Going Global: Taiwan Start-ups Aim for Southeast Asia Growth

Southeast Asia is now the focus for Taiwanese start-ups.

The News Lens
 2018/06/11, Business
By: By Matthew Fulco, Taiwan Business TOPICS Magazine

Alex Chen is ebullient about Indonesia. Southeast Asia’s largest nation is integral to the global expansion of EZTable, the online restaurant booking platform Chen established a decade ago in Taipei. It has since become the largest platform of its kind in Asia. Last year, Chen moved EZTable’s headquarters to the Indonesian capital of Jakarta as the company launched its second foray into Southeast Asia after Thailand.

“This is the best environment for startups in Southeast Asia,” he says, citing Indonesia’s strong economy – it grew by more than 5 percent last year – and population of 260 million. The greater Jakarta area alone has 30 million people.

In total, Southeast Asian startups received US$7.86 billion from investors in 2017, up more than 300 percent year-on-year, according to data compiled by tech news site Tech In Asia. Indonesia accounted for more than 22 percent of that investment, second only to Singapore.

In terms of opportunity, “if you think about what China was like 15 years ago, that’s similar to where Indonesia is now,” Chen says. “It’s getting a lot of attention from foreign investors. Everyone wants a piece of the growing pie.”    [FULL  STORY]

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