Aaron Tan’s Recommendation for Constructing a $ 1 Billion Startup

As a former startup investor and co-founder and CEO of $ 1 billion car marketplace Carro, Aaron Tan knows a thing or two about running a business.

But if he had one piece of advice to other budding entrepreneurs, it would be this: Don’t go alone.

“I don’t know if I’m qualified enough to offer advice per se. But I’d always say that you should try to find a core team of people,” Tan told CNBC Make It.

For 36-year-old Tan, it was critical to his business.

You must first find a group of friends willing to take the leap of faith with you.

Aaron Tan

Co-Founder and CEO, Carro

When he was first inspired to come up with an algorithm to help car buyers and sellers compare the best deals across Southeast Asia, he quickly brought his friends from the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science to join him on the journey accompany.

Tan is Singaporean and his co-founders Aditya Lesmana and Kelvin Chng are Indonesians and Thai respectively. That meant that together they had a much better understanding of the markets they were targeting and the problems they were solving – more than Tan would have ever had alone.

“I am always grateful that my team has been very international from day one. That makes entering the market a lot easier for us,” said Tan.

Aaron Tan, Co-Founder and CEO of Southeast Asian auto marketplace Carro.


This advice dates back to Tan’s beginnings as a venture capitalist (VC) investing in companies in the US and Southeast Asia.

A strong founding team is important for a start-up, he said.

“As a former VC, I’ve seen companies and we haven’t invested, mostly because there was a strong person and no co-founders,” said Tan.

it is very important to support and complement one another.

Aaron Tan

Co-Founder and CEO, Carro

“It is very important for me to support and complement each other,” he added.

According to Tan, a founder’s ability to build a founding team is a good sign that they are self-aware and understand their strengths and weaknesses. But it also shows their ability to convince others of their vision.

“You will know if you can start a business or not after a while because you will find more people who believe in the trip,” Tan said.

“You have to first find this group of friends willing to take the leap of faith with you before you are able to find the next 100, the next 1,000 people who will grow your business,” he said.

Don’t Miss: How 3 College Friends Built A $ 1 Billion Business Selling Used Cars

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