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Grab your popcorn, folks! The Southeast Asia start-up scene is seeing more twists and turns than a season finale of Game of Thrones. A recent report flags a 25% dip in VC funding in the first half of 2023. Economic uncertainties and ever-changing market trends seem to be the two elephants in the room. But hey, who said the game of start-ups was ever easy, right?

The Lowdown:

  • Here’s the kicker: The scene has undergone a remarkable transformation, with investors honing in on early-stage start-ups, particularly seed and series A ventures. This shift has paved the way for a staggering 41% surge in completed deals compared to the previous year. A truly promising silver lining!
  • Follow the Money: Singapore remains the ‘big kahuna’ of funding, with a remarkable 60% increase in deal numbers and a solid 19% rise in capital invested in H1 2023. That’s a lion’s roar! Meanwhile, Indonesia faced a setback with a significant 44% year-on-year decline in total capital investment. But remember, it’s not about how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. Let’s hope for a Rocky-like comeback!
  • Overflowing Bridge: Prepare for a surge in ‘bridge rounds’! These financial lifelines within the 48-month period post-initial fundraising experienced a massive 315% increase, primarily at series A. This trend indicates a significant level of trust and commitment.
  • The Ups and Downs: Series A and B firms experienced a notable plunge in pre-money valuations, dropping by a whopping 34% and 42% respectively. In contrast, seed-stage start-ups held steady, maintaining their valuations with unwavering resilience.
  • Steady as She Goes: For the series C+ firms like Funding Societies, Carro, Shopback, eFishery, and FinAccel, they managed to close deals worth over a cool US$100 million. Talk about swimming with the sharks!

The venture capital landscape in Southeast Asia during the first half of 2023 was nothing short of exciting. But as we look ahead, the big league players are setting a thrilling stage for what’s to come. So, strap in and watch this space – the next half of 2023 promises to be a riveting journey!

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