For our latest highlights on the Asia-US tech landscape, we took a closer look at South East Asia and those of you who are fans of Age of Empires (or other games of conquest) will love watching how this region’s growth unfolds!
1. Asia hasn’t slowed down in transportation sector investments.
Though Uber is fighting many difficult battles, the ride-sharing and the transportation industry forges on. Alibaba is in talks to invest in Grab’s $1.4M round alongside Softbank. Read more at Bloomberg
2. Which self-driving car startup will come out on top?
Andrew Ng, who founded the Google Brain Project and was most recently Baidu’s AI Chief Scientist announced his joining the Board of Drive.ai, a self-driving tech startup that recently raised $50M. Read more here.
3. Investors Shift Focus From China to Indonesia
Billionaire VC Tim Draper announced a shift in focus from China to Indonesia. Watch his Bloomberg interview below on why.
“They don’t have very good banking services. So they have an opportunity to use bitcoin and make that as their currency,” he said in a Bloomberg Television interview with Haidi Lun and Rishaad Salamat from Jakarta. “Suddenly, we’ve got this major opportunity that’s not going to be around for those countries that already have strong infrastructure.” Read more
We also expect to see more micro-VC/early stage funds pop up focusing on opportunities in the SE Asia region, such as the launch of Intudo Ventures by early investors of Paypal, SpaceX, Palantir.
Citing Indonesia as one of Southeast Asia’s most promising startup ecosystems, Intudo Ventures’ debut fund has more than $10 million to invest into about 12 to 16 early-stage Indonesian startups, as well as joint ventures with overseas companies that want to break into the market.” Read more
4. Corporations (tech, e-commerce and other giants) are also investing heavily into SE Asia.
In addition to contemplating investing in Grab, Alibaba doubled down in Lazada, top SE Asia e-commerce platform, investing $1Bn and bringing its stake in Lazada up to 83% as the region awaits Amazon’s entry.
“Obviously this allows Alibaba to expand its global footprint, giving them unrivaled access to users,” Bittner said in an interview. “E-commerce penetration in Southeast Asia is only roughly 3 percent, so the partnership is a great step change.” Read more
5. But you’d be a fool to think only tech investors are hot for SE Asia.
7–11 and H&M both unveiled its first stores in Vietnam in the past few months. In our recent newsletters, we’ve also shared how Unilever, Honeywell, among others have been putting down their stakes In SE Asia. Are these the opportunities you will regret having missed in 3 years’ time? Don’t miss out by subscribing to our newsletter. 😉