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Jakarta Post

Can SE Asia sustain its investment boom?

  • Suvir Varma and Usman Akhtar

Jakarta   /   Tue, January 8 2019   /  02:32 am

Venture capital and private equity investment in Southeast Asia has soared to record levels as scores of new investors pour into the region. In 2017, the number of recorded venture capital deals rose to 524, four times the level of 2012, and private equity deal value rose 75 percent to US$15 billion, breaking out of a decade-long phase of flat growth.

Suddenly, all signs are pointing up. Technology companies attracted the bulk of new capital, rising to 40 percent of deal count in 2017 from 20 percent in 2014. Southeast Asia-dedicated funds’ dry powder — committed but unspent capital — has more than doubled since 2012. The region also has produced its first set of unicorns — new companies that rapidly achieve market valuations of $1 billion or more. Since 2012, 10 unicorns, including Grab, Go-Jek and Traveloka, have created a combined market value of $34 billion, ranking So...