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Introduction

Established in 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional intergovernmental organization that comprises ten member countries-Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The organization represents some of the largest economies in the world, and the countries have a combined GDP of over $9.3 trillion (USD). The thriving economies are home to exciting and highly valued startups, which, when analyzed, can lead to insights about the most promising sectors and countries in this dynamic region. 

Analysis  

Startups considered for this analysis are unlisted non-government entities that have raised more than $100 million (USD) of capital to date. Also included are startups which have been acquired but whose identity has largely been intact and subsidiaries of private/public companies. Overall, 71 startups have been considered for this analysis. The sector and industry classification is based on Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS). The classification is subjective and has been made considering the sector/industry that the startups closely resemble.

A vast majority of the startups considered for this analysis have raised funding within 10 rounds, 94% of them. Grab has had 31 funding rounds, the highest among them. Each of the three startups- Gojek, Tokopedia and Carousell have raised funding in 11 rounds. 

Singaporean startups have attracted the lion’s share of funding- $21.9 billion (USD), which is close to twice the amount raised by Indonesian startups. Startups in Indonesia have secured the second-highest amount of funding, $11.1 billion (USD), which constitutes 29.5% of the total capital raised. Malaysia and the Philippines based startups have attracted a similar amount of funds- $1.4 billion (USD) and $1.5 billion (USD), respectively. Capital raised by startups in the remaining countries -Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand, constitute 4.4% of the total.

The industrial and the consumer discretionary sector constitute 74.6% of the funds raised, which amounts to nearly $28 billion (USD). The highest share of the funds has flowed to the startups in the industrial sector -$16.1 billion (USD) or 42.8% of the total. Information technology startups have raised $3.8 billion (USD), approximately 2 times more than the startups in the communication services sector. Funding towards the other sectors-financials, healthcare, energy, utilities and materials together constitute 7.2% of the total.

Fourteen of the seventy-one startups considered for this analysis belong to Indonesia. The maximum number of startups (37) are based in Singapore, which roughly accounts for 52% of the total. There are an identical number of startups based in Thailand and the Philippines- four each. The remaining twelve startups are from Malaysia, Myanmar and Vietnam. Overall the consumer discretionary and information technology sectors have identical numbers of startups- twenty each. The communication services and industrial sector are ranked third and fourth based on the number of startups -with seven and six startups, respectively. 

The top 30 startups have together raised nearly $32 billion (USD), which constitutes 85% of the total funding raised by all the startups.

Conclusion

Among the ASEAN countries, Singapore is the hottest destination for startups, which has been ranked number one in terms of the total funding raised and in terms of the number of startups. It is also home to the most valuable startup in this region- the food delivery giant-Grab, which has pushed the industrial sector to the top spot as the sector with the highest funding. Overall, ASEAN startups are a force to reckon with in the dynamic global economy. 

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Rajan writes about the startup ecosystem on VCBay. He is a Master of Business Finance graduate from XIM University and has cleared CFA's Level II exam. Rajan is passionate about data viz and business journalism.

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