Southeast Asia’s startup scene shows increased investment potential

The Southeast Asian startup scene presents increased investment potential as the pandemic has changed long-term dynamics, said one of the region’s leading venture capital firms.

Despite its “devastating” impact, the recession has provided “many opportunities” for startups in the region, Roderick Purwana, managing partner at Indonesia-based East Ventures, told CNBC on Monday, noting that he has seen many new businesses. formed during this period.

In particular, new businesses related to digital adoption, including education technology, healthcare technology and financial technology, have been a true success story, he said.

With any crisis, it also brings opportunities. We have seen it not only in this part of the world.

Roderick purwana

Managing Partner, East Ventures

“With any crisis, it also brings opportunities. We have seen that not only in this part of the world, “Purwana told” Street Signs Asia. “

“We’ve seen some of the biggest or most successful tech start-ups or tech companies being founded during this time,” he said, citing past historical recessions like the dot-com crash and the financial crisis of 2008. “I think this won’t be. different”.

Purwana’s comments come as Southeast Asian startups have been gaining ground on the world stage.

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

Ahead of the announcement, Purwana said that valuations have become “a bit frothy” due to the recent uproar in the region. Still, he said they remain “reasonable” overall, adding that it is “definitely positive” to see local names now entering public markets.

That includes public listings through Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs), which have gained popularity throughout the region and around the world. Last month, regional ride-sharing giant Grab announced it would go public on the Nasdaq in a nearly $ 40 billion merger with SPAC.

“We see SPACs as an opportunity for some of these technology companies to take advantage of public markets in the United States,” he said. “There will probably be some correction in the noise. But in the long run, I think it’s there to stay. “

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