Southeast Asia Start-up Scene Gains Rapid Venture Capital Investments

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The start-up scene in Southeast Asia gains momentum as hundreds of millions of residents gain access to the Internet. Many business owners in Southeast Asia have moved directly into mobile technology and sidestepped desktop devices completely.

The emerging ecommerce growth is creating an irresistible reason for venture capitalists to be actively funding viable start-up projects. Venture capitalists are taking notice and making huge investments in start-up companies like Singapore’s Redmart and Softbank’s investment in the Philippines. Much of the investment interest is stemming from Japan but American and UK investors are also beginning to take notice.

While most industrialized nations are still focused on large, established companies where employees work day in, and day out, the emerging nations of Southeast Asia are fully embracing the financial freedom that Internet start-ups offer. Nations like Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand are building and expanding high-speed Internet infrastructure which allows over 600 million people access to technology that was once unavailable. Communication channels are innovative and mobile-based to avoid government control, regional isolation, and expensive resources such as power, internet access, and commercial rent. The results are lean start-ups of all shapes and business models.

While the Southeast Asia start-up scene is relatively young, it is being backed by credible programs and business initiatives. Many global entrepreneurial incubators have landed in Southeast Asia igniting new concepts and bringing ventures to market. Among them are Start-up Weekend and the Ayala Technology Business Incubator Network. The entrepreneurial community is built on helping one another succeed and has helped Southeast Asia entrepreneurs gain traction through conferences, media highlights, and meetups. This global spotlight began to accelerate in 2011 and is giving the start-up scene in Southeast Asia even more attention today. Some outstanding start-ups to highlight:

  • Lenddo, a peer-to-peer lending service, which raised $14 million through a network of well-known US investors and is currently valued at $28 million.
  • Metro Deal, a Philippines online shopping mall, which raised zero in start-up capital but is gaining attention in its growth phase. The company is estimated to be worth over $30 million.

Without the help of overseas angel investors, Southeast Asian start-ups would remain unknown. While the local economy struggles and lacks excess cash to invest in new business, Internet and mobile technologies continue to allow an entrepreneur to disrupt the traditional market cycle and seek start-up success on his or her own. As compared to the larger start-up landscape, Southeast Asia is not a major player. The notable characteristics are how fast the start-up scene is growing and how it is coming to market. Inspiring entrepreneurial stories are happening at a lightening pace and are innovating in ways industrialized nations cannot even imagine.  We from Logo BKK are here to help start ups and we want to help them design the logo they need to win in this interesting market

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