Innovation Hotspot: Southeast Asia 2017
Updated: Oct 9, 2019
2017 has been an exciting year for startups in Southeast Asia with very strong contenders raking in serious investment despite reports saying that things are slowing down in the region.
In a newly released report by Google and Temasek Holdings, Southeast Asia’s internet/ tech economy is expected to hit USD$50 billion this year across all sectors, including online travel, online media, e-commerce and ride-hailing.
There are now seven Internet unicorns in Southeast Asia (companies valued at over US$1 billion in valuation); four of which have bases in Singapore: Grab, Lazada, Razer and Sea and three in Indonesia: Go-Jek, Traveloka and Tokopedia.
With a compound annual growth rate of 27 percent, the joint research stated that the web economy in Southeast Asia will grow to about US$200 billion by 2025. As the world’s largest growing internet region, there are currently 330 million active internet users monthly with mobile/ smartphone being the driver of the region’s Internet economy.
Across all the sectors mentioned, e-commerce and ride-hailing services have taken the lead with growth over 40 percent.
Lazada in SEA continues to be the leader of the e-commerce pack especially after the Alibaba acquisition, and total e-commerce sales in the region were reported to have reached US$10billion which doubled from 2015.
In the ride-hailing category, while Uber faced some challenges globally with its management changes and license being revoked, both Uber and Grab continue on their path to change their games by expanding their products and services beyond transport to digital payments, food delivery and courier services.
Due to the dynamism of these sectors in Southeast Asia, more than US$10billion capital has been raised in 2017 which is tenfold of the amount in 2015. Some big investments in the last two years included
2017 has been a really exciting year overall in the internet of things, and remains optimistic for the foreseeable future.
The next big thing to look out for which has already been making a big buzz in the last couple of months is bitcoin, blockchain, ICO and I can’t wait to see what 2018 brings!