Daily Markup #914: 500 Global’s Partner Saemin Ahn shares the opportunities and challenges in SE Asia, and what the region needs to keep growing

Photo credit: 500 Global

New year, new opportunities 

  • 500 Global Rise Report revealed that at 31.8%, Singapore is the only Rise Economy that  ranked higher than the U.S. (12.8%) in the total value of tech companies valued at US$1 billion and above as a percentage of 2022 nominal GDP.
  • While we continue to believe there is immense potential for startups to grow across Southeast Asia, Saemin (500 Global Partner) shares some of the potential challenges the startup ecosystem may face in the coming years.
  • “On the startup side, you’ll need founders that can build more traditionally durable companies who understand how to lead their team to drive profitability and innovation. On the investor side, you’ll need more sophisticated investors, especially at the growth stage, that can guide companies that may have their internal mechanics worked out, but require more pragmatic advice on successful business models.”
  • On unique opportunities in Southeast Asia, Saemin has his eye on agritech. “I think SEA has the great benefit of having industry-leading business models and management teams in the field of agritech. It is a vertical we are very bullish about, not only because of the macros, but also from the business momentum our founders are gaining and observing.”
  • How will the ongoing funding winter and pressure to become a sustainable business change how startups operate? “It will make companies more resilient. The cycle is inevitable and leads to different vintages of startups growing and maturing with unique strengths and weaknesses,” Saemin added.
  • Get the full story on e27.


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