Startups in tiger cub economies need to look at market expansion in near term
Businesses in less developed countries in Southeast Asia need to consider a near term market expansion of looking abroad than having a longer term imaginary trajectory, according to venture capitalists at DEALSTREETASIA’s PE/VC Summit 2017 held in Singapore on September 21-22, 2017.
Speaking at the panel, “Decoding Tiger Cub Economies of Southeast Asia,” Thailand’s Digital Ventures managing director Paul Ark said, businesses are thinking about a 10 years-plus horizon of being a unicorn but not a considerably shorter vision.
“Even a company in Thailand with pretty good revenue has never thought about a second market,” added Ark.
Countries like Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia may have more mature startup already scaling themselves by expanding to foreign countries, but enterprises in the Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar should have a shorter term vision of market expansion.
“Especially in a young ecosystem, there is desire to be a sexy part of the startup land, becoming a unicorn and raising,” said Minette B Navarrete, vice chairman and president of Kickstart Ventures.
Looking at the Philippines, the country has seen growth of over 6 per cent in the last seven years and had a number of changes including the ease of doing business.
However, Kin-Wai Lau, CEO & Director of Fatfish Internet Group, a Singapore headquartered venture and accelerator focussed on Southeast Asia and Australia, said, the Philippines was not yet a country of interest for investors from Singapore.