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Here’s an opportunity map by country for startups in Southeast Asia

Mittal is a senior manager of business development at SingTel-SoftBank InnoVentures.


A few weeks ago I put together a high-level Internet opportunity map for Southeast Asia. Based on feedback, readers wanted country-level opportunity maps. In this article, I cover Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines. The Philippine map is based on the Philippines Startup Report. This is a first stab at these maps and the maturity levels are based on input from various experts in each market. Eventually, they will find its way on the World Startup Wiki. The company named in each box represents the market leader or an emerging startup in the space.

startup opportunity map southeast asia
A few interesting takeaways from the map:

  • 70 percent of categories have global players, another 70 percent contain local firms, and 40 percent have regional companies. Is there an opportunity for aggregation or region-focused plays?
  • Only news, gaming, online retail, rentals, travel, and transportation have all three types: local, regional and global players. Are these the hottest opportunities in Southeast Asia?
  • Communication, search, blogging, music, social discovery, events, and business networking only have global or international players. Are these the toughest nuts to crack, requiring real disruption or a vertical focus?
  • Community, local discovery, ticketing, and auto have only local players. Is there an opportunity to aggregate these into a regional level platform?
  • There are no categories with only regional players

(See: Tech in Asia’s stories on the World Startup Report)

The views in this article are mine combined with views of various individuals and do not reflect our employers’ opinions.

Thanks to the following for their contribution and help reaching out to their network: Ron Hose, Andy Zain, William Wijaya, Tyovan Ari, Calvin Kizana, Khaileen Ng, Karamjit Singh, Ngeow Wu Han, Matt Walters, Tee Suraphongchai, Tran Vinh Quang, Bowei Gai, and Terence Lee.

(Editing by Terence Lee, Steven Millward and Josh Horwitz)

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