[VC 101] 沒成長就很難獲得投資人青睞

學如逆水行舟,不進則退。

創業也是,如果你沒有持續成長,不管從競爭的角度、組織的角度與投資人的角度來看,你就是在退步。今天放在 VC 101 來討論成長這件事,我們就從投資人的角度來切入。

今天我的 Intern 問了我一件事:如果有一家公司,每年都有新台幣 3,000 萬的營收,扣掉相關的費用,假設一年還可以賺個 1,000 萬,那這間公司好嗎?當然這間公司是個不錯的公司,如果我是創辦人,把自己領的薪水扣一扣之後,一年還可以分個幾百萬,可以過著不錯的生活。但如果是以投資人的角度來看,「每年都有新台幣 3,000 萬的營收」這句話,反過來想,就是他往後幾年都沒有「成長」了,不管是 Private Market 或是 Public Market 的投資人,成長往往是很重要的一個指標,特別是健康的成長。為什麼呢?

公司未來價值

成長越快,對於投資人而言,未來累積出來的價值才夠多。過去學財務的人,常常會用「公司的價值反應在未來所有現金流折現後的價值」來看公司的估值,而這就是現金流折現法 (Discounted Cash Flow,DCF),在實務操作上有蠻多假設得去估算,所以我們如果要快速估算公司的價值,反而會用 P/S 與 P/E 去評價一間公司。但這兩者跟成長有什麼關係?

我們用簡化的圖表來呈現上面那段話的意思,在下圖中你可以看到,如果我們把公司未來幾年預估可以賺到的錢畫成一條曲線,而曲線下的面積就可以反應出這間公司的價值。我們用右邊兩個圖更簡化來看,就知道斜率越大,可以累積出來的面積 (公司價值) 就越高。我給下方右邊兩個圖,假設面積分別代表 USD 100M 與 140M 的價值。

不過曲線後面的走向都是對於未來的預測,面積能否變大,也是看你每一年是否都還是維持著比較快速的成長,這樣面積才有機會越變越大,價值才會越變越多。

P/E、P/S 與公司價值的關係

我們來推導一下這兩者的關係,P/E 的定義就是「股價/ 年化之每股盈餘」,P/S 的定義就是「股價/ 年化之每股營收」,兩者定義相仿,我用 P/E 來推導 P/E 跟公司價值的關係如下:

也就是說,在同樣的年化稅後盈餘或者是年化營收下,公司價值越高,其 P/E 或是 P/S 就越高。或者是反過來我們來固定 P/E 或 P/S,也就是在你這個地區、產業、階段來說,你這樣的公司通常會有一個 P/E 或是 P/S 的水準,而這水準就是投資人對於你這類公司的信心反應程度,數值越高,代表他願意給你這樣類別的公司,以後有更高的價值。但在 P/E 或 P/S 固定的前提下,你公司的價值要越高,就是要把你的營收或者是稅後盈餘做得更好。

成長曲線與 P/E 或 P/S 的關係

  1. 成長越快,公司有越高的價值。
  2. 公司有越高的價值,在同樣的營收或者獲利表現下,投資人給予你的 P/S 或 P/E 就會越高。
  3. 所以投資人給予你的 P/S 或 P/E 就反應了他對於你「成長」的期待,而成長的驅動來自很多面向,可能跟你所在的市場有關,市場越大,投資人比較有可能給予你較高的乘數。他可能跟你所在的階段有關,就像文章開頭所說的,一般而言,越初期的團隊因為成長比較快,有機會拿到比較高的乘數,但越成熟的團隊,因為基數大,成長相對來說會比較慢,所以可能給的乘數就會比較差。不過這也是大致推論,有些成熟團隊甚至在 IPO 後還是持續交出高成長,他還是能夠享受高乘數,以及帶來的公司價值。

上述講的內容,都是透過財務上的定義,來反應「成長」的重要性。記得,不管是公開市場或者是私募市場,投資人都是會以「成長」來衡量團隊,所以你沒有成長 (開始衰退) 時,市場價格就會往下走。不過這模型也不是很單純的「成長」就對了,如果你是不健康的成長,從獲利的構面來看,你是惡化的,公司的價值還是會隨之下降。

