Beyond Moat: CATAPULT Your Business to Exponential Value Creation | From Economic Moat to Catapult Analysis of Business Model Quality to Discover Tech Innovators 

Beyond Moat: CATAPULT Your Business to Exponential Value Creation | From Economic Moat to Catapult Analysis of Business Model Quality to Discover Tech Innovators

The Catapult is our analytical framework within the 4-step H.E.R.O. investment process to complement and rejuvenate the economic moat analysis to view the value creation process afresh and continually discover innovators creating, enabling and capturing new demand (vs exploiting existing demand) with exponential non-linear growth potential and value creation. The Catapult exponential projectile of the 4Cs are systematic observations and leading-indicator questions you can ask to analyze and assess the business models of exponential innovators. H.E.R.O. stands for “Honorable. Exponential. Resilient. Organization.” and is operationalized into a unique, systematic 4-step investment process to separate the winners and losers.

(1) “Curiosity” Edge

Does the company create or generate curiosity and discovery amongst the users and customers for its products and services? Is there a riveting effect that leads to engagement?

  • User-centric customized recommendations, engagement depth in time invested, etc
  • Examples: Amazon Prime, Netflix, Tencent Music, Kakao M (KOSDAQ: 016170), Syuppin (TSE: 3179), etc

(2) “Community” Edge

Does the company build a community/platform/environment where customers/users/members can connect and interact repeatedly with one another to forge longer-term relationship and emotional connections Vs mere transactions-based exchange?

  • User-generated content (UGC) in reviews; ratings to foster trust, credibility, collaboration and celebration in the many-to-many interaction; feedback loop to improve; brand advocates/ raving fans/ whale curve; is there social capital capacity to expand into complementary products and services to serve the community
  • Watch out for unusual capitalization of customer acquisition costs (CAC), goodwill in balance sheet
  • Examples: Apple iOS, Benefit One (TSE: 2412), Itokuro (TSE: 6049), Bandai Namco (TSE: 7832), CyberAgent (TSE: 4751), etc

(3) “Compellingness-Craftsmanship” Edge

Does the company create and deliver products, services or solutions with compellingness and craftsmanship?

  • Process IP, intangible know-how/system and mastery to bring about comfort, convenience, “customized” pain-killing solutions to customers
  • Compellingness (external) combined with Craftsmanship (internal)
  • Craftsmanship: Think Steve Jobs shared the story of how he was inspired by his dad who taught the young Jobs that it was important to craft the back of cabinets and fences properly, even though they were hidden. “He loved doing things right. He even cared about the look of the parts you couldn’t see.”
  • Examples: Amazon, Microsoft, MISUMI Group (TSE: 9962), MonotaRO (TSE: 3064), Synchro Food (TSE: 3963), Koh Young Technology (KOSDAQ: 098460), etc

(4) “Circumspection” Edge

Does the company deliver/enable circumspection and acumen/insights/intelligence for the customers with usable framework of knowledge, tools and analytics to bring useful insights to help them think better and make better decisions?

  • Examples: Google, M3 (TSE: 2413), e-Guardian (TSE: 6050), MonotaRO (TSE: 3064), Appen (ASX: APX), Vista Group (NZSE: VGL), Supermap (SZSE: 300036), etc

We now live in an exponential world, and as the Baupost chief and super value investor Seth Klarman warns, disruption is accelerating “exponentially” and value investing has evolved. The paradigm shift to avoid the cheap-gets-cheaper “value traps” investment mistakes, to keep staying curious & humble, and to keep learning & adapting, has never been more critical for value investors.

We believe tech-focused innovators with non-linear exponential growth potential are the most relevant multi-year investment trend and opportunity. There is a structural break in data in the market’s multi-year appraisal of “exponential innovators”, the type of business models that can compete and thrive in an exponential world.

Yet we do not want to chase the highly popular megacap tech stocks, or fall for the “Next-Big-Thing” trap by overpaying for “growth”, or by chasing to invest in fads, me-too imitators, or even in seemingly cutting-edge technologies without the ability to monetize and generate recurring revenue with a sustainable and scalable business model, and we want to know how to distinguish between the true innovators and the swarming imitators. We see a distinct opportunity in under-the-radar Asian SMID-cap tech stocks with unique scalable business models run by high-integrity entrepreneurs with a higher purpose in solving high-value problems.

As the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused listed equities fund in the industry, we believe we are uniquely positioned as a distinctive and alternative investment strategy for both institutional and individual investors who seek to capture long-term investment returns created by disruptive forces and innovation without herding or crowding to invest in the highly popular megacap tech stocks, and also provide capital allocation benefit to investors in building optionality in their overall investment portfolio.

Warm regards,

KB | | WhatsApp +65 9695 1860


About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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