Long gone are the days when unicorn startups in Southeast Asia were considered to be as rare as, well… Unicorns.

Now, we have companies competing against the global players, with valuations well over a billion dollars.

With increasing internet penetration and wealth in the region, it is likely this list will continue to rise. Markets like The Philippines and Thailand are already starting to produce behemoths in the startup space, so we’re excited to see what comes next.

Here’s a list of the startup unicorns in Southeast Asia

Unicorn startup
Image courtesy of Flickr

Unicorn 1: Grab

Valued at an insane US$6 billion, Grab has fast outgrown their roots as GrabTaxi and an uber copycat. They’ve expanded their offerings into e-payments and are currently expanding furiously throughout Southeast Asia. They just entered Cambodia, growing their presence to 8 markets in the region.

Their latest round of funding was a record for Southeast Asia, with a US$2 billion dollar injection led by China’s Didi and Softbank.

Unicorn 2: SEA

The startup formerly known as Garena is now the second largest startup in the region with a valuation of US$4 billion. SEA entered eCommerce through Shopee, which has grown into one of the largest players in the region.

Their growth has been slower and they’ve not been as heavily funded as the others, but that just means their valuation is most likely based on their revenue.

Unicorn 3: Lazada

Rocket Internet’s Lazada comes in at three after Alibaba poured in over US$2 billion into the company to expand their presence in Southeast Asia. Their tie-up with Taobao has helped expand their reach and offering significantly to help them grow.

The startup’s current valuation is estimated to be at US$3.2 billion, but with eCommerce still growing, this might soon change.

Unicorn 4: Go-Jek

With over half a billion in funding and a valuation of US$3 billion as of May 2017, it isn’t hard to see why Grab and Uber are the ones trying to keep up with Go-Jek in Indonesia.

From the humble beginnings of a transport app, Go-Jek has evolved into a service that provides everything on-demand and the most popular method for cashless payments in Indonesia.

Unicorn 5: Traveloka

Boasting a valuation estimated to be US$2 billion, Traveloka is the new regional travel giant out of Indonesia.

Traveloka’s recent half a billion round of funding has put them at the forefront of the tourism and travel space, so we’re expecting great things to come from them.

And the list continues

There are likely to be other unicorns lurking in the mist and/or our research may have missed a few. If you know of any from Southeast Asia, drop us a comment or send us a message here.

To read more articles like this one, visit our Voices section.

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