Startups in Asia Pacific - Statistics & Facts

Published by Statista Research Department, Jan 16, 2019
A startup is a relatively new term to describe a company with an innovative business idea and high growth potential. Startups often operate in a young or non-existent market and are usually in need to find a functioning, scalable business model. Once established, they are generally no longer considered a startup. They do, however, sometimes preserve their successful startup approaches such as innovation capacity, flexibility, modernity and flat hierarchies and try to incorporate them in their business culture. Although a startup could be part of every sector that meets the criteria of innovation and scalability in theory, in practice, most of the startups are founded in the technology and internet sector. The focus on technology, which means that almost no goods or infrastructure are required, led to the ability to found startups in basements, garages, or college dorms. As a result, new startups pop up every day all around the world and “startup” became one of the globally most used expressions.

Up until now, the term startup is still mostly associated with the United States, to be precise, with the Silicon Valley. This is likely going to change, since the Asian business ownership rate is increasing steadily and has its own share of success stories. As an example, one of the most successful new companies in China "Ant Financial" has already been funded with about 14 billion U.S. dollars and the business-wide funding of startups in India amounted to 13.7 billion U.S. dollars.

This trend can not only be witnessed in major emerging economies such as India and China. Also, in Southeast Asian countries, new companies are founded on a daily basis. Gojek and Tokopedia, for example, are two local startups who have already earned the market valuation of an unicorn and thus are able to compete on an international level as well.

Ultimately, it is not the country itself, but rather the demand on the market and the business environment, that determines whether a startup can be successful. While the product demand is market driven, various criteria can be used to compare the business environment internationally: On the one hand, there is the Ease of Doing Business Index of the World Economic Forum, which compares countries according to different market entry and company operation related criteria on an annual basis. In Asia-pacific countries, Singapore has always ranked among the leaders over the past few years, followed by South Korea and Australia . On the other hand, surveys among business founders reveal perceptions on the startup environment in different countries. These surveys do not only give better insights into the working environment, but also show individual reasons for founding a startup. According to one of those surveys, only 28.9 percent of 2,000 entrepreneurs in India said that the reason for starting a business was the lack of alternatives in the labor market.

In summary, as a result of the growing globalization and digitization, new startups will continue to emerge all over the world and Asia-Pacific countries in particular will be the focus area for future startups.

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Startups in Asia Pacific

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