成長除了財務上的好處外,對於組織來說,有成長的公司對於員工來說才有舞台,才有向上發展的機會,而不是卡在某個位子上沒有流動,相對來說有成長的公司也比較能夠吸引到好的人才,不過這不是 VC 101 的範疇,我們就不多著墨。

我們會持續分享更多想法與知識,若有興趣的創業者,請訂閱基石創投粉絲頁,我們會持續地分享更多對於創業者有幫助的資訊。

Image by RoboAdvisor from Pixabay


我是布蘭登,畢業於台大數學系、商研所。與台大物理系、光電所畢業的 TP 一起管理基石創投 (我們是另類的理科創投?)。研究所時期對於網路創業與創業投資產生興趣,經過初創企業與大公司的洗禮,之後投入創投產業至今。

The Future is Unwritten.

Taiwan: An Introduction – Contactless Payment

Samuel is an Indonesian graduate from National Taiwan University, studying economics. Fluent in Chinese, Japanese and Indonesian. His previous experience was in securities and banking for local financial institutions, but he has kept pace with current technology news and startup scene throughout the ASEAN region.


One of the hottest battleground in the technology sector currently is the battle between various types of contactless payments. Much like Japan, big companies and startups in Taiwan are also trying to grab a slice of the pie in question through both stored-value cards and QR payments.


Stored-value Cards

Contactless payment has been quite entrenched in Taiwan for some time already. According to the latest statistics, the largest stored-value card in Taiwan is Easycard, established in 2000 by the Taipei City government. 

While they were originally used for payment in Taipei MRT, it quickly grew as the capital city Taipei is essentially the center of Taiwan’s economy. It also became the payment system of choice for buses in Taipei, gradually expanding to the nearby cities of Keelung and Hsinchu. Meanwhile, intercity trains have also adopted Easycard, benefiting commuters from satellite towns.

After initial government regulations in 2009, the use case of Easycard expanded significantly as they entered retail stores including: convenience stores, supermarkets, restaurants, bookshops, movie theaters. It was also the initial payment method for Taipei’s public bike-sharing service Youbike, also launched in 2009. In more recent years, it has also become an accepted form of payment for even taxis.

Thus, Easycard gradually became ubiquitous in Taiwan, as they expanded their coverage to include Kaohsiung’s MRT, while working with local city governments in Taoyuan and other cities to implement their payment chips in the IDs of local residents. This enables local governments to give direct benefits to seniors and students through their Easycard balance. Easycard has also embedded their chips into company ID cards and student cards as well as regular consumer debit/credit cards, further diversifying their user base. 

These early developments have resulted in the dominance of Easycard in Taiwan while leading to other competitors in the space.

Although Easycard is by far the largest company in this space, its dominance is not as big as the Octopus Card in Hong Kong. According to Tofugear and Wirecard, the rate of adoption of Octopus is over 99% in Hong Kong’s working age population.

Similar to Easycard, Octopus started out in 1997 as a payment solution for Hong Kong’s MTR, eventually expanding to all public transportation in the city (including buses). It was rapidly adopted as roughly 4.5 million cards were issued after just one year, despite the presence of a competitor called Mondex (led by HSBC and Mastercard) and VisaCash. Mondex and VisaCash floundered, and Mondex was eventually terminated in 2002.

Octopus was so successful that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority decided to give a deposit-taking license, no longer limiting Octopus to only be used as digital payments for transit. Thereafter, expansion to the retail sector was swift, as Hong Kong conglomerates start to adopt Octopus, bringing it into convenience stores, supermarkets, and even photocopy machines.

However, Octopus became so commonplace that consumers find it hard to adopt a new payment system, stifling innovation and competition in this space.

The competition in Taiwan leads to more choices for consumers, and added competition from mobile payments (e.g. Apple Pay, Samsung Pay) has led some companies to try and secure partnerships to drive growth.

For example, iPass was originally founded in 2014 by the Kaohsiung City government. In 2017, LINE became a major shareholder (30%) after buying new shares. Since then, they have tied up LINE Pay cards with iPass value cards, allowing users to access their iPass balance directly from the LINE app.

