8 Predictions for the Southeast Asian Tech Scene – A Checkpoint. Plus 3 New Predictions for Indonesia

Earlier this year (Feb 2018), we released our 8 predictions for the SEA tech scene over the next 24 months (i.e. till early 2020). Of the 8 predictions, more than half have already come true or are on track.

Our updated report, released in conjunction with our premier tech conference, Wild Digital Indonesia 2018, reviews these predictions together with 3 new predictions for Indonesia.

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Southeast Asian (SEA) Predictions

Over the next 24 months

By the end of 2019, SEA will have 460m internet users and $10b raised in private tech funding.

December 2018 update: On track

  • Internet penetration is on track, with 350m internet users
  • Tech funding in 2018 has reached $9.1b, 50% more compared to 2017.

First Decacorn ($10b+ valuation) will emerge from SEA.

December 2018 update: On track

  • Yes, Grab is now SEA’s first decacorn.

A new Unicorn will be built in less than 3 years from launch.

December 2018 update: Unknown

  • No sign of this yet but startups valued from $10mil to $100mil are raising funds at record volumes in 2018, compared to the last 3 years.

Chinese companies remain the largest source of tech funding.

December 2018 update: On track

  • Yes, China is emerging to be the largest source of funding in SEA.

At least 2 more IPOs in excess of $500m.

December 2018 update: Unknown

  • There have been no new IPOs in SEA in 2018.

Consolidation of the SEA tech landscape – there will be 2 acquisitions in excess of $500m.

December 2018: On track

  • In March 2018, Grab acquired Uber’s operations in SEA, with Uber taking a 27.5% stake in Grab.

Corporates and governments in SEA will invest at least $1bn in the startup ecosystem.

December 2018 update: On track

  • Yes. Corporates such as Toyota, Hyundai and Microsoft have invested in SEA startups. Government participation has also been increasing.

At least one SEA country will accept/issue a virtual currency as a legal tender.

December 2018 update: Unknown

  • Virtual currencies are only legal to trade. However, Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore have regulatory frameworks in place. Thailand is also mapping out its own central bank digital currency.

Predictions for Indonesia

Over the next 24 months

Prediction 1: 
Funding in Indonesia will exceed funding in Singapore
Prediction 2: 
At least 2 unicorns from the fintech and healthtech sectors
Prediction 3: 
Indonesia will have the most startups worth >$100mil

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