2020 won’t just be the beginning of a new year, it is also the start of a new decade. In the world of tech, a decade may as well be a lifetime—indeed for some companies, it may be their entire lifetime. Emerging trends in Southeast Asia’s startup environment include a move to more eco-friendly or green companies. Companies being socially responsible and giving back to their communities are also on-trend right now.  

As technology continues to evolve and become more accessible, companies all over the region are pouncing on the opportunity to grow and develop with an eye on Industry 4.0, while maintaining a firm grasp on corporate responsibility. 

As a new cohort of entrepreneurs prepares to do battle in the ever-changing business landscape, we take a look at five early-stage startups from Southeast Asia that we expect will take 2020 by storm.

We explored the Singapore startups to watch out for in the second half of 2019

Make sure you have your finger on the pulse of these emerging trends in the region by keeping a watch of these companies.

Cropital, Philippines 

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Filipino farmers bringing in the corn harvest. Image courtesy of Facebook

How do you grow a farming business in the Philippines? You invest more Cropital, of course! It may sound like the sort of corny joke you would expect from a Christmas cracker, but in the case of this crowdfunding platform from Quezon City, it is no laughing matter. 

Set up in an effort to eradicate poverty in the local farming community, Cropital allows people all over the globe to invest in Filipino farms. The money raised is spent on the purchase of farming equipment and resources needed to run the farms that have signed up, in an efficient manner. When the crops have been harvested and sold, funders receive their capital back and a share of the profits. 

This socio-economic model allows investors to gain and small agriculturists to raise their standard of living on one platform. 

RESYNC, Singapore 

With climate change making global headlines, Singaporean company RESYNC is ready for the new era of renewable energy. The company’s investment in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to aid in its quest for distributed renewable energy resources, shows a commitment to finding solutions to future energy issues.  

RESYNC has created a platform to manage future smart grids and ensure that resources such as solar, wind and batteries are distributed effectively with reductions in power bills for consumers. Save money and the environment together? It’s a no-brainer and why RESYNC is onto a winner. 

Duithape, Indonesia

In a country where over 76% of adults were “unbanked” in 2016, Duithape recognised an opportunity to assist the marginalised majority to move away from cash-only payments and give them access to e-payments. In the first half of 2019, Duithape distributed approximately 494 million Rupiah through their social impact. 

By providing safe, accountable e-payments to a growing number of Indonesians, Duithape looks likely to go from strength to strength in the coming year. 

AN VUI, Vietnam 

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The An Vui mobile app

Passenger transportation around the world has been changing rapidly since the introduction of ride-sharing and online hailing. AN VUI is taking this further by helping transport businesses move into the technology space. 

The management solution assists in the organisation of the passenger transport company by providing ticketing and accountant management software on a mobile phone. AN VUI’s growth for 2020 is expected to continue in an upward trend, making them a definite one to watch in Vietnam. 

Web2Ship, Malaysia 

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Web2Ship logistics. Image courtes of Facebook

All over the world, people find they are time-poor. They don’t want to waste any free time they have doing mundane tasks–like queueing at the post office. If you are busy selling goods online, your time is even more limited, so how do you manage to get your products to your customer?

Enter Web2Ship. This Malaysian firm considers itself the “Booking.com for logistics.” Offering fantastic discounted and cross-border shipping services, it takes the pain out of monetary gain for many small traders. Making trading easier for the already booming online industry in Malaysia will make Web2Ship a firm favourite with businesses in the area. 

As we progress through 2020, we are confident that these five companies will go on to bigger and better things. Their starting points, though in very diverse sectors, have all been successful breeding grounds in countries that place serious emphasis on tech. Their potential for success is, in part, due to their commitment to solve pain points in their home countries. Finding the opportunities to improve the lives of their customers while making a profit are the primary driving factors. With shrewd investors and some savvy people at their helm, these companies are set to prosper in the new decade.  

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