They also have tie-ups with credit card issuers, especially with CTBC and Union Bank (who is also a significant shareholder in iPass and LINE Taiwan’s virtual bank).

icash is established in 2013 as a subsidiary of the President Chain Store Corp., which runs 5,505 branches of 7-11 in the country (as of June 2019) and hold the domestic licenses for Starbucks, Cold Stone Creamery, and the Japanese donut chain Mister Donut. Similar to iPass, they also create tie-ups with local credit card issuers to enter the market.

All three have their own point systems which are fairly easy to exchange with store vouchers, a short summary can be found below:

 EasycardiPassicash
Year Established200020142013
Main ShareholderTaipei City governmentLINE President Chain Store (7-11 Taiwan)
PointsUUPONLINE PointsOPEN POINT

Mobile Payments

Taiwan’s banking regulations have been rather strict in comparison to other countries, owing to the regulators’ focus on minimizing risks since Taiwan is unable to call upon the IMF or World Bank to help bail its financial system. The proliferation of banking services have also led to overbanking on the island, and interest margins are very low. Under this backdrop, the government has been trying to promote innovation and healthy competition in the industry by encouraging banks to merge or by relaxing banking regulations, such as when they relaxed regulations pertaining to mobile payments in 2015. The Financial Supervisory Commission has also released a white paper on the domestic fintech development in 2016, hoping to spark a digital renaissance in the sector.

The Taiwan government announced in late 2017 that they aim to digitalize the economy, including its aim to increase the penetration of mobile payments to 90% in the country by 2025. Digital payments include both mobile and non-mobile cashless payments such as debit/credit cards, whereas mobile payments refer to those that are done by mobile payments. 

The latest government update in September 2019 forecasts Taiwan’s transaction value in digital payments to break USD 3.2B. The penetration of mobile payment in Taiwan has surged from 24% in 2016 to 50% in 2018, making the initial goal seem achievable.

One of the major reasons for this bump in penetration is the mobile payment war that has been brewing in the country, much like the war in Japan. Everyone from banks, convenience stores and IT companies want to grab a share of this pie.

Translated and edited from: Source

The most popular payment methods in 2018 are LINE Pay, Apple Pay and JKo Pay (the company with the red logo), with the 3 of them conquering 62% of the total digital payment market in Taiwan. Young people have readily adopted mobile payments as more than 75% of consumers aged 26 – 35 have used them.

Perhaps similar to dynamics elsewhere in the region, the payment providers heavily invest in marketing to subsidize consumers to use their payment method, making it a short-term boon for consumers.

Comparing the above to Japan’s mobile payment market really shows the extent of the competition in Taiwan’s market, especially as Japan’s population is about 5.5 times bigger than Taiwan.


For some background as to why everyone seem so keen on the payment gold rush, one can look at Stripe and Square to gauge how profitable it can be. Furthermore, a company can lock in the user even more tightly in its ecosystem, and build a customer profile by tracking their transactions and gain new insights through the application of AI. Being dominant in a service that everyone uses makes it easier for companies to try and monetize their user base in other ways. One can look to China for a real-life study case, having as much as $270B assets under management at one point. India’s Paytm is following the trend, as they launched Paytm Money.

According to Taiwan’s statistical bureau, in 2016, there are approximately USD 2.2T that are quite liquid which can be diverted into mutual funds, as the table below suggests. Assuming a very conservative market share and management fee of 0.1% and 1%, a company might earn USD 2.1M, which is a sizable amount for a startup. 

Type2016 Amount0.1% Market Share1% Management Fee
Cash & Demand Deposits452,270,967,742452,270,968452,271
Time Deposits525,400,000,000525,400,000525,400
Portfolio (Equity, Debt, Fund, etc)1,144,783,870,9681,144,783,8711,144,784
Total (USD)2,122,454,838,7102,122,454,8392,122,455

Of course, the above is just a hypothetical market for ONLY the asset management part, since a payment gateway company would also have their main revenue stream coming from payment handling fees.

Given the size of Taiwan’s digital retail market, the potential value for digital payments is very high compared to the population size. The amount of each person’s share of wallet is quite high compared to developing markets such as Vietnam or Indonesia. Although the market won’t be as big as China or India, but the winner of this small market will have many opportunities to monetize further.