Southeast Asia. Which country has the most unicorns and the largest population?

Indonesia leads the way in number of current unicorns, followed by Singapore, which is closing the gap with some almost-unicorns

Vietnam

Stats: 97 million population; $266 billion GDP; 64 million internet users; 39% mobile payment adoption

ASEAN-based PE and VC AUM: $1.5 billion

Attributes: Consistent economic reform with improvements to business climate. Focus on manufacturing sector.

No. of VC/PE investors: 7

Unicorn: VNG Corp. Companies to watch: Tiki.vn and Momo

Philippines

Stats: 108 million population; $313 billion GDP

ASEAN-based PE and VC AUM: $100 million

Attributes: Only Asian country in the top 10 most gender-equal countries in the World Economic Forum’s 2018 Global Gender Gap report.

No. of VC/PE investors: 8

Unicorn: Revolution Precrafted

Exit: Coins.ph, acquired by Gojek

Indonesia

Stats: 270 million population; $1.066 trillion GDP; 150 million internet users; 35% mobile payment adoption

ASEAN-based PE and VC AUM: $800 million

Attributes: Multi-ethnic and multi-cultural. Most populated country in Southeast Asia. Largest proportion of unicorns in Southeast Asia. Only ASEAN country to hit the $1 trillion mark in GDP. World’s 16th-largest economy. Greater Jakarta, known as Jabodetabek, is home to 30 million people, the second-largest metro area worldwide behind Tokyo.

No. of VC/PE investors: 8

Unicorns: Gojek, Tokopedia, Traveloka and Bukalapak. Approaching unicorn status is Akulaku. Companies to watch are HaloDoc and Kredivo

Singapore

Stats: 5.8 million population; $350 billion GDP; 4.92 million internet users; 36% mobile payment adoption

ASEAN-based PE and VC AUM: $19.2 billion

Attributes: Free-market economy, global trading hub. One of Asia’s leading financial centers. Attractive business policies and favorable tax policies. Efficient legal system and high-quality infrastructure. Many Southeast Asian venture firms have the Singapore government as an LP, including an anchor investor.

No. of VC/PE investors: 91

Unicorns: Grab, Lazada and Trax; almost unicorns: Zilingo and PropertyGuru

Exits: Acquisitions of Wavecell (8×8), SpaceMob (WeWork), Redmart (Lazada), Luxola (Sephora) and GuavaPass (ClassPass). Razer and Sea Ltd both went public

Malaysia

Stats: 32.4 million population; $373 billion GDP; 25.8 million internet users; 42% mobile payment adoption

ASEAN-based PE and VC AUM: $6 billion

Attributes: Tax reforms in real estate and services industry to boost investment climate. Untapped potential in the manufacturing sector in emerging regions.

No. of VC/PE investors: 29

Company to watch: Carsome

Thailand

Stats: 69 million population; $534 billion GDP; 57 million internet users; 47% mobile payment adoption

ASEAN-based PE and VC AUM: $200 million

Attributes: Fastest growth rate of the ultra-rich in Southeast Asia. Biggest stock market by capitalization in emerging Southeast Asia.

No. of VC/PE investors: 14

Sources: John Landers, an advisor to Intudo Ventures, based on World Bank data; Preqin; e-Conomy SEA by Google, Temasek, Bain; and Venture Capital Journal research.