Southeast Asia’s Top 10 Tech News In 2023 – TNGlobal

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The year 2023 was rather gloomy for the tech industry in Southeast Asia as compared to last year. The global wave of layoffs hitting US tech companies like Meta, Amazon, and Twitter has also come to Southeast Asia amid a so-called “funding winter” for tech startups in the region.

In March, it was reported that e-commerce giant Shopee has laid off around 200 employees in Indonesia, mostly from the customer services team. In the same month, Indonesia’s biggest tech firm PT Goto Gojek Tokopedia announced another round of layoffs to streamline the organisation and boosting the company’s profitability.

In June, Singapore-based super app Grab Holdings has cut 1,000 jobs. Its Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Anthony Tan said fundamental step-changes in its operating model and cost structure are needed to build Grab’s competitive moat for the longer-term.

Last month, it was reported that TikTok parent ByteDance will cut 1,000 gaming jobs in strategic shift. In the same month, Malaysia-headquartered used car platform Carsome is said to have cut “hundreds of jobs” to reach profit.

Meanwhile, according to Traxcxn, the Southeast Asia tech sector received a total funding of $4.3 billion in 2023 year to date (till Dec 5, 2023), a 65 percent plunge from $12.4 billion raised in the same period last year.

The global software as a service (SaaS)-based market intelligence platform said in its “Geo Annual Report: SEA Tech 2023”, the tech startup ecosystem in Southeast Asia continues to face the effects of the funding winter, in line with other major economies.

According to the report, companies in this space attracted late-stage funding worth $1.9 billion in 2023 year to date, a sharp decline of 65 percent from $5.4 billion raised in the same period in 2022.

Early-stage funding stood at $1.9 billion in 2023 year to date, 67 percent lower than $6 billion raised in the same period in 2022.

Seed-stage investments, too, fell 52 percent to $546 million from $1.14 billion raised in the same period in 2022.

FinTech, enterprise applications, and retail were the top-performing segments in the tech startup ecosystem in 2023.

Still, the FinTech sector received $2 billion in funding in 2023 till date, 65 percent lower when compared with the same period in the previous year.

Southeast Asia raises $5.5B via IPO in first 10.5 months, lowest in 8 years

On the initial public offering (IPO) front, Southeast Asia has raised approximately $5.5 billion via IPO in the first 10.5 months of 2023, the lowest in eight years, audit and consulting firm Deloitte said last month. This compared to $7.6 billion raised in 2022 in the same period.

Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia collectively raised approximately $5.4 billion, accounting for 98 percent of the total funds raised across Southeast Asia.

Deloitte, however, noted that Southeast Asian companies are thriving and have the ability to go beyond their shores for cross border IPOs. This is driven by expectations of favorable valuations, enhanced liquidity, industry comparability, and investor familiarity with certain sectors.

The audit and consulting firm said stock exchanges across the globe are paying more attention to Southeast Asian companies and are establishing new initiatives or revamping existing ones to improve their appeal as gateways to attract these high growth businesses.

As we usher into 2024, hoping for a better year, here are some of the top tech news in 2023 in this part of the world:

1. Temasek’s VC Arm Vertex raises $900M in first round of new fund, plans to close in “coming months”, says CEO

Temasek’s VC arm Vertex raises $900M in first round of new fund, plans to close in “coming months”, says CEO

2. China’s TikTok To Invest $1.5B In Indonesia’s GoTo

China’s Tik Tok to invest $1.5B in Indonesia’s GoTo

3. Singapore’s Grab cuts 1,000 jobs to manage costs and stay competitive, says CEO

Singapore’s Grab cuts 1,000 jobs to manage costs and stay competitive, says CEO

4. Indonesia’s eFishery earns unicorn tag after raising Series D round – report

Indonesia’s eFishery earns unicorn tag after raising Series D round – report

5. J&T Express makes HKEX debut, raises $450M from global offering

Indonesia’s J&T Express makes HKEX debut, raises $450M from global offering

6. YTL partners NVIDIA to build AI infrastructure In Malaysia

YTL partners NVIDIA to build AI infrastructure in Malaysia

7. Vietnamese EV Maker VinFast debuts on NASDAQ after completing SPAC merger

VinFast and Black Spade complete business combination

8. China’s Meituan explores deal for Delivery Hero’s Southeast Asia arm Foodpanda – report

China’s Meituan explores deal for Delivery Hero’s Southeast Asia arm Foodpanda – report

9. Singapore’s Vertex Technology Acquisition Corporation to merge with streaming platform 17LIVE Inc

Singapore’s Vertex Technology Acquisition Corporation to merge with streaming platform 17LIVE Inc

10. Thailand expects Tesla, Google, Microsoft to invest $5B — report

Thailand expects Tesla, Google, Microsoft to invest $5B — report

Featured photo credit: Tracxn

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Southeast Asia’s Top 10 Tech News In 2023 – TNGlobal

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