Here are the 10 themes to watch for in SE Asia this year

Photo by Muhd Asyraaf on Unsplash

2020 was a year of chaos and ambiguity sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was also a year when sectors such as fintech, health tech and edtech prospered, even as traditional sectors such as tourism and transport were decimated.

Asia, which bore the brunt of the first wave of the pandemic, has shown surprising resilience, borne out by its performance in the private equity, venture capital and M&A arenas. Green shoots have started to emerge, with China and Vietnam already posting positive GDP growth in the last quarter.

2021 is already shaping up to be a year of rebound and renewal, especially with global COVID-19 vaccinations already being rolled out to limit infections. 

What sets SE Asia apart, in particular, is the structural tailwind in its sails, such as a young and vibrant region flanked by an economically dynamic market, growing middle class, sizable smartphone penetration and large untapped potential to adopt digitalisation solutions. 

The DealStreetAsia – Research & Analytics team has put together the 10 themes we expect to play out during the year in Southeast Asia. These include:

  • A quest for consolidation among the region’s unicorns and soonicorns
  • Asia’s regulators take a stronger antitrust stance amid ongoing talks of mergers and acquisitions in the region
  • Southeast Asia adopts India’s tried-and-tested unicorn business models
  • The SPAC fever rages on and spreads to SE Asia
  • Digital banking finds new avenues beyond Singapore

This report is available exclusively to DealStreetAsia – Research & Analytics subscribers.


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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.