Tech startups are referred to as the engine of change for any economy. Therefore, they are not just catalysts, they serve as the engine of growth. It is through the forward-thinking and innovative approach of startups that power the economy forward. Therefore, the growth of the startup landscape in Southeast Asia is highly promising. In this article, we’ll take a dive into the latest news of four highlighted startups in 2022 that are making an impact in the region.
An Overview of Southeast Asia's Startup Landscape
A report by Deal Street Asia reveals that climate tech investments in Southeast Asia exceeded US$1 billion within the first 11 months of 2022. This marks a major uptick from the previous years, especially when compared to the total amount of private funding in 2021 (US$607 million).
The rapid growth in the startup landscape isn’t equal in all parts of Asia, particularly in India and China. For the latter two countries, there is a slowdown in investments. It pales in comparison to the performance of the ASEAN markets, wherein the ASEAN Investment Report 2022 cites that the growth of VC investments has been consistent since the 2010s. From 2015 to 2022, there has been an expansion of a factor of 2.6 in Southeast Asia’s VC investments.
The reason for the promising startup growth is in the macroeconomic performance, which has attracted regional and international investors.
What are the Latest on the Following 4 Tech Startups in Southeast Asia in 2022?
1. Carsome (Malaysia)
In June, Carsome launched the largest experience centre in Malaysia – the Carsome PJ Automall – to date and the first that comes with electric vehicle charging stations. In its quest to deliver a hassle-free car buying experience, the company launched Automall to enable prospect buyers to experience cars on-site and be able to process loan applications at the spot, too. While e-commerce platforms have made it easier for car buyers to compare their options, some aspects of the auto buying experience – such as test driving and viewing of the unit – to be performed in person. This project also included on-site services, such as car detailing and tinting for customer’s newly bought cars, and included electric vehicle charging stations.
In August, Carsome also unveiled that it has reached 18,000 cars sold per month during the 7th year of its operation. It showcased the tremendous growth of this tech startup, which has expanded from a single centre in Malaysia to operating over 20 centres in less than two years.
2. Voyager Innovations (Philippines)
Like Carsome, 2022 was also a significant year for Philippine tech startup, Voyager Innovations, the fintech company behind end-to-end money platform PayMaya and neobank Maya Bank. The company was officially recognised as hitting unicorn status after raising US$210 million. The funding also helped to boost the valuation of the tech startup to almost US$1.4 Billion.
The new valuation for Voyager Innovations came after it attracted multiple investors, including Singapore-based investment firm, SIG Venture Capital. The company revealed it will utilise the funding to deliver new services for the neobank, which includes savings and credit offerings. Specifically, Voyager Innovations wanted to expand their service offerings in PayMaya for consumer and enterprise customers.
3. Ninja Van (Singapore)
In 2022, Ninja Van expanded its Southeast Asia’s logistics solutions to deliver higher efficiency for SMEs, which is part of its US$100 million pledge in delivering better logistics solutions in the region. Since their launch, Ninja Van’s services have been available across multiple areas in Southeast Asia and expanded into other business areas, such as inventory management and payment solutions.
The Ninja Van group also revealed that they have invested US$50 million toward automating the parcel sorting in nine key parcel sorting hubs in Southeast Asia. Therefore, their clients can expect up to 50% improved operational efficiency across these hubs. The rollout of the automation process is targeted for completion in 2024.
4. Sky Mavis (Vietnam)
Sky Mavis experienced some setbacks in 2022 after the infamous Ronin hack that compromised many user accounts. As a result, Sky Mavis has teamed up with Google Cloud to deliver a more secure blockchain network for its users. The tech startup hopes to tap the secure and environmentally-friendly infrastructure of the Google Cloud to enhance its blockchain network security.
This partnership with Google Cloud is not just intended to improve cyber security measures. It is also the startup’s vision to expand the gaming universe as it aims to deliver more immersive and interconnected gaming experience for its users.
How Flexible Office Space Providers Support Startups
It’s clear that the startups in Southeast Asia are growing by the day. It has given rise to individuals with a vision to pursue that vision and build their own company from scratch, with the help of private investors. A startup business can largely benefit from a flex space provider. But how exactly do they do this?
• Flexibility of contracts– One of the best benefits that a startup business can get from a flexible workspace provider is the flexibility of the leasing contract. Unlike with traditional office leasing wherein businesses are tied to several years of contract, flexible space providers offer more room for flexibility. You can rent a flexible office for as long or as short as your start up business needs. It also gives you flexibility to use only the office space you need, which gives you more scalability depending on the growth rate of your startup.
• Cost-efficiency – Startups don’t have the same access to funding as many large corporations do. Therefore, the flexible leasing opportunity brings higher cost-efficiency to startup owners.
• Opportunity for networking – Sharing the office space with other established companies and startups – big or small – provides one of the lesser-known benefits to using a flexible office: networking. It gives you the opportunity to meet other startup owners and like-minded professionals. It could unlock that one opportunity you seek that will get your startup to the next level.
Southeast Asian countries have been well-positioned to become the hub of innovation in the region (and all of Asia) for decades now. But with the growing number of startups in Southeast Asia and the promising investment growth in 2022, it seems that it may have just cemented its identity as the next startup destination in the region.
Flexible office space providers play a critical role in enabling unicorn startup businesses to thrive and compete in a rapidly changing business landscape. They can be the drivers for success for these startups looking for a space to collaborate, come up with new ideas, and compete. Every startup owner’s ability to discern barriers and overcome them will be critical, especially during the initial phase of development. The benefits offered by flexible office spaces mentioned above are a proof that budget and limited personnel is not a hurdle to transforming your startup vision into a reality.