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Rina Obi: VC & Startup World

An Online Chat with the Investment Director of Global Brain

About Rina

Rina Obi is the Investment Director at Global Brain, a global VC headquartered in Tokyo with $1.6B assets under management. Based in Berlin, leading European early-stage startup investments in the areas of B2B/AI/Deeptech/Fintech/Cleantech/Femtech. Rina was raised in Germany and worked in tech for almost a decade for the likes of Google, a Sequoia-backed startup, and NGOs in Tokyo, London, Germany, and Colombia.

What we learned

Rina began by talking about her journey into the industry, explaining how her experience of working in the UK at Google began her exposure to start-ups and ventures and motivated her initial interest in the field. With this new-found interest, she left Google and joined a start-up, then transitioned into volunteering in the NGO and start-up tech space in South America. Continuing her work in this space, she was continuously motivated by the enjoyment of being able to help deliver meaningful products and services and using technology to better the lives of people.

Now at GlobalBrain, Rina explained that her particular interests were in the upcoming industries/areas that include the topics of Web3, ESG, Clean-tech, and the future-of-work, among many others. The primary source of her knowledge in these fields stems from networking. In particular, Rina highlighted the information asymmetry and that being one venue through which GlobalBrain thrives. Only through networking can one learn about products, companies, services, and industries before they hit mainstream platforms like techcrunch. Other social platforms such as twitter can show some insights into upcoming trends, however maintaining relationships/support networks still remains as the best way to get early information on upcoming trends.

Moving onto advice for investors, Rina explains that being optimistic about the future, being open-minded and daring, and being willing to risk/gamble on visions are a few key traits that make a great investor. In addition, the recognition of not only a product, but a great founder with similar qualities is a crucial in investing.


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