Southeast Asia’s billion-dollar club

The region is home to 35 unicorns and counting, with fintech and e-commerce companies having raised the most funds, so far. With the public markets taking notice of the sector’s vast potential, 2022 could promise more listings in the line-up.

A version of this feature was published in FinanceAsia's December 2021 magazine.

Southeast Asia’s start-ups are on the rise.

In the summer of 2021, car marketplace firm, Carsome, became Malaysia’s first unicorn, while e-commerce site Bukalapak, listed in what remains Indonesia’s biggest IPO to date. Singapore’s Grab and FinAccel meanwhile, are two firms waiting in the wings, eyeing year-end special purpose acquisition company SPAC deals.

“The start-up ecosystem has come full circle. We’ve gone from an environment of young start-ups to those pushing for growth and ending up as billion-dollar companies,” said Vishal Harnal, managing partner at 500 Southeast Asia,...

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