Top 10 Funding News that Rocked the Southeast Asian Startups in 2019
This year, we have seen several funding announcements that are significant not only to the parties involved but also to the ecosystem where they are based. It could be the amount that the startup raised (Unicorn! Decacorn! Hippogriff!) or the investor behind it (Somebody famous, such as a boxer or an actor). Here are the top 10 funding news that rocked Southeast asia startup ecosystem as compored by e27:
1. Edutech Graduates to the Next Level
2019 was an exciting year for Indonesian edutech sector as three of the leading startups in the market —Ruangguru, Zenius, Edukasyon, and HarukaEdu— announced their later stage funding rounds. Even better: Ruangguru raised up to US$150 million, a number which is said to be the highest ever raised by an edutech startup in the market.
Notable funding announcements include investment into startups such as Kredivo, MyCash, iSTOX, PayMongo, or Crowde. As the market becomes more open and receptive towards fintech innovation, investors are also becoming more confident in Southeast Asia’s ability to turn into a fintech hub.
3. Property Tech
The most interesting part about property tech investment in 2019 was the variety of it, such as ShweProperty in emerging market in Myanmar, Travelio in mature market in Indonesia, hotel and hospitality sector such as RedDoorz, and property marketplaces such as 99co.
4. Automotive e-Commerce Platforms
Automotive e-commerce platforms in Southeast Asia are also gaining popularity among investors, such as Carsome.
5. Investing in Coffee Shops
Since the end of 2018, VC firms in Southeast Asia started to invest in non-tech companies such as Alpha JWC Ventures’s investment in Kopi Kenangan, East Ventures’s investment in Fore Coffee, and Intudo Ventures’s investments in Artotel and R Fitness. The trend reached a new height in 2019 with Kopi Kenangan raising an extended Series A funding round from US celebrities and athletes such as Jay-Z and Serena Williams.
6. Emerging Market is where the Actions are Happening
Investors are getting increasingly interested in the emerging market as they invested in Vietnamese startups such as Propzy or Rever and Burmese startups such as Kone Si or ShweProperty.
7. Investing for the Environment
Luckily, investors are growing more interested in investing in companies with a strong social impact. Think CricketOne or Bambooloo. In fact, Big Idea Ventures launched a fund that focusses on investing in the development of meat alternatives.
8. Giving Birth to New Unicorn
Singapore saw the birth of its latest unicorn when Trax announced its Series D funding round, while Indonesia saw its fifth unicorn in OVO.
9. Healthtech, Medtech Investment
One of the latest was an investment in Zenyum, a dentistry startup, and an investment into AWAK, a wearable dialysis device.
10. Securing New Funds
Many VC and CVC firms were also announcing their new funds in 2019, such as EV Growth’s fund. While most funds remain sector-agnostic, some funds chose to focus on a particular vertical, such as New Protein or women entrepreneurs.
Source : e27
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