Southeast Asia is proving itself to be a rising star in the world of entrepreneurship and creative business models, while venture capitalists and angel investors from all over are starting to take notice.
Not too long ago, tech startups were almost exclusively based in and funded from the United States – especially the San Francisco Bay and Silicon Valley areas.
Nowadays, American and European investors are willing to look beyond their own borders, and venture capital groups here in Asia are growing more adventurous. Even the Chinese government has launched its own VC fund.
Some of the biggest success stories in ASEAN haven’t come from completely new types of companies, but instead from entrepreneurs who took already proven formulas from one place and made them work elsewhere.
Concepts such as real estate portals, online stores, taxis that can be booked via an app, and social networking platforms are definitely not new. The practice of taking an idea and implementing it in another part of the world is sometimes called the “time machine of innovation”.
It works like this: a startup company has proven itself in the United States and/or Europe. It’s typical that around 3 years later, the idea makes its way to China, South Korea and Japan. Two more years after that, a similar concept comes to Southeast Asia.
By taking a creative business idea and bringing it to the ASEAN region in less than the standard five years, you’ll be first in line for funding and have a head start on the inevitable competition.
It’s not just mindless copying though. Doing things this way requires heavy research, a keen eye for great startup concepts, acting quickly on opportunities, and perfect execution.
Without further ado, here are the 15 most heavily funded startups in Southeast Asia. Most have achieved success exactly through the process described above.