Up until the age of 27, Matthew Lim was the model Singaporean son. He graduated with first class honours from the National University of Singapore (NUS), then took up an internship with Credit Suisse, where he excelled and was offered a cushy permanent position as an investment banker. But in 2015, he gave it all up to found a start-up with a business partner he had never met in person.
All that Lim knew about Patrick Colangelo was an endorsement from his brother, who had met Colangelo at Harvard and found him to be intelligent. The pair hit it off over online chats, and decided to pursue a tech related start-up together. “The tech industry was booming then and that naturally came with a huge influx of venture capital,” Lim recalls. “However, it wasn’t the hype that appealed to me, but the fact that I truly believed tech was the future and was going to drive habits and behavioural changes.”
Thus, Vidy was born. The firm aims to revolutionise online video advertising using a specially developed neuro-linguistic programming protocol that picks out spoken words in videos and matches them with the text that appears in articles. The video is embedded into the relevant, highlighted text, that interested readers may click on to watch. You would have probably seen it without realising what it is; just click on our Thought Leaders’ stories and keep a lookout for the text that has been highlighted in pink.
After three years of hard work, the Vidy team finally saw revenue last year. “It was a sweet, sweet, feeling!” Lim exclaims. “People always think that working in a tech start-up is really fancy, but it is honestly the most challenging, yet fulfilling thing I have experienced. It pushes you to your limit every single day; it takes you on big emotional roller coasters. It makes you sacrifice everything for potentially nothing. It is a big mental test.”