Also at the webinar was Heang Chhor, founder and managing partner of Singapore-based venture capital (VC) firm Qualgro. Chhor believes more capital needs to come into the region to fuel the technological capabilities of Southeast Asian companies and create more scalable startups.
“That capital could come in if we are able to deliver exits. Southeast Asia could improve in terms of exits with the support of some stock exchanges, in particular, the Singapore Exchange (SGX). We need to do better and find a way to support entrepreneurs and tech companies much more effectively here, as well as in Indonesia,” he said.
Traditionally, trade sales have always dominated exit numbers in Southeast Asia. Only in the past 10 years has early-stage investing really gained traction in the region, bringing more global venture capital firms to set up shop locally. In addition, well-funded corporate venture arms play an outsized role in Southeast Asia, taking an active stance in not only backing emerging startups but also strategically acquiring those with potential.