Business & Economy Startups Talent remains Southeast Asian startups’ greatest challenges: Report

Talent remains Southeast Asian startups’ greatest challenges: Report




- Advertisement -

The report on Southeast Asian startups by Slush Singapore and Monk’s Hill Ventures also revealed that exits will be driven by existing unicorns


Tech industry players in Southeast Asia expressed their optimism about the industry’s prospect for growth over the next 12 to 24 months, in a new report by Slush Singapore and Monk’s Hill Ventures about Southeast Asian startups.

Based on survey of over 100 players in six countries, the report revealed the moments that had defined the Southeast Asian startup ecosystem in 2017, which includes Grab’s US$2 billion funding round from Didi Chuxing and Softbank. In the same month, Tokopedia also raised US$1.1 billion.

The report also highlighted acquisitions as the dominant method of exits in the region, which has hiked upwards for the third year in a row. Only nine Southeast Asian startup were publicly listed in 2017 while 155 were acquired; this trend is also expected to continue in 2018.

- Advertisement -

Already home to eight unicorn startups, which are divided evenly between Singapore and Indonesia, these unicorn companies are also believed to be the driving force for any upcoming exits in the region.

“The region is also growing more integrated. As Southeast Asia moves closer to becoming a common market, governments are encouraging their enterprises to collaborate. Just as intra-trade is increasing in the region, cross-border deals are on the rise,” the report said.

Also Read: 3 startups shaping AI in Southeast Asia

The challenges

When it comes to talents, 90 per cent of respondents believed that skills gap is a “major issue” for the Southeast Asian tech industry.

The report explained that while there is a “great deal” of talent in the region, the workforce needs “more and stronger” skills.

“… We need to better cultivate more abstract skills such as product-building, design, and market-execution skills which are best learned outside the classroom. Experienced entrepreneurs and investors must continue to facilitate or provide mentorship in these areas and demonstrate patience as their peers make mistakes and learn through experience,” said OnOnPay Founder and CEO SyPhong Bui, who was interviewed for the report.

Gender diversity is also one of the issues faced by Southeast Asian startups; the report even dubbed progress in the sector as “limited.”

“The results of our survey show there is support for gender diversity, yet there is relatively little discussion of the issue within the tech ecosystem. This is surprising given current events like the #MeToo movement overseas, which have given the issue a good airing around the world,” it said.

But hope remains as data revealed that the majority of startup founding team, VC, and community builder has at least one woman in leadership position within their organisation.


Also Read: How Chongqing and Singapore are linking China to Southeast Asia

How about the role of government?

Governments can contribute to the growth of tech industry through various means, from providing grants, giving tax incentives, to building policies that are in favour of industry players.

The report noted that Southeast Asian startup communities generally have a diverse views on how government regulation impact their businesses.


The future of Southeast Asia


When it comes to discussion on the future of Southeast Asian tech startups, the report noted on the rapid rise of the region’s crypto scene.

However, it remains cautious in predicting whether governments in the region will further support the growth of the industry, or perhaps even hinder it. Particularly since countries such as Vietnam has announced a crackdown on crypto following a fraudulent ICO, which scammed customers out of US$660 million.

Other trend that is more certain to come is the birth of new unicorn startups; this trend is in line with continuously growing investment into Southeast Asian startups.

Chinese tech giants and investors will also continue to play a role in this. This year alone, Alibaba has doubled their stake in e-commerce giant Lazada while Tencent participated in ride-hailing giant Go-Jek’s massive Series E funding round.

Image Credit: Drew Graham on Unsplash

The post Talent remains Southeast Asian startups’ greatest challenges: Report appeared first on e27.

Source: E27

Please follow and like us:
- Advertisement -

NUS abruptly replaces Cherian George and Donald Low as webinar speakers

Update: According to a Raffles Hall Spokesperson: “The “Public Discourse Truth & Trust” webinar is organised by the Raffles Hall Association, which is an autonomous alumni group that is not governed by Raffles Hall and NUS.”   Singapore—Confusion ensued online when the National University...

Lee Suet Fern’s quilt sells for S$33,000 in charity auction

Mrs Lee Suet Fern, the wife of Mr Lee Hsien Yang, is well known for her handmade quilts and masks. Participating in a charity auction for Project Dignity, Mrs Lee donated one of her intricate quits – ‘Dignity Blooms’. Established in 2010, Project...

TOC’s chief editor and one of its writers on trial for alleging corruption in Cabinet

Singapore -- The chief editor of The Online Citizen (TOC) website Terry Xu and one of its  writers went to trial on Monday (Oct 26) for alleging corruption in the Singapore Cabinet. Xu, 38, is contesting one charge of defaming members of...
Please follow and like us:

Like and follow us

Follow Me