Who are the Most Active Investors in Southeast Asia?
The Economic Rise of Southeast Asia
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations also known as ASEAN consists of ten countries tied together by history, culture, business networks and trade relationships. These nations – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam – viewed as a single entity would rank as the world’s seventh-largest economy.
Altogether, ASEAN has a combined gross domestic product of $1.9 trillion and a population of nearly 600 million people. According to the International Economic Bulletin, the average per-capita income keeps on increasing reaching China’s.
The rapid growth of the region has recently attracted significant investment in tech startups. Several venture capitals (VC) have already launched funds specifically tailored to the region, most popular examples are 500 Durians by 500 Startups.
Unicorn Startups in Southeast Asia
One may argue that the startup activity in Southeast Asia is relatively small, but it is undeniable that the region is home to a few unicorns:
SEA, formerly known as Garena – based in Singapore.
Go-Jek, on-demand-two-ride-hailing startup – based in Indonesia.
Grab, the largest competitor of Uber in the region – based in Singapore.
Traveloka, travel booking startup – based in Indonesia.
Tokopedia, e-commerce marketplace – based in Indonesia.
Venture Capital in Southeast Asia
CB Insights conducted a research where they tracked firms investing most actively in the region. The table below illustrates the top five most active tech investors in SE Asia.
It turns out that, US-based 500 Startups invested in the most startups in comparison to any investor in the region. 500 Durians have been active in SE Asia for several years with two separate funds – 500 Durians I and 500 Durians II.
Perhaps their most notable investment is Carousell (Singapore based), which has raised $42M in total.
Second place goes to East Ventures. In 2017 they raised their fifth fund! Some of East Venture’s most popular investments are in TechinAsia (Singapore), Traveloka(Indonesia) and Tokopedia’s seed and Series C rounds (Indonesia).
It is interesting to note that both Golden Gate Ventures and CyberAgent Ventures invested in the same number of companies since 2012. Golden Gate Ventures’ most notable investment is in Carousell, while Japan’s based CyberAgent Ventures has invested in Thailand’s e-commerce platform Acommorce.
Fifth place is shared between China’s Wavemaker Partners and Gobi Partners.