Southeast Asia sees record number of deals completed in first half of 2021

September 27, 2021 | 18:08
Deal activity in Southeast Asia reached a new record at almost 400 deals in the first half of 2021, according to a report by Cento Ventures.
Southeast Asia sees record number of deals completed in first half of 2021
Southeast Asia sees record number of deals completed in first half of 2021

However, the report reveals that total capital invested, at $4.4 billion, was lower than in the same periods in 2018 and 2019. This year, the largest deals (those over $100 million) accounted for only 45 per cent of investment, significantly below the 50-70 per cent in the past years.

Deal sizes and valuations at each of the early funding stages have remained remarkably stable over recent years. In the first half of 2021, the region has seen a sharp upturn in both. Median round sizes rose, with Pre-A rounds of $800,000, Series A rounds of $4.3 million, and Series B of $10 million.

The growth in both the number and value of all smaller deals is a good indicator that interest in Southeast Asia’s tech economy remains strong. A quick comparison with other regions of emerging technology shows that Southeast Asia attracted more capital than Latin America, but less than India.

Indonesia and Singapore still attract the most capital. Accordingly, Indonesian and Singaporean startups combined accounted for 70 per cent of the total number of deals done. There was also an increase in activity in the Philippines.

The relative absence of mega-deals means that investment in super-app companies fell in the first half of 2021. In contrast, slightly more narrowly focused digital retailers collected over $1.1 billion in investment, nearly double that of the first half of 2020.

The report also lists some Vietnamese startups securing large funds in the period including VNLife, VNG, MoMo, Tiki and Sendo.

By Cento Ventures

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