India Overtakes China + Ryan Reynolds Invests in Nuvei

April 21, 2023 by  Chris Erwin

RockWater Roundup

RockWater analysis to make you a better investor and operator. Today we discuss India overtaking China and Ryan Reynolds’ new Canadian fintech investment in Nuvei.

India Overtakes China as World’s Most Populous Country

WSJ, 4.14.23

by Chris Erwin

🌏 “We are on the cusp of maybe the most momentous population transition of the last 200 years”

India Surpasses China as World’s Most Populous Country. These large demo shifts are key to track for capital deployers…


  • India’s pop. to be 1.429 billion in 2023 (1.7 by 2063)📈
  • China to fall to 2nd place, w/ 1.426 billion. Their pop. declined for 1st time last yr since 1960s famines📉
  • Overall South Asia will have largest working-age pop. by 2041, according to World Bank


  • GDP to more than double to $8.5 trillion from $3.4 trillion over next 10 yrs. India now world’s 5th largest economy, just surpassed Britain
  • Increased consumption of global goods, stimulating worldwide trade
  • Bigger role in global affairs, fostering stronger diplomatic relationships
  • And for us media x commerce observers, MUCH more influence of global content and consumption trends! Case in point, Dior just hosted its first official runway show in India, Apple is moving manufacturing there and intends to expand relationship with Indian consumers (a $6 billion market for them), French luxury retailer Galeries Lafayette is opening 2 flagship stores in India by 2024, and Boeing is supplying Air India with 220 new planes.


  • Tackling poverty and unemployment. 16.4% of population (225M+ people!) live in poverty and many youth don’t even look for jobs. Labor force participation is 2/3rds of US!
  • Expanding infrastructure and improving ease of doing business. Has been trending up, with India’s Ease of Doing Biz worldwide ranking going from 142 in 2014 to 63 in 2020
  • Encouraging investment and fostering innovation. India is world’s 3rd largest tech ecocsystem, with over 90,000 startups, but needs to attract more investment and minimize red tape

Do you use demo data to inform your biz and investment decisions? If not, you’re missing out BIG time.

These macro tailwinds have MAJOR impacts on improving likelihood of newco and new biz success and ROI.

Skate to where the puck / viewer / creator / $ is.

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Ryan Reynolds Invests in Nuvei, Another Canadian Fintech

Montreal Gazette, 4.17.23

by Chris Erwin

Ryan Reynolds just invested in Nuvei, another Canadian fintech. There are 3.5 key learnings for capital deployers…

  • Reynolds *of course* announced it with tongue-in-cheek promo videos featuring Nuvei CEO. No surprise, they were produced by…his Maximum Effort prod co / agency. Smart that he wants to enhance CEO’s online personality and following, will help drive UA
  • It’s not Reynolds’s first fintech investment. That was Wealthsimple in 2021. And he’s accelerating his tech investing, which kicked off in 2021 and incl 1Password, Mint Mobile (recent exit to T-Mobile), Fubo
  • Reynolds continues to lean into his Canadian heritage. VERY smart. The intersection of global fandom x strong Canadian affinity x own prod co / agency marketing vehicle makes for a strong pitch to acquisition targets in case bidding competition is high. And it focuses his biz team’s investment focus VS spray-and-model. Really feels like they’re finding their sweet spot, with caveate that I haven’t looked at their fin performance at all (fyi Wealthsimple is based in Canada, and Reynolds is also actively bidding on the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club)

…more Reynolds biz breakdown here via my in-depth article last month, where I described his “fast-follower” strategy.

I got a lot of inbounds on this piece. Many other celebs / reps / media investors are trying to crack this code, since traditional Hollywood economics are going the way of the dinosaurs.

…but I’ll be direct upfront.

It’s not easy. Builders need to be smart about understanding your audience (who they are and what they want), and where there’s mkt saturation VS white space.

And you need a real biz plan and focused resources, and be ready to deploy capital.

This won’t drop in your lap.


If these insights are relevant to projects you’re working on, ping us here. We love talking all things media x commerce!

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