There’s no doubt that the Southeast Asian start-up and tech innovation scene is booming. But what is next for successful companies that are looking to scale internationally?
Newfound has recently partnered with True Digital Park (TDPK) to form a bridge between the UK and Southeast Asia, enabling tech scaleups from the 2 regions to connect and trade bilaterally.
Located in the Cyber tech district in Bangkok, Thailand, TDPK is Southeast Asia’s largest start-up campus supporting the tech ecosystem and is a critical driver for innovation. Spanning across 200,000 sqm., TDPK is an ecosystem of 1,000work stations, 10+ event spaces and3,000 sqm of training and experience centres on site.
Start-ups, entrepreneurs, tech companies, investors, accelerators, incubators, academies, and government agencies are brought together in one space for both work and collaboration. This unique development incorporates offices, event spaces, residential developments as well as shops, restaurants and bars.
Under the concept of “One Roof – All Possibilities”, TDPK offers a wide range of support such as funding clinics, the Startup Booster Programme, and One Stop Service which aims to help local tech scaleups succeed and provides a soft-landing pad for any multinational tech companies looking to break into Thai and Southeast Asian markets.
Strengthening connections between the UK and Asia Pacific Tech Ecosystems.
Newfound will be offering support to tech scaleups at TDPK looking to export to new markets with a focus on supporting market entry into UK, Europe and Australia. We will be helping companies with their expansion through comprehensive research and analysis to support market selection, Go-to-Market planning as well as developing essential people and culture strategies to enable growth.
With offices in London and Melbourne, our global reach makes Newfound uniquely placed to support scale-ups in Southeast Asia beginning their international expansion journey as well as introducing scale-ups from around the world to Southeast Asia’s most vibrant tech eco-system.
Why should you be scaling and investing in South East Asia?
The UK Government and UK Department of International Trade have long seen the potential in both the Southeast Asian and Thai markets(1), as demonstrated by the launch of an £8m Digital Trade Network for Asia Pacific in which Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia were cited as the key markets for UK innovators to access.(2)
Despite the global pandemic hurting most of the economies around the world, the region saw a strong performance in the tech sector. Southeast Asian’s well-known unicorns such as Grab, Gojek, Traveloka and Tokopedia have managed to raised big funding rounds in 2020. This includes a $1.2bn series F for Gojek and a combined $1.56bn from 2 funding rounds for Grab(3). Overall, tech startups of all sizes from the region have raised a total of $8.2bn, outperforming most of the other emerging markets.(4)
With a total population of 655 million (more than that of EU or North America),Southeast Asia is comprised of a large and young internet savvy population that are quick at adopting online solutions. As seen with the pandemic, countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam have seen a strong growth in the rate of adoption for e-commerce, fintech, mobile payment, transportation, telehealth and EdTech services, with user number continuing to soar post lockdown.(3)
Looking outside of home markets
So what is next for these successful tech scale-ups?
When thinking about expanding out of South East Asian markets scale-ups often look to neighbouring counties. Partnering with TDPK, Newfound CEO Peter Gillingwater said:
What we are seeing in the Southeast Asian markets is a tremendous growth of new technology companies and new entrepreneurs coming into the market. Of course, the obvious expansion plan would be to go to neibouring countries, and in some cases that can be the best decision. However, to succeed globally, many technology companies Newfound work with in the region are global in mindset.
Expansion into the UK and European markets pose significat opportunity, perhaps less risk and more potential.
Helping Thai startups scale, TDPK Partnerships Manager, Fai Neeranuch Toonim, also commented:
We would like to see Thai startups expand, thinking globally and not just within Thailand. I hope this partnership can let them see the perspective of a global market and mindset. It's not just Southeast Asia, we can grow into Europe and beyond as well.