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17 Start-ups Pushing Asia’s Growth Into First Place

17 startups in Asia worth Watching

Asia’s growth is leading to a new standard of economic power. Over the past two decades, Asia has dominated when it comes to starting and growing businesses. From virtual reality startups to food technology startups, Asia is on the move.

BBC News has reported that by 2023 Asia’s growth may surpass Europe and North America combined in terms of global power, based upon population size, technology advancement, military spending, and GDP.

Many of the startup companies have progressed into unicorns. Unicorns are private businesses or companies assessed at $1 billion or more. Uber, a ride-sharing service, currently leads the global valuation table at around $66 billion. However, competition is never far away.

Looking for Unicorns? Asia May Be Your Best Bet

Asia hosts a number of startup companies that have reached a value of $1 billion. Following are some of the most well-funded startup companies in Asia mentioned at CB Insights:

These 17 companies are worth watching.

  • Didi Chuxing – A powerful ride-sharing company, providing transportation services across 400 cities in China. Cheng Wei is the Co-Founder and CEO of Didi Chuxing. The company is located in Beijing. The ride-sharing company was formed from the merger of rival firms Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache. Didi Chuxing has a total disclosed funding of $14 billion.
  • Flipkart – India’s biggest online store for mobiles, fashion, electronics, appliances, books, jewelry, and more. Flipkart is located in Bangalore. The electronic commerce company was founded by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal. Kalyan Krishnamurthy has been named as the new Chief Executive Officer. Flipkart has a total disclosed funding of $4.6 billion.
  • GO-JEK – A hyper-local transport, logistics, and payments startup in Indonesia. Founded in 2010, GO-JEK aims to enhance the welfare of workers in the country’s vast informal sector. Nadiem Makarim is the CEO of GO-JEK and is said to be the man who turned the company into Indonesia’s hottest startup. Its total disclosed funding is $1.7 billion.
  • Coupang – One of the largest and fastest growing e-commerce platforms on the planet. The company is based in South Korea. Coupang has offices in Los Angeles, Seattle, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, and Silicon Valley, which makes it a global company. The company began by offering daily deals on services but has now expanded to partnering with merchants and selling physical goods. Bom Kim is the Founder and CEO of Coupang. The company has a total disclosed funding of $1.4 billion.
  • Grab – A technology company that provides a wide range of logistics and ride-hailing services. Grab’s headquarters is located in Singapore but offers service in the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Anthony Tan is the Co-Founder and CEO of Grab, formerly known as GrabTaxi. Its total disclosed funding is $1.4 billion.
  • Campaign Monitor – A heavy weight in Asia’s growth streak, this online email marketing application lets designers create, send, manage, and track branded emails for themselves and their clients. Alex Bard is the Chief Executive Officer of Campaign Monitor, located in Australia. He previously served as the Executive Vice President and General Manager of Salesforce Service Cloud. Campaign Monitor’s total disclosed funding is $251 million.
  • WeLab – A financial technology company located in Hong Kong. The company provides financing products through its online lending platforms – WeLend and Wolaidai in Hong Kong and China respectively. Simon Loong is the Founder and CEO of WeLab. WeLab’s total disclosed funding is $205 million.
  • iFlix – A subscription video-on-demand service focused on emerging markets. In Asia, its regional headquarters are based in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Currently, iFlix is available in the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Brunei, Maldives, Pakistan, Vietnam, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, Lebanon, and Sudan. The video-on-demand service has more than 5 million subscribers. Azran Osman Rani is the COO and CEO of iFlix Malaysia. He was previously the CEO of AirAsia X. Its total disclosed funding is $165 million.
  • Mercari – The biggest community-powered shopping application in Japan. Based in Tokyo, Mercari lets people easily purchase and sell second-hand items in a mobile marketplace using their smartphones. Shintaro Yamada is the President and CEO of Mercari in Tokyo, while Ryo Ishizuka is the Co-Founder and CEO of Mercari in San Francisco, USA. Its total disclosed funding is $115 million.
  • Appier – A technology company that offers next generation cross-screen solutions to advertisers around the world. Appier was launched in 2012 in Taipei, with offices in San Francisco and Singapore. Chih-Han Yu is the Founder and CEO of Appier. Before Appier, Yu founded and ran Plaxie, an independent game studio focused on creating intelligent mobile and social games. Appier’s total disclosed funding is $49 million.
  • Vend – A retail management and a cloud-based point-of-scale software platform that lets retailers run their business in-store, on-the-go, or online. Vend was developed by Vaughan Rowsell in August 2010. Alexander Fala is the CEO of Vend. It is located in New Zealand. Vala was a Trustee at Alliance Health Plus before he joined Vend. Its total disclosed funding is $48 million.
  • Zameen – The leading online real estate database that connects real estate agencies, dealers, and developers with buyers, renters, and sellers in Pakistan. The company has offices in 11 cities across Pakistan. Zameen was launched in 2006 by two brothers, Zeeshan and Imran Ali Khan. Back then, Zameen was a free-for all-website but eventually altered to a paid model. Its total disclosed funding is $31 million.
  • aCommerce – The leading eCommerce solutions provider in Southeast Asia. Located in Thailand, aCommerce helps businesses adopt a local online strategy in order to win local markets and cater to the needs of customers. Paul Srivorakul is the Group Chief Executive Officer. He is also currently the Co-Founder and Chairman of Ardent Capital, a private capital fund, accelerator, and incubator in SE Asia. aCommerce has a total disclosed funding of $29 million.
  • Tiki – The fastest-growing retail company in Vietnam. Tiki is also well-positioned to be an industry winner. It was founded in 2010, featuring more than 300,000 products in 12 categories of lifestyle, books, and electronics. Son Tron is the Founder and CEO of Tiki. Its total disclosed funding is $20 million.
  • ABC360 – ABC360 aims to become the best and largest leading professional online English lesson provider to young professionals in China. The company is located in Baguio City, Philippines. Li Jing is the Founder and CEO of ABC360. Its total disclosed funding is $15 million.
  • CloudWell – An Application Service Provider working for many verticals with a special concentration in the payments sector. CloudWell wants to bring consistent standards and interoperable regulations to payment systems. Founded in 2012 and located in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Anisul Islam is the Founder and CEO of CloudWell. Its total disclosed funding is $2 million.
  • Khmerload – One of the leading online media sites in Southeast Asia. Khmerload has a current footprint in Cambodia, Indonesia, and Myanmar. The online site has 4.2 million unique visitors a month. Vichet In is the Co-Founder and CEO of Khmerload. Its total disclosed funding is $200,000.

Asia has gained muscle when it comes to business, and companies are vying to stake their claim to this huge market. With the advancements and innovations that China and other neighboring countries offer, Asia’s growth might be claiming the number one spot.


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