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  • Vina Meliana

Unicorn Startups In Southeast Asia

Updated: Feb 3

Currently, the condition of startups is quite apprehensive because many have losses and have laid off employees. Just surviving is difficult enough, especially if the startup wants to achieve the unicorn.

Maybe some people are still unfamiliar with "Unicorn" because this term is close to the world of startups. A unicorn startup is one that has a valuation of one billion dollars. Furthermore, there are several factors that can cause a startup to become a unicorn quickly:

Have a Clear product

The essence of startup success is when they have a clear product to market to their audience. Startups will get big profits when the products they market can attract the market and also have high popularity.


Your startup must continue to grow to reach unicorn status. You must have a proven track record in sales, products, and the company itself.

Focus On Increasing Branding

By increasing brand awareness, you can not only make your startup more visible but also increase the likelihood that people will use your product. So the higher the interest from the customer, the higher the company's value will be.

These three factors can help you become a unicorn more easily. As a result, if these startups persevere, they will be more successful. As an example of a successful startup, Grab is a Singaporean product that became a unicorn in 2016 with a high valuation.

The popularity of this Southeast Asian startup will not fade because Grab wants to present several facilities that also have high popularity, such as Grab Food, Grab Mart, and online transportation. Because of the quality and quantity of grabs, many investors are interested in investing in a grab.

A successful startup that does not only have a unicorn but wants to grow to become a lever above it. Grab has now succeeded in becoming the first decacorn in Southeast Asia and removing the unicorn status. Grab also shows that Southeast Asian startups are not inferior to other startups because they want to grow and develop to become successful startups.

Unicorn Startups In Southeast ASIA

There are still many startups that can reach decacorns like Grab because Southeast Asia has 4,353 startups and 43 unicorns. Six out of ten countries in Southeast Asia reach a unicorn. Starting from the highest, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines and Malaysia, which have succeeded in getting the unicorn.

  • Singapore is a country with the smallest population in the world. However, Singapore managed to achieve the highest number of unicorn startups in Southeast Asia; there are 19 unicorn and 1.013 startups in Singapore.

  • Indonesia is the second unicorn contributing country after Singapore and also has a total of 2,345 startups and produced 13 unicorns.

  • Vietnam is known as a country that has the largest technology markets in the region, making Vietnam capable of producing many startups. Vietnam has 173 startups and has 4 unicorn startups.

  • Thailand not only produces beautiful culture and tourist spots but also generates a large number of startups. Thailand has over 147 startups, including three successful unicorn startups.

  • Philippines has produced 308 startups and 2 unicorn startups, Mynt and Paypal. Philippines' first unicorn, Mynt became a unicorn in November 2021, followed by Paymaya 5 months later.

  • Malaysia only has one startup, namely Carsane, which is a startup that managed to raise $1.7 billion. Despite the fact that only one startup has become a unicorn, Malaysia has produced 307 number of startups.

The number of unicorns in Southeast Asia is currently not too high and does not dominate the entire country. As a result, education is required for startups in order for them to develop and want to learn in order to grow into unicorns. So, you can learn with Gear Up, which is a startup incubator that helps thriving startup founders execute their ideas and grow.

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