Mole and Antler Disrupt Traditional Networking with Successful Launch of “I HATE NETWORKING” Conference, Connecting Global and Local VCs to Empower Malaysian Entrepreneurs

L-R: Nisa Zulkifli (CFA Head of Equity Crowd Funding at pitchIN), Koggelavani (Co-Founder of Mind Movers), Melly Ling (Co-Founder of Mole), Emily Chin & Lily Sim (Co-Founders of Female Founders Malaysia & SEA), Yuki Aizawa (APAC Director of Women in Tech Malaysia), Audra Pakalnyte (Partner of First Move), Jeff Cheok (Founder of Forward Founders), Kim Wei (Senior Analyst of Artem), Frank Kang (Associate Partner of Antler), Soung Rong (Co-Founder of Mole), Kenneth Ho (Director of Beamstart & Eventsize), Damien James (Event Manager of Freeform), Jackson Lim (COO of Grof), Ghazanfar Iqbal (Head of Business Development Startups of AWS) 

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA – 31 JAN, 2024 – Mole’s “I HATE NETWORKING” Business Conference 2023, which took place on January 18 at KLPac, Kuala Lumpur, marked its successful second edition as part of its Asia’s first networking series tour. The business networking conference attracted over 400 business professionals from Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia, making it a standout event that fostered meaningful connections and collaborations within the startup and VC ecosystem.

In partnership with global VC Antler, Mole, a Malaysian networking SaaS platform, launched the “I Hate Networking” Business Conference for the first time in Malaysia, specifically designed for those who are not fond of traditional networking. The networking business conference serves as the second stop on its Asia networking series tour, following a successful launch in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam last year.

Mole’s mission is to redefine networking for those finding traditional settings unhelpful, providing a safe, unique, and engaging platform for connection and collaboration.

The event attracted a diverse crowd of business professionals from industries including technology, advertising, banking, retail, and venture capital. High-level C-suite executives, marketers, software engineers, HR professionals, and bankers were among the attendees.

“All our attendees, regardless of profession or title, came together and made lasting connections. That’s what truly matters for us at Mole — for professionals to make connections that go beyond business transactions,” said Soung Rong, Co-Founder and CEO of Mole.

The conference facilitated meetings between international and local venture capitalists, including Antler, Gobi Partners, First Move, 1337 Ventures, Ignite Asia, Artem, pitchIN, and Watchtower and Friends (WTF), with startup founders and aspiring entrepreneurs through a 1:1 pitching session.

The women entrepreneur zone, powered by Female Founders MY, Women in Tech, and Girls in Tech, aimed to support and empower women founders and entrepreneurs.

“Our vision was to uplift and empower Malaysian entrepreneurs and women founders by facilitating connections with the right investors through our collaboration with local and international VCs. The outstanding turnout confirms the demand for enjoyable and authentic networking,” shared Melly Ling, Co-Founder and COO of Mole.

A speed networking session moderated by Antler provided a structured environment for business professionals and entrepreneurs to achieve their networking goals more objectively.

The headline event showcased four powerful panel sessions, boasting almost 20 influential speakers who delved deep into the gritty realities of entrepreneurship. They fearlessly tackled challenges in networking, openly discussed failures, navigated through self-doubt, and courageously addressed the crucial issue of mental health.

Speakers included Frank Kang (Associate Partner, Antler), Ghazanfar Iqbal (Head of Business Development, AWS), Derek Toh (Founder & CEO, Hiredly), Jackson Lim (COO, Grof), Najla Zamri (Senior Manager, Antler), Jeff Cheok (CEO, Forward Founders), Yeoh Chen Chow (Co-founder, Fave), Reuben Ch’ng (Founder, Daily CMO), Sasha Tan (Founder, Dear Hustlers), Mel Chai (Founder, Mad Hair), Yuki Aizawa (APAC Director, Women In Tech), Audra Pakalnyte (Partner, First Move), Melly Ling (Co-founder, Mole), Koggelavani Muniandy (Co-founder, Mind Movers), Venon Tian (COO, Zus Coffee), Yienyee Soh (CRO, EasyStore), Andrew Ng (Co-founder & Head Coach, Scaling People Asia), and many others.

Apart from the main stage, the networking conference featured various areas with different functions, including the Investor Lounge Area for closer discussions with investors and the speed networking zone for more effective networking moderated by Antler.

The success of the “I Hate Networking” Business Conference in 2024 not only motivates Mole to further cultivate the entrepreneur and startup ecosystem in Asia but also underscores the escalating demand for alternative networking platforms prioritising genuine connections and collaborative opportunities.

Mole remains steadfast in reshaping the landscape of networking, providing an inclusive and enjoyable experience for business professionals and entrepreneurs.

The “I HATE NETWORKING” Business Conference 2023 is supported by more than 20 leading companies in the tech and VC industry, some of which are Antler, Gobi Partners, 1337 Ventures, First Move, Ignite Asia, AWS for Startups, Roiquant, GROF, Female Founders Malaysia & SEA, Women In Tech, Girls In Tech, Beamstart, Eventsize, Alta, Cleve, and many more.

About Mole

Mole is an all-in-one networking platform founded in June 2022 by Au Soung Rong and Melly Ling. The platform aims to simplify and enhance the business networking experience for professionals, enabling them to forge authentic connections beyond mere transactions.

With innovative features like the digital business card and company-level solutions, Mole empowers professionals to network effectively, foster meaningful relationships, and unlock new opportunities. 

For more information, visit:

For media inquiries, please contact: Melly Ling,

About Antler

Antler is a global early-stage venture capital firm that invests in the world’s most driven founders from day zero to greatness. Founded on the belief that people innovating is the key to building a better future, we partner with people across six continents to launch and scale high-potential startups that address meaningful opportunities and challenges.

Our global community backs people from the beginning with co-founder matching, deep business model validation, initial capital, expansion support, and follow-on funding. Fueled by a personal passion that goes beyond traditional investing, we have helped create and invest in more than 750 startups globally and across a wide range of industries and technologies, with the goal of backing more than 6,000 by 2030.

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Company Name: Mole
Contact Person: Melly Ling
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Country: Malaysia