Whilst Silicon Valley (and the US in general) tends to generate most of the headlines when it comes to startup ventures and entrepreneurship, Asian startups have been attracting increasing attention. That’s no surprise either given the sheer size of the Asian market, and the region’s irresistible growth prospects. Southeast Asia in particular has seen the development of several significant startup ecosystems in recent years.
With increasingly large deals being done in the region, just who are the five most successful startups as measured by funding? Between them they have raised almost $2 billion dollars from investors.
The top five most well funded startups in Southeast Asia are:
Billing itself as the No 1 online shopping mall in SE Asia, Lazada’s business is modeled on US company Amazon. Since its launch in early 2012 Lazada has been funded to the tune of $686 million and boasts more than 11,000 seller partners. Its backers include the Singapore government owned Temasek Holdings. It is officially a startup ‘unicorn’, with a valuation of $1.25 billion.
An Indonesia based e-commerce business that was only launched last month, Matahari Mall has been founded with $500 million in investment from the Lippo Group, one of the nation’s richest and most successful conglomerates. Lippo’s intention is tip money into the early stage development of the business, with a view to generating sales in the order of $1 billion over the next 2-3 years and eventually become the “the Alibaba of Indonesia”.
GrabTaxi is an automated location based smartphone booking and dispatch platform for the taxi industry. Its taxi hailing app now services a number of major regional cities, including Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Bangkok, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Jakarta. Since its foundation in 2011 it has successfully raised more than $300 million from investors.
Founded in 2012, Zalora is an e-commerce platform and website that provides fashion and footwear products. Headquartered in Singapore, it has raised a total of $238 million. Zalora has local websites running in:
- Hong Kong
In Australia and New Zealand Zalora operates under The Iconic brand name. JP Morgan is included in its list of investors.
Rounding out our Top 5 list is Tokopedia, yet another e-commerce platform based in Indonesia. It recently established a new record for the single biggest VC investment into a local Indonesian tech company and has raised more than $100 million in total. Similar to the Amazon / Lazada model, it offers a range of general merchandise categories, including clothing, computers, phones, books and household items.
With four out of the top 5 operating online retail platforms, it is clear to see that the region’s consumers are avid shoppers. Over the next few years it will be interesting to monitor and see just who emerges as the dominant player in the market.