Malaysia’s Next Unicorn? It’s All About Connectivity
Unicorns are startups that have seen soaring success or gained significant market traction, propelling them into mythical status due to their rarity. They are privately-owned startups with a valuation of more than $1 billion. Some examples of Unicorns are Airbnb, Instacart, Stripe, and Robinhood. A Unicorn’s worth is determined by how investors and venture capitalists believe companies will grow and evolve with time. Therefore, it all comes down to long-term forecasting. This means their valuation is not attached to their financial performance. In fact, most of these businesses rarely make any money when they first start.
Southeast Asia Has a Ton of Unicorns
More startups in Southeast Asia have achieved unicorn status in recent years, with valuations of $1 billion or more, thanks to variables such as strong private equity financing and a growing middle class. According to a Credit Suisse analysis report on SEA startups, 19 startups in the region had their valuation rise to over $1 billion in 2021 alone. The bulk of the region’s 35 unicorns are concentrated in Singapore and Indonesia, with 15 in Singapore and 11 in Indonesia.
Credit Suisse’s ranking excludes startups transitioning towards a public listing, such as the Singapore-based super app Grab. Fintech accounts for over 15% of ASEAN unicorns, while e-commerce accounts for 20%. Logistics takes 11%, and integrated Internet/technology takes up the remaining 8%. Most unicorns are consumer-focused, with a select few in the business-to-business arena. Private equity investments have outpaced public market investment for startups in the SEA region as markets continue to place a high value on ASEAN technology.
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed acceptance and migration of fintech services to digital platforms. These patterns are projected to continue in the long run due to improved convenience and cheaper costs for consumers.
The Credit-Suisse survey credited the dramatic growth in the number of ASEAN unicorns to a host of factors, including changing demographics, a burgeoning middle class, increased smartphone and data consumption, and increased private equity funding. Most of the ASEAN countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, have some of the globe’s youngest populations, implying that the area is more inclined to embrace new technologies.
Some of the SEA Unicorns are:
Razer Malaysia, valued at $4.5 billion, was named one of SEAs fastest developing technology businesses in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific Awards in 2005 and 2006. Along with being a Microsoft Certified Partner, the payment services firm also won a Merit Award for Best of E-Commerce Applications in the MSC Malaysia Asia Pacific ICT Awards.
Razer Malaysia’s physical distribution network spans 11 nations and four continents, with over 970,000 locations. Razer Malaysia continues to produce outstanding digital payment solutions and seeks to make an impact in emerging markets and the e-payment industry of the future.
Some of its products include:
- Razer Gold is an online payment system that provides digital currency which can be used to make purchases on digital products and game credits.
- Razer Pay Reloads is a prepaid mobile airtime and digital content delivery network.
- Online businesses can use Razer Merchant Services as a payment processor. Razer Malaysia also seeks to go into virtual credit card services in the future.
Carsome is Southeast Asia’s largest integrated car e-commerce marketplace. In 2021, Carsome Group, a Malaysian online used-car marketplace, raised roughly $300 million in a round of funding. The company was valued at $1.3 billion in a prior fundraising round, making it Malaysia’s first Unicorn.
The firm offers consumers and used dealerships end-to-end solutions, guaranteeing reliable, efficient, and convenient service from car inspection through the transfer of ownership to financing. Carsome currently sells about 100,000 cars per year and employs over 1,700 people across all its locations.
Grab is a Southeast Asian tech company with offices in Singapore and Indonesia. The firm also provides meal delivery and digital payment solutions through a smartphone app, alongside transportation services. Founded by 2 Malaysians in 2012 as the MyTeksi app, the company soon grew to become GrabTaxi. Adhering to the “super app” paradigm, GrabTaxi soon extended into other services. It was renamed “Grab” and relocated its base to Singapore in 2014.
Increasing Connectivity for Business Enhancement
The business landscape is quickly unfolding, and businesses need faster and more efficient connections than ever. With a burgeoning young generation, post-pandemic paradigms, and the emerging productive economy, this is the time to optimize our connectivity. A connected world will build synergies for sharing ideas and augmenting them to unleash some of the world’s greatest unicorns and decacorns.
Connectivity continues to empower many industries, enterprises, and occupations, and the dynamics of the “new normal,” such as telehealth, online learning, remote and hybrid work. Internet connection plays a critical role in helping local economies recover, whether through linking businesses and customers, assisting firms in remaining flexible and adaptable or laying the groundwork for future job creation.
Reliable internet access will aid in the creation of new economic prospects, the development of diversified talent pipelines, and the acceleration of small- and large-scale innovation.
It will also allow current firms to extend their operations or establish new sites. A connected world will also support entrepreneurs as they establish their local presence.
It will also allow current firms to extend their operations or establish new sites. A connected world will also support entrepreneurs as they establish their local presence. Enhanced connectivity that allows demand-responsive scaling will drive firms and independent innovators to expand and attract fresh talent, resulting in continued economic growth and job creation.
Streamlining Connectivity with Allo
Allo seeks to partner with communities across Malaysia to expand internet connectivity and accelerate innovation and economic growth through a range of dynamic products. We bring the connectivity the nation needs to do great things, for businesses and homes alike. Partner with us as we herald this new age of connectivity and innovation. Contact us today for more information.