The start-up scene in Southeast Asia shows increased investment potential


The start-up scene in Southeast Asia offers increased investment potential as the pandemic has changed the dynamics over the long term, said one of the region’s leading venture capital firms.

Despite its “devastating” impact, the downturn offered “many opportunities” for new startups in the region, Roderick Purwana, managing partner at East Ventures in Indonesia, told CNBC Monday, noting that he saw many new companies during it Time formed.

In particular, new companies related to digital adoption, including education technology, health technology and financial technology, have been a real success story, he said.

With every crisis it also brings opportunities. We haven’t only seen this in this part of the world.

Roderick Purwana

managing partner, East Ventures

“Every crisis also brings opportunities. We have not only seen that in this part of the world,” said Purwana to “Street Signs Asia”.

“We saw that some of the largest or most successful start-ups or technology companies were founded during this period,” he quoted earlier historical downturns such as the dotcom bankruptcy and the financial crisis in 2008. “I think it will be no different.”

Purwana’s comments come from the fact that the startups in Southeast Asia have gained ground on the global stage.

On Monday, the Indonesian hail giant Gojek announced that it had merged with the e-commerce player Tokopedia to form the GoTo Group. The deal is seen as a preventative move as the company prepares to go public with an estimated value of $ 35 billion to $ 40 billion.

Prior to the announcement, Purwana said reviews had gotten “a little frothy” due to recent hype in the area. Still, he said they remain “reasonable” overall, adding that it would be “definitely positive” for local names to hit public markets now.

These include public listings via SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Companies), which are becoming increasingly popular in the region and worldwide. Last month, regional giant Grab announced that it would go public on Nasdaq as part of a SPAC merger worth nearly $ 40 billion.

“We see SPACs as an opportunity for some of these tech companies to enter the US public markets,” he said. “There will likely be a correction to the noise. But in the long run I think it’s there to stay.”



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