Partner content in association with Asia Partners

SE Asia will be home to 59 billion-dollar tech firms by 2029. Watch Asia Partners explain

Photo: Greg Rosenke / Unsplash.com

In 2019, a year before COVID-19 roiled financial markets across the globe, private equity firm Asia Partners predicted that Southeast Asia would be home to 35 billion-dollar tech companies by 2029. That meant adding 20 such firms, to the existing 15, in the span of a decade.

Only two years since the firm made the forecast in its first-ever Internet Report, that target has already been surpassed. Between 2019 and 2021, Southeast Asia added 24 billion-dollar tech firms and is now home to 39 of them.

What’s more, at least 20 billion-dollar tech companies will be created between now and 2029 in the region, according to an upwardly revised estimate by Asia Partners in its 2022 Internet Report. Moreover, at least half of these 20 companies will pursue IPOs over the next decade.

“Back in 2018, when we interacted with people and 2019 when we published the report, they thought we were nuts to project 35 unicorns in the region by 2029,” Nick Nash, co-founder and managing partner of Asia Partners, said in a video presentation marking the latest version of the report. “Look at the difference that two years have made.”

Source: 2022 Internet Report by Asia Partners

In the 2019 report, Asia Partners had also projected that the region’s tech market cap would zoom by $425 billion over the next decade from $86 billion at the time.

Cut to 2021, and nearly half of that journey has already been covered. Southeast Asia’s tech companies added $209 billion to their combined market cap in 2019-21.

Most of the increase ($140 billion) was contributed by Sea Ltd., which currently has a market cap of over $160 billion. Shares of NYSE-listed Sea Ltd have surged from around $11.56 apiece in early Jan 2019 to around $261 apiece now — an over 22x increase.

The 2022 Internet report now forecasts the region’s tech market cap to reach a whopping $1.234 trillion within the next 10 years, assuming that Southeast Asia follows Greater China’s trend line.

Market cap prediction. Asia Partners’ 2022 Internet Report.

The Asia Partners report adds that Southeast Asia is the world’s fifth-largest region in terms of IPO transactions valued at $100 million, after Latin America, the US, Greater China, and Europe.

“In the next 5-10 years, Southeast Asia and Latin America will flip positions. It’s an important development and implication for how portfolio allocation should be thought about,” said Nash.

The report also sounded a few warning bells such as the shortage of growth capital. This gap widened, from an estimated $0.93 billion annual shortage to $1.1 billion now, in order for Southeast Asia to catch up with China.

Watch the full video version of the 2022 Internet Report below. A shorter executive summary version of the video can be viewed here.


The PDF version of the Asia Partners 2022 Internet Report report Southeast Asia’s Golden Age: Recovery and Rebound can be downloaded here

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.