Southeast Asia has long been known for its pristine beaches, inventive cuisine, royal temples and floating markets. And by now, it's common knowledge that the subcontinent boasts some of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Its rapid infrastructure and digital development have helped spark VC interest, and investors have poured billions of dollars into companies headquartered in the region in sectors such as ecommerce, ridehailing, gaming, travel and fintech.
VCs have closed 327 deals in Southeast Asia since the start of 2018, with those investments totaling more than $7.8 billion, per the PitchBook Platform. Of that, a whopping $5.87 billion has been spread across just seven transactions—meaning nearly 75% of the money invested accounted for 2.1% of the total deal count. And additional mega-rounds in progress are likely to drive up the total significantly over the coming months. Two of the largest deals occurred in the past two weeks alone.
One of those mega-rounds went to Hong Kong-based Lalamove (fka EasyVan), which announced Thursday that it has secured a $300 million Series D led by Sequoia and Hillhouse Capital. Other participating investors included Shanghai-based Eastern Bell Venture, PV Capital andMindWorks Ventures. Founded in 2013, Lalamove provides an on-demand delivery and logistics platform. The company has pocketed at least $460 million in equity funding to date, including a $100 million Series C in 2017, when it was valued at an estimated $1 billion.
Earlier this month, online fashion and beauty marketplace Zilingo nabbed a $226 million round from investors including Sequoia India and Temasek. The Series D gave the Singapore-based an estimated valuation of $970 million.
The three largest completed rounds of the past 14 months—all of which exceeded $1 billion each—went to an ecommerce giant and, perhaps unsurprisingly, two ridehailing companies. Online marketplace provider Tokopedia reportedly raised a $1.1 billion Series G led bySoftBank's Vision Fund and Alibaba last November, hitting an estimated valuation of $7 billion. The business has said that it currently serves 93% of districts in Indonesia and quadrupled its gross merchandise value in 2018.
The two biggest fundings went to ridehailing unicorns Go-Jek and Grab, and both companies are already working on their next mega-deals. Go-Jek, which was founded in 2010, raised a $1.5 billion Series E last February. Earlier this month, the Jakarta-based ridehailing company reportedly held a first close of its ongoing Series F, bringing in about $1 billion at a valuation of between $9 billion and $10 billion. The business is backed by investors including KKR, Tencent, Mitsubishi andWarburg Pincus.
Singapore-based Grab is one of the most valuable VC-backed company in Southeast Asia. The ridehailing business raised $2.5 billion last January at a valuation of $6 billion, and is reportedly targeting $3 billion for its next round. That ongoing Series H includes a $1 billion commitment from Toyota from last June, as well as participation fromMicrosoft and Yamaha. Last month, reports emerged that SoftBank's Vision Fund is in talks to invest $1 billion or more in the company as part of the new round, which could value Grab at up to $12 billion.