Startup funding in Asia is booming. The region has been getting the attention of investors and venture capitalists lately.
According to a research firm, Aranca, an estimated amount of $38.9 billion was invested in Asia in 2014 alone.
So, what makes Asia a great place for startups? Let’s take a look.
Here are some reasons why investors and startups prefer to go to Asia for their projects.
Low cost of living
The cost of living in the area are cheaper compared to SiliconValley.
An entrepreneur living in Chiang Mai, Thailand can comfortably live on $1000 a month. That’s a huge chunk of savings compared paying $2,300 for a studio apartment in Silicon Valley.
The talent pool in Asia is fast growing. Much of this development is because of the ongoing growth of BPO industries in the area. Communication skills improved. Talents also acquired a better knowledge of business processes required in running startups.
Universities in Asia also became recognized for producing high-quality talents.
The University of Hong Kong and the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore are some of them. These institutions shape competent engineers and entrepreneurs
Connecting with successful startup founders is also easier now. Social media enabled them to reach out to the entrepreneur communities.
They provide funds, pointers, and even share their experiences. Technology and e-commerce are the leading sectors in Asia. Tech took 27% of investments in 2014.
Technology and e-commerce are the leading sectors in Asia. Tech took 27% of investments in 2014.
The Asian market is growing fast due to large population and innovation.
China is close to becoming the world’s largest economy by 2020. By 2025, India will likely rank fourth on the global economic scale.
Here are the top 5 countries in Asia with a great startup ecosystem:
Singapore provides startups with endless options for networking and startup ideas.
In fact, Kickstarter decided to set up a satellite office in the area. This gave Singapore’s 3,600 active startups the chance to show their ideas and market it to the world.
E-commerce opportunities also continue to grow. Thanks to the fact that nine out of ten Singaporeans have smartphones. It is also home to the Asian headquarters of big US companies like Facebook, Google, and Uber.
According to Startup Genome, Singapore beats Silicon Valley when it comes to talent.
Bangalore has the concentration of people, engineers, investors and a more easy-going culture. The city is also hailed as the grandfather of tech startup hubs and often called “The World’s Back Office”.
It is the home base of Flipkart, a multibillion-dollar e-commerce company. Launched by Sachin and Binny Bansal in 2007, the company is now valued at $15 billion.
As they say, necessity is the mother of innovation.
India is also plagued by poverty. It’s a source of inspiration for many entrepreneurs. Their goals include coming up with projects to help improve people’s quality of life.
GrabTaxi, a company with a successful startup story, originated from Malaysia. Today, it operates in six countries worldwide with 3.8 million app users.
Kuala Lumpur’s government is supportive to startups. In 2013, the prime minister of Malaysia created MaGIC to help entrepreneurs. Startups can join their programs to equip themselves with skills, knowledge, and network. MaGIC is now the largest startup accelerators in Asia.
Bangkok’s location and strong business infrastructure are ideal for startups. The “work and play” lifestyle that the country offers attract young entrepreneurs.
Another advantage is the tech population in Thailand. There are about 80 million mobile subscribers in the region.
The Thai government is supportive as well. They give more tax and legal incentives for foreigners who want to start their business.
Virgin Entrepreneur featured Bali in their series of World’s Best Startup Hubs.
The beauty of the country and its friendly locals capture the interest of startups. The environment is also more open and collaborative compared to other cities.
Apple designers are ditching Silicon Valley for Ho Chi Minh City. Entrepreneurs love the country’s passionate talent, good climate, and its unique culture. College grads from the US find the city a more nurturing place for new startups. The cost of living is also cheap and convenient.
StartUp Genome project recently released their Startup Ecosystem Ranking report. The Chinese startup ecosystem scored high in performance and funding. They also got a fair score in investor experience and access to investment.
CNN included Manila in their Emerging Startup Ecosystems report. The country’s labor force and more affordable business costs continue to attract startups.
There is no doubt that the startup ecosystem in Asia will continue to flourish. Business infrastructures are improving in other Asian countries. National governments are also showing their support.
The continuous improvements in Asia will surely offer a solid ecosystem for startups in the future.