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Asia Tech Podcast – Episode 58 – Matas Danielevicius – co-Founder Gaorai – You Have WhatNot In Your Pocket

Michael Waitze spoke to Matas Danielevicius, a co-Founder of Gaorai, a Partner at WhatNot Innovation Studio, and a marketing manager at the KX Knowledge Exchange.  Matas has a very interesting background, part of the high caliber Lithuanian team that founded and runs WhatNot.  (There is a good story in the first third of this episode as to how they came up with the name…Matas tells the story better than I ever could.)  After high school Matas took a traditional path, studying business development and management in Lithuania, but he soon realized that he longed for more.

He picked himself up, went to the UK and studied acting, graduating with a degree in drama…something I wish I had done.  I forgot to mention that in his spare time (How could he possibly have spare time?!), Matas is also an actor.  He is currently working with the Culture Collective Studio on a production of “A Streetcar Named Desire”.  We had a fascinating conversation on how show production, acting and getting in and out of character is more related to startup and venture building than one might imagine.

Matas combines these things rather seamlessly. I was curious to find out why three Lithuanian venture building partners ended up in Thailand…and frankly, it was really straightforward.  They were traveling through Bangkok on their way to Sri Lanka (Just imagine what might have been.) and intended to stay for only a couple of days.  A big project on which they were working became more urgent and they had to stay in Bangkok to finish it.  The rest, as they say, is history.

Finally, we talked about Gaorai, “Gaorai is an agri-tech platform connecting farmers to freelance agri-drone pilots. We are improving precision application and sustainability of crop protection products in Thailand and the region. Our goal is to turn Gaorai to a day-to-day farm service, e-commerce, distribution and intelligence platform.”