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Southeast Asia Tech Sector Faces Funding Challenges with a 65% Drop to $4.3 Billion in 2023, Reports Tracxn

Singapore

The Southeast Asia (SEA) Tech sector witnessed a substantial 65% plunge in funding, totaling $4.3 billion year-to-date in 2023, according to Tracxn’s latest report, “Geo Annual Report: SEA Tech 2023.” This stark decline reflects the ongoing challenges posed by the funding winter, mirroring global trends.

Late-stage funding for SEA Tech companies recorded a sharp decrease of 65%, amounting to $1.9 billion in 2023 year-to-date, compared to $5.4 billion in the same period last year. Early-stage funding and seed-stage investments also experienced significant declines, dropping by 67% to $1.9 billion and 52% to $546 million, respectively.

The report identifies FinTech, enterprise applications, and retail as the standout performers in the SEA Tech startup ecosystem for 2023. FinTech, crucial in addressing the region’s underbanked population, secured $2 billion in funding, reflecting a 65% decrease from the previous year.

Enterprise applications saw a substantial 78% drop in investments, reaching $1 billion in 2023, while the retail segment experienced an 85% decline, accumulating $700 million in funding.

In 2023, only ten funding rounds surpassed $100 million, a notable decrease from 28 such rounds in 2022. Acquisitions decreased by 30%, totaling 61, compared to 88 in the previous year. However, there was a slight uptick in initial public offerings (IPOs), with ten companies going public in 2023, up from five in 2022.

Singapore, Jakarta, and Bandung took the lead in funding among cities in the region in 2023. Singapore-based startups raised $2.3 billion, while those in Indonesia secured $1.44 billion and $304 million in Jakarta and Bandung, respectively.

Active investors in 2023 included East Ventures, 500 Global, and Wavemaker Partners, with East Ventures, Wavemaker Partners, and Saison Capital leading in seed-stage investments. SEEDS, Peak XV Partners, and Gobi Partners were prominent in the early stage, while EDBI, Avataar Ventures, and Prosperity7 Ventures topped late-stage funding.

Tracxn notes that despite global market volatility and increased inflation, there remains optimism for long-term growth in the SEA region. The large consumer base, predominantly comprising young people, coupled with reliance on informal financial systems, presents an untapped market for investors and entrepreneurs.

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