Market Trend

The Next Billion-Dollar Unicorns in Asia : 5 Startups with Big Potential 

May Jang
June 24, 2024

The Asian tech startup ecosystem has been experiencing a remarkable surge in recent years, with a growing number of companies poised to become the next billion-dollar unicorns.

According to Crunchbase, in January 2024 alone, six out of the eleven companies that joined the Unicorn Board were based in Asia, adding $16 billion in value. This trend highlights the immense potential and rapid growth of the Asian startup landscape, driven by factors such as increasing smartphone usage, a young demographic, expanding middle class, and growing private equity funding.

As the global economy continues to evolve, the search for the next generation of unicorns has intensified. Southeast Asia, in particular, has emerged as a hotbed for promising startups, with countries like Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam leading the charge. In 2022, Southeast Asian companies still raised $15.8 billion, with Singapore and Indonesia accounting for 86% of the total funding. This resilience and continued investment in the region's startups underscore the immense potential for the emergence of new unicorns in the coming years.

Listing 5 next unicorn startups in Asia

Let’s take a glimpse at the 5 next unicorn startups in Asia. Number is irrelevant to ranking.

Source : Kyoto Fusioneering

1. Kyoto Fusioneering(Japan, Series C) 

Kyoto Fusioneering is a Japanese startup pioneering fusion energy technology. Its valuation exceeds JPY 35 billion($253 million). The company is at the forefront of developing advanced fusion reactors and aims to commercialize fusion power as a clean, safe, and virtually inexhaustible energy source. 

In recent years, Kyoto Fusioneering has attracted significant investment from major corporations and venture capital firms.

In its latest Series C round in May 2023, the company secured $79 million(JPY 10.5 billion) in an oversubscribed funding led by JIC Venture Growth Investments, bringing the total raised to $91 million from 17 investors. Prior to that, Kyoto Fusioneering raised $18.6 million(JPY 1.33 billion) in an oversubscribed Series B equity round in February 2022, along with $7 million(JPY 800 million) in debt financing from Japanese banks. So in total, the Japanese fusion energy startup Kyoto Fusioneering has raised approximately $91 million in equity funding to date.

(Refer to: Japan’s fusion start-ups starting to roll in money)

Source : Tiki

2. Tiki(Vietnam, Series E) 

Tiki is operating a leading B2C e-commerce marketplace and platform in Vietnam, selling a wide range of products and services to Vietnamese consumers, while also expanding into complementary verticals like logistics and fintech. Tiki's marketplace offers over 10 million products across 16 major categories to customers nationwide in Vietnam.

In addition to its core e-commerce marketplace, Tiki has diversified into other services like TikiNOW for 2-hour delivery logistics, TicketBox for event/movie ticketing, and co-branded credit cards.

In its latest Series E round announced in March 2022, Tiki secured $258 million led by Northstar Group, a Singaporean private equity firm, along with participation from investors like AIA Group, Mirae Asset, UBS, STIC Investments, and Taiwan Mobile. With its strong market position, robust funding, and the rapid growth of Vietnam's e-commerce sector, Tiki is well-positioned to potentially become the country's next unicorn startup in the near future.

(Refer to: Expanding foreign e-commerce firms outperform Vietnamese rivals)

Source : Ather

3. Ather Energy(India, Series F)

Ather Energy is an Indian electric vehicle startup based in Bengaluru, pioneering the development of premium electric scooters for the domestic market. With its cutting-edge technology, sleek design, and focus on creating a seamless ownership experience, Ather Energy is widely regarded as a potential unicorn in India's burgeoning EV ecosystem.

In terms of funding, Ather Energy has raised significant capital across multiple rounds to fuel its growth ambitions.

In its latest Series F round in May 2024, the company secured $34.5 million through a combination of debt and equity financing. This included $24 million in debt from Stride Ventures and $10.5 million in equity from the co-founders. Prior to this, Ather raised $108 million in December 2022 from existing investors like Hero MotoCorp and GIC through a rights issue. The startup has also received investments from marquee investors such as Sachin Bansal, Tiger Global, and Caladium Investment.

As of May 2024, Ather Energy has raised around $450 million in total funding and is reportedly valued at $750 million, inching closer to the coveted unicorn status.

(Refer to: The design-obsessed Indian scooter company with global ambitions)

Source : Grow Sari

4. Grow Sari(The Philippines, Series C)

GrowSari is a B2B e-commerce platform digitizing the Philippines' ubiquitous sari-sari stores, which are small neighborhood convenience shops found on nearly every street corner.

With over 1 million sari-sari stores nationwide, GrowSari aims to empower these micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through technology and help them grow their profits. The company provides sari-sari store owners with affordable inventory, working capital loans, and digital tools to enhance their efficiency and expand their customer reach.

In terms of funding, GrowSari has raised a total of $110 million to date across multiple rounds.

In its latest Series C round in March 2023, the company secured $77.5 million led by New York-based private equity firm KKR. Prior to that, GrowSari raised $18 million in a Series B round in 2021 from investors including Temasek's Pavilion Capital and Tencent. The startup's earlier rounds include a $10 million Series A in 2019 led by Wavemaker Partners and IFC. With its strong investor backing and rapid growth, GrowSari is well on its way to potentially achieving unicorn status as it continues to digitize the Philippines' vast network of sari-sari stores.

(Refer to: GrowSari CMO Maimai Punzalan on modernizing sari-sari stores and empowering owners both in physical and digital spaces)

Source : Partipost

5. Partipost(Singapore, Series B)

Partipost is a Singaporean marketing startup that allows anyone with a social media presence to sign up as an influencer for brand campaigns. The company has rapidly grown its influencer network to over 900,000, worked with thousands of brands on over 10,000 campaigns, and partnered with major consumer brands across Asia.

Partipost has raised a total of $35 million across multiple funding rounds.

In its latest Series B round in October 2022, the company secured an undisclosed amount led by zVentures, Razer's corporate ventures arm. Prior to that, Partipost raised $22.5 million in a pre-Series B round from Vietnamese unicorn VNG in November 2021. In July 2021, the company extended its Series A round, raising an additional $5 million from investors including Quest Ventures, SPH Ventures, iGlobe Partners, and XA Network. Partipost's initial Series A round in July 2020 was led by SPH Ventures and raised $3.5 million. 

(Refer to: How Partipost grew its influencer marketing platform in Asia and how it now works with media agencies)

Write : May Jang

Edit : Jinny Kim (underdogs)



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May Jang
IT content, tech biz contributer
IT content, Tech biz contributer for 10+ years.