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Funding: Southeast Asia's Tech Startups Raised Close to US$6 Bn in H1 2019 Fintech, healthcare and logistics sectors demonstrated solid growth in H1 2019, says a recently funding report by Cento Ventures

By Dipen Pradhan

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Southeast Asia's technology-driven startups raised close to US$6 billion in more than 332 deals during the first half of 2019, with fintech, healthcare and logistics sectors demonstrating solid growth, according to a recently published funding report by Singapore-based venture capital firm, Cento Ventures.

The report suggests that investments during H1 2019 was lower than investments during H1 2018, with $8.3 billion in more than 177 deals, however, the VC is of the view that the total investment in 2019 will match the total investment amount in 2018, expecting unicorns such as Grab, Go-jek, Traveloka and Tokopedia to attract sizeable funding during the later half. The SEA startups generated more than $3.6 billion in 183 deals during H2 2018.

Meanwhile, Vietnam grabbed 17 per cent of the total capital invested in H1 2019, up from 5 per cent during the same period in 2018. While Indonesia captured a smaller proportion of the total capital invested, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines appear to be consistent to previous years, says the report.

Credit: Southeast Asia Tech Investment – H1 2019 by Cento Ventures

Here are some major highlights from Cento Ventures' Southeast Asia Tech Investment – H1 2019 report.

  • Majority of capital will continue to be associated with a few familiar names
  • Late-stage companies are raising larger rounds, putting them above the $100M valuation
  • Small deals (less than $500K) experienced a spike in H1 2019
  • Increase in funding in early-stage startups were driven by new accelerators and incubators
  • 50 per cent of tech investment in H1 2019 was contributed by "mega deals'
  • The number of liquidity events in the H1 2019 is relatively high, however, the total proceeds remains low
  • Largest liquidity event in H1 2019 was Go-jek's $72M acquisition of Coins
  • Exit Valuations decrease due to lack of landmark exits in H1 2019

Credit: Southeast Asia Tech Investment – H1 2019 by Cento Ventures

The report further suggests that online retail services and local services, along with "multi-vertical' companies remain the most heavily funded categories, while other categories such as real estate, business automation, and advertising and marketing technology are also attracting increasing attention by deal count. Financial services and travel sectors continue to attract investment, but logistics and healthcare sectors were the most funded sectors during H1 2019.

Dipen Pradhan

Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific

Dipen is a senior correspondent for Entrepreneur, Asia Pacific edition. He joined Entrepreneur after a stint reporting on India's startup ecosystmem for Inc42 and, prior to that, more than four years covering human interest news on an array of issues for The Statesman. He is a graduate in Humanities & Social Sciences, with major in English and Journalism from Orient College, Tribhuvan University. You may write to him at

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