PE-VC investors see steady valuations, improved exit environment in 2021: DSA Survey

Investors at a meeting. Photo: Getty Images Pro via DealStreetAsia

As businesses continue to reel from an economic slowdown in Asia, startup valuations have come down this year and are expected to stay comparatively flat in 2021, shows DealStreetAsia’s maiden survey of 50 private equity and venture capital investors in Asia.

The survey was conducted by DealStreetAsia – Research & Analytics in the first three weeks of July and seeks to shed light on how investors view valuations, fundraising and markets, among other factors, in Southeast Asia and the larger Asia region in 2020 and 2021. 

In managing their existing portfolios, close to two-thirds of investors said they have allocated additional capital. The survey further indicates that private equity firms have a higher appetite for new investments compared to venture capital firms both this year and in 2021.

Amid the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic, startup investments only weakened slightly in dollar terms as investors continued to expand their portfolio. This is consistent with our review of startup fundraising activities in the first and second quarters.

More than two-thirds of investors said securing an exit is harder to achieve this year compared to last year. A turnaround, however, is expected in 2021.

Vietnam, the first country in Southeast Asia to lift social and economic lockdowns, ranks highest among markets where investors are most confident about placing bets in 2020. The country is followed by the largest consumer market in the region, Indonesia, and the second-largest consumer market in Asia, India.

The confidence ranking for the top three preferred markets stays the same for 2021 but is accompanied by a notable improvement in perception about China.

Access Investor Sentiment Survey: Cautious Optimism for 2021 for full findings. This report is available to DealStreetAsia – Research & Analytics subscribers.

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.