The startup paradigm is not only changing our economies and influencing work culture, it is also increasingly transforming our daily lives. While global Entrepreneurship is at an all-time high, the interactions between regional ecosystems is still limited.
If you asked the average French startup founder to name a Chinese unicorn they probably couldn’t (although to be fair the name Didi Chuxing did filter through to US/Europe since Uber’s defeat in China) and definitely couldn’t, if you asked them the same question about Singapore. Conversely, the average Singaporean entrepreneur wouldn’t be able to name a French Unicorn (The country and the city both have 2, despite France having 12 times the population of Singapore).
While being an expert on unicorns isn’t much help to most entrepreneurs, it illustrates the underlying problem: startup ecosystems are thriving all around the globe with little or no communication between them.
We decided to take action, and are excited to announce that e27 and Startup Tracker are joining forces! From now on, e27 data can be found on Startup Tracker alongside Crunchbase, Product Hunt, and many others.
To celebrate, we put together a list of 57 startups from the 19 largest countries of the South and East of Asia you should keep an eye on (North Korea was skipped due to lack of available data).
The companies are grouped by least populated to most populated country/city.
Mature | Population ~5M
Grab – Southeast Asia’s leading ride-hailing platform. Also offers motorcycle-hailing and parcel delivery.
Carousell – Consumer-to-consumer marketplace with a social twist: transactions are chat-based.
Paktor – The most successful dating app in Southeast Asia.
Early stage | Population ~6M
Sunlabob – A cleantech startup focusing on renewable energy and clean water solutions for developing countries.
Book Delivery – Delivers book within Ventiane on the same day. Also used as platform for local writers to sell their books.
Foxpress – An online delivery platform to send documents, small packages, food, and flowers.
Also read: Grab rolls out GrabShare in Malaysia and Philippines
Early stage | Population ~15M
Sabay Osja – An award-winning Cambodian game development startup.
Krupet – An online platform for information on local medical institutions including services, facilities, doctor information, and fees.
CamboTicket – Disrupting the transportation industry in and around Cambodia by computerising bus, ferry, and taxi reservation systems.
Emerging | Population ~20M
NicNac – Rent a PA by the hour to get anything (legal!) done for you from jumpstarting your car to fetching your laundry.
TrackMe – Track goods, pets, and even people (including fall detection!) using GPS.
LiveRoom – Visualise furniture in the actual room it will be put in before buying.
Mature | Population ~23M
17 – Mobile app similar to Periscope and Instagram designed by Jeffrey Huang – a Taiwanese pop singer.
Gogoro – Futuristic electrical scooters powered by a network of swappable batteries a.k.a. the Tesla of scooters.
Pinkoi – Asia’s largest online marketplace for unique and original designs a la Etsy.
Early stage | Population ~28M
Ghar Gadi – An emerging purchase and rental platform for property and vehicles. Open for funding.
PicoVico – A video storytelling platform that automatically transforms photos and video clips into movies. Open for funding.
Firebird – An Android-based internet browser boasting simplistic designs and faster speed even in slow internet connection – a reality in emerging Asia markets. Open for funding.
Emerging | Population ~31M
123RF – One of the world’s largest digital stock agency
CityFarm – Hydroponic technology that allows soil-less farming in urban centers.
ServisHero – An on-demand services marketplace where you can find and hire trusted service providers for your home and office needs.
Mature | Population ~50M
Coupang – The world’s fastest growing e-Commerce company – South Korea’s answer to Amazon.
Baedal Minjok – A restaurant delivery app similar to Deliveroo, FoodPanda, and GrubHub which Gldman Sachs also owns a stake in.
Yello Mobile – An umbrella startup comprised of more than 40 services across shopping, media, adtech, travel, and offline-to-online.
Early stage | Population ~50M
Skybit – Myanmar’s leading blockchain-based payment processor and exchange using bitcoin as medium.
StarTicket – Online bus ticketing system for express buses in Myanmar.
Rebbiz – Online marketplace as a service.Online marketplace as a service.
Emerging | Population ~68M
Ookbee – A digital publication platform where users can purchase magazines, books, and courses.
Kitty Live – The leading Thai broadcast and livestream platform.
Pomelo – One of Asia’s fastest growing fashion brands.
Emerging | Population ~78M
Digikala – the leading online e-Commerce startup in Iran, and possibly the Middle East.
Divar – the leading classified ads service in Iran.
Snapp – the leading ride-sharing and car-hailing app in Iran.
Emerging | Population ~91M
Coc Coc – a localised search engine competing with Google on the Vietnamese market.
Tiki.vn – a long-tail e-Commerce shop a la Amazon focusing on social shopping.
Zalo – the leading homegrown chat and group chat app.
Emerging | Population ~100M
Horsepower PH – an online portal for freelancers and solo entrepreneurs to avail of affordable healthcare insurance, pay government-mandated fees, and utilities.
Experience Philippines – a travel group that organises random trips where destinations are a secret and activities are a surprise.
PaidUp – a crowdfunding app where users can buy advance store credit (and get rewards) to help fund small businesses like cafes and restaurants.
Mature | Population ~126M
SmartNews – news discovery app powered by machine-learning.
Mercari – the biggest community-powered shopping app in Japan similar to Carousell and eBay.
BitFlyer – the leading Bitcoin exchange and marketplace in Japan for buying, selling, and spending Bitcoins – it also proposes a Bitcoin-based crowdfunding platform.
Emerging | Population ~158M
Bangladesh360.net – the first and only 360-degree virtual tour of Bangladesh.
Track My Vehicle – end-to-end tracking solution for vehicles.
Buckets Engineer – a subscription-based service with tools and applications for autistic kids that allows parents, therapists, and educators to create customised dynamic learning.
Emerging | Population ~191M
Patari – largest portal of all Pakistani music.
Mangobaaz – an online information and entertainment company that generates original and curated content a la Buzzfeed.
Zameen – the leading online property portal and most funded startup in the country.
Mature | Population ~225M
MUMU Indonesia – a hyperlocal on-demand marketplace delivering groceries to customers’ doorsteps from neighborhood supermarkets within the hour.
Go-Jek – your driver, your courier, and your personal shopper on-demand.
PETO – Tinder for pets!
Mature | Population ~1.2B
Zomato – a restaurant discovery and ordering service.
FlipKart – India’s leading ecommerce marketplace with 30+ million products across 70+ categories.
Practo – connects doctors and patients so that patients know where to go when they need help and doctors can manage their patients better.
Mature | Population ~1.3B
Fields China – an up-and-coming eCommerce website for fresh (organic) grocery items.
Zhihu – Quora–style social website for question and answers.
NetEase – online gaming provider and content channel for news, information, and entertainment.
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This article was produced in collaboration between Startup Tracker and e27.