage venture capital firm with $1.5B AUM across San Francisco, Paris, Shanghai and Singapore, and closely affiliated with Cathay Capital Private Equity, a global private equity firm with $3B in AUM. From the lens of a management consultant turned operator turned funder, Rajive talks about what it takes to be an entrepreneur’s first phone call in great and not-so-great times, and the real landscape of growth stage companies in SEA.

never too late to startup: building insurtech

We love rooting for the underdog- but what does it really take to rise despite the odds, as THE underdog? Rosaline Koo founded CXA Group from her living room in 2013 after a storied career with multinationals, with ambitions to transform health benefits for employees. Tune in to her story from risking all her family savings to build her startup; to scaling to over a million users and raising over $50M from the likes of Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group, EDBI, Openspace Ventures and more.


Indonesia’s startups have been making headlines in the last few years, including most recently the news that online mall Bukalapak is set to raise $1.5 billion in the country’s largest-ever initial public offering – setting the stage for a wave of tech listings, with fellow unicorns GoTo and Traveloka to follow suit. Home to the region’s largest population, it is no surprise, Indonesia is in it’s primetime for entrepreneurs. This week, we begin to scratch the surface of the Indonesian startup storyline with veteran digital entrepreneur and evangelist Shinta Dhanuwardoyo.

building biotech startups

“Tolerate failure but don’t tolerate incompetence. Till this day, I regret how I let a company go bankrupt— I’ve learned from that” From microbiome manipulation, to genomic sequencing, biotechnology promises an unprecedented future. But what does it really take to build a biotech company that will last? This week, we chat with, Brian Conn, serial biotech CFO, who has raised over $300M, completed 20 M&A deals and is currently CFO of genomic sequencing company, Quantapore, co-founder of synthetic biology company, Levadura and advisor to VC firm, General Inception.

yhe rise of superapps with bykea's muneeb maayr

Ride-hailing giant Gojek and marketplace Tokopedia, Indonesia’s two largest startups, said a couple of days ago that they’ve merged their businesses to form GoTo Group, on track for a $35-$40B IPO end year.


This sets more fuel to the fire of SuperApps rising in Southeast Asia: a trend that is actually moving from East to West. But is it all that it’s cut out to be?


From the rise of SuperApps to the unique challenges of the two-wheeler opportunity in a country like Pakistan, to the fear of a meaningless life, Muneeb Maayr, Bykea and I cover it all.


“If I was being invited into a room, it was for a reason. So it’s about being confident in that I had something to offer. I wasn’t going to sit at the periphery of the table and not speak” 


This week, we make a trip to The Hill with America’s Top Lobbyist, Alethia Jackson. As VP of Federal Relations & Head of Advocacy for Walgreens, Alethia is expanding patient access to pharmacy services while advancing the role of pharmacy in the healthcare system. We unpack what it means to lead with your voice, the complex healthcare landscape and how to build partnerships that matter.

the power of trust & the malaysian lp view of vc funds

From reluctant CEO, to seeding and scaling the original generation of venture capital funds in Malaysia as a limited partner investor as Malaysia Venture Capital Management Berhad’s 4th CEO, to Managing Director of $1.2 Bn Pan-Asian VC fund Gobi Partners Jamaludin Bujang covers it all from how he took different leaps in his career, to how new venture capital funds can actually succeed with trust at the center of partnership, to the potential of Malaysia as the country heads into elections.

big tech & the global entrepreneurial revolution with renowned investor, christopher schroeder

This week, we went deep on the Global Entrepreneurial Revolution shaping our future with renowned American investor & entrepreneur, Christopher Schroeder. From the dominance of big tech, to the digital divide to startups rising in the Middle East – we cover it all. 


Southeast Asia’s ride hailing giant, Grab is set to go public through the world’s largest SPAC merger, valuing the company at close to $40Bn. Fresh off the announcement, in this episode, we talk about the rise of startups in Southeast Asia, with over 650 million internet users, more than America and Europe combined. Southeast Asia is arguably the most exciting region in the world right now to create disruptive tech companies with more dry powder, higher valuations, the rise of unicorns and imminent exits fueled further by large corporates. 

sold my startup for $780m: the good, bad, ugly

“Never do business with your friends”

“Never hire from Craigslist”

From breaking all these rules and more, this week we went deep on the growing pains of a startup, from PR nightmares to co-founder breakups, the challenge of shifting from a scarcity to growth mindset, and so much more with Jack Smith, serial entrepreneur & investor who sold his startup, Vungle to Blackstone for $780M. 


Over a decade ago, JPMorgan and the Rockefeller Foundation, together with the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), published a report claiming that impact investment was an emerging asset class that would reach between $400 billion and $1 trillion in assets under management by 2020. Many thought this was an ambitious prediction but fast forward, we now see how those doubts were misplaced with markets hitting $715 billion in assets under management in 2020. Against the backdrop of the reckoning of 2020, our lens on impact dollars has become tremendously important. But is there far too much sensationalization of impact? How do we stay grounded on metrics that really matter? We talk with Karen Wawrzaszek to unpack this. 

Reimagining work with slack's brian elliott

This week, we went deep on the new reality that is remote work with none other than Brian Elliott, former GM of Platform at Slack, and now Head of Future Forum — reimagining work.From building for inclusivity to sending the right message from the top – he shares some #BillionDollarMoves​​​ we all will want in on.


What does it mean to be the first and the only? How do you turn being seen as the ‘token’ woman to being taken seriously as a team player? We hear from the one and only, Dr. Jen Welter who tackled her football career with tenacity and an unprecedented track record of pioneering firsts. From building on her career in women’s football, that included 2 Gold medals with Team USA, 4 World Championships and 8 All-Star selections to breaking through the biggest boys club of all, the NFL, as the first female coach in the league and the Madden NFL 20 video game.