Venture capital investments in Southeast Asian start-ups jumped to $3.16 billion over the first eight months of 2018, up 16 percent from $2.72 billion in 2017, the Singapore Venture Capital and Private Equity Association said on Monday.
Technology start-ups are sprouting up across Southeast Asia – home to about 640 million people – as companies seek to offer a range of services including ride-hailing, online payments and e-commerce, with consumers rapidly coming online, Reuters reported.
Southeast Asia’s internet economy is estimated to exceed $200 billion by 2025 from an estimated $50 billion in 2017, according to a Google-Temasek report published in December.
Companies have attracted investment from local VCs such as Golden Gate Ventures and Vertex Ventures, along with global technology giants including Alibaba, Tencent Holdings, Alphabet Inc’s Google and Japan’s SoftBank Group.
“Gradually, the lines are blurring between venture capital and private equity,” said Thomas Lanyi, chairman of the association.
Education, technology and healthcare sectors have been attracting huge investment from VC and private equity funds.
Singapore-headquartered Grab and Indonesia’s Go-Jek have raised billions of dollars in funding as they transform into regional consumer technology groups, after starting out as ride-hailing firms, while e-commerce companies have also mopped up huge amounts in the last few years.