Southeast Asian Business Roundup

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Southeast Asian Business Roundup

Indonesia

Go-Jek attracted the equivalent of US$550 million in funding recently, adding further fuel to the belief that Indonesian startups are a catalyst for investment thanks to its growing population of young internet users.

For investors, the on-demand sector is enticing because Indonesia’s 250 million population is becoming increasingly urbanized and connected as well as technologically intelligent.

Silicon Valley’s Fenox Venture Capital is one of the most active in Southeast Asia and is of the view that Indonesia’s on-demand services sector offers much room for expansion having invested in the likes of Belazee and AhliJasa.

Under Fenox’s GNB Accelerator, which is a joint initiative with the Japanese IT services provider Infocom Corporation, there are six Indonesian startups being assisted to grow. Four are in the on-demand sector (including Ahlijasa as well as XWORK, Klikdaily and HipCar).

According to data furnished from Association of Internet Service Providers in Indonesia, the country has about 100 million internet users, while its smartphone users are around 65 million.

Myanmar

Switzerland-based Seedstars World held a global seed-stage tech start-up competition in Yangon in the middle of August.

After an initial session eight tech start-ups were chosen for a training programme at the Strategy First Institute and the final winner was then flown to Switzerland to compete with other regional winners for a US$1 million prize at the Seedstars Summit.

There were over 40 applications for Seedstars World, most of which were described as being “incredibly enthusiastic but lacking in commercial awareness and business acumen.”

In Myanmar, most of the tech start-ups are software start-ups to support the growing services industry and consumer needs.

A Seedstars spokesman said, “This is a great time to be in Myanmar for a startup, and investor. While tourism and the services industry is booming, there is a significant lack of infrastructure and ways of connecting consumers to their needs.”

It was only two years ago that Myanmar allowed foreign telecom operators Telenor and Ooredoo to operate in the country, making the use of the internet more affordable and competitive.

Vietnam

Big differences in the valuation of Audio Visual Global (AVG), which was acquired earlier this year by Vietnam’s second largest network operator MobiFone have emerged after the government decided to review the acquisition transaction.

MobiFone purchased 95 percent of AVG, which operates the digital television channel AnVien TV, for an undisclosed sum. This was aimed at diversifying its business into the local 10 million-subscriber pay TV market, prior to going public under the state’s privatization strategy.

The government said MobiFone hired several agencies to conduct its corporate valuation in 2015 including Vietcombank Securities, AASC Auditing, and Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh City Valuation Co Ltd among others.

These agencies valued AVG at just 16.6 trillion dong, about half that it

claimed to be worth before the evaluation.

The government report has not clarified the reasons for such a vast difference in valuation, which would normally indicate that the earlier valuation was exaggerated.

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