Derek Gallimore introduces Amanda Cua, founder of BackScoop. Published four times a week, BackScoop is the first newsletter that covers the Southeast Asian startup and tech scene.
In this episode, Derek and Amanda discuss how BackScoop was founded, the solution it provides to the tech industry, and the nature of the Southeast Asian tech and startup market.
The OA podcast welcomes Amanda Cua, founder of BackScoop. BackScoop is the first Southeast Asian-focused tech and startup newsletter produced four times a week.
Framed in the likes of Morning Brew and The Hustle, BackScoop “makes it fun and easy to stay updated in the Southeast Asian tech and business [scene].” Subscribers will receive one email a day that covers every news story in the industry.
How Amanda created BackScoop
Amanda graduated from high school in 2020 and “was planning to go to [college].” When the pandemic struck the same year, she thought going to the University over Zoom “did not make sense.”
With this, Amanda decided to take a year off and ended up working with Avion School, a startup that teaches coding in 12 weeks. The startup piqued her interest since she believes software engineering might be “something good to learn” with the growing tech industry worldwide.
Amanda ended up “working as the first employee” with Avion School. One of her tasks was to connect with startups in different countries, including the Philippines.
From there, she realized two things:
- “A lot of growth” occurred in Southeast Asia. She finds a lot of interesting things from new startups in the region that she “could not keep track of anything.
- Countries like the Philippines “are starting to emerge” in the startup scene. She observes this by the increasing number of Philippine startups she is partnering with.
Amanda has the habit of reading Morning Brew and The Hustle every morning. Here, she got the idea of coming up with a newsletter that “[puts] all of the startup [news] in one place.”
She created BackScoop a month after leaving Avion School and started “writing one newsletter a week with the biggest Southeast Asian tech news.” What started with a couple of people reading has snowballed into around 6,000 readers a year later.
Insights on working at a startup company
Per Amanda, she was “lucky to find an [work] environment” where “everything starts from the ground up.”
Learning everything about the company as much as she could, she helped the founders “build different things across all [business aspects].” While it came with “long hours, hard work, and disheartening things,” the experience still turned out to be good for her.
At the same time, working at a startup allowed the BackScoop CEO to learn more by “[unlearning] things you already know.” It also taught her to learn from her mistakes and “come out of [the] situation” without hurt feelings.
The Southeast Asian startup and tech scene
Amanda explains that while Southeast Asia has become more popular with the startup and tech scene, most experts see it “as an entire region.” Even founders and venture capital institutions (VCs) see the market as a whole.
However, no other platforms cover the region and its markets, either just Asia as a whole or just Singapore. This is where Amanda found an opportunity to create BackScoop.
This is also where the Philippine startup market fits, according to Amanda.
Being one of the emerging players in the region, she believes it is “time to look at another potential in other markets” outside Indonesia and Singapore. The Philippines is one of the most viable emerging markets that people take look at.
How Gen-Zs see the startup scene
For Amanda, a lot of excitement is “coming into the startup scene” with the rise of tech organizations in colleges and universities.
Amanda’s experience in jumping into the tech industry just shows that its strong potential, growth, and transformation “brings people to stop, look, and consider what they want for themselves.”
Also, with the advent of the internet, people are “not restricted to headlines from [their countries] anymore.” They can learn more about the world in just a few clicks, especially in terms of tech, business, and finance.
Amanda believes that people are now “forced to look outside their [own countries]” in more ways than they could 50 years ago. This goes the same with having a global workforce.
At first, the BackScoop CEO did not think she could “sit in [her] house and work for the US [companies]” on her laptop. Though, she has seen more workers take the leap of working at home for a foreign company.
BackScoop in the next 12 months
Just after a year of founding, BackScoop announced that it is now capable of monetization. Amanda is thrilled to figure out the monetization side of the newsletter as well as to attend conferences in different parts of Southeast Asia.
Amanda highlights that her company is about “[solving] problems in the Southeast Asian tech scene. While the startup solved its first problem of keeping up with tech news easily, meeting people from the community would allow them to look into other products and services they can create.
BackScoop publishes every Tuesday to Friday at 6:00 AM Philippine time. Sign up for the newsletter through https://www.backscoop.com/.