Southeast Asia startup struggles at heart of this year’s Techsauce Global Summit

Oranuch Lerdsuwankij CEO & Co-founder

Press Release

Startup funding, investor confidence and growth were just some of the pain points addressed at this year’s Techsauce Global Summit, which took place at ICONSIAM, Bangkok on the 26 and 27 August. The conference, which is back in physical form following a three-year hiatus, saw over 10,000 attendees, 1,500 startups and 300 speakers in attendance. Techsauce Global Summit acts as an international gateway for global leaders in technology, startups, corporations, investors and venture capitals, allowing them to come together, network and co-create.

According to figures from Techsauce media, in 2020, although investment in Thai startups reached a record high of $364 million USD, the number of deals dropped from 45 in 2019 to 33 in 2020. More recent research, which was revealed at today’s event demonstrates a financial winter is on the way with total funding being valued at just $280 million USD from January to August this year. Techsauce has also revealed plans to help companies scale across Asia to enable them to compete with other businesses in the region through their new Thailand Accelerator, which was officially launched on 26th August.

Southeast Asia startup struggles at heart of this year’s Techsauce Global Summit | News by Thaiger
Oranuch Lerdsuwankij and Charle Charoenphan

Speaking about the challenges Thai startups are currently facing, Charle Charoenphan – Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer of Techsauce Media said: “Only 40 plus out of 2,000 startups have raised Series A in Thailand, we simply don’t have enough capital to compete on the main stage. Most accelerators in Thailand are corporate startups and when it comes to investment it can take months. We want to fill that gap through our new programme to help quality startups move forward.”

Southeast Asia’s tech landscape is currently dominated by large companies from China and the US entering the market. Data from China’s Ministry of Commerce has revealed that Chinese investment in ASEAN alone came up to US$14.36 billion, an increase of 52.1 percent, year on year. Alibaba, ByteDance, and Tencent have all set up their regional headquarters in Southeast Asia, while Huawei announced its investment in a 5G innovation center in Thailand last September, revealing Thailand’s potential to reach gold startup status.

Commenting on the current state of startup funding in Thailand alone, Oranuch Lerdsuwankij, CEO & Co-founder of Techsauce Media added: “Since the pandemic we are seeing a big gap between seed and Series A stage companies, normally they would be better able to raise funds. There is room to compete with the rest of Asia.”

Southeast Asia startup struggles at heart of this year’s Techsauce Global Summit | News by Thaiger
Oranuch Lerdsuwankij CEO & Co-founder

Techsauce Global Summit’s Thailand Accelerator is aimed at helping startups and SMEs grow across all industries in Southeast Asia. It was established to assist entrepreneurs scale during market volatility and aims to provide startups with access to funding so that they can launch into the global market.

This year’s Techsauce Global Summit featured a host of stages, including Fintech, Climate Tech, the Metaverse, AI/Data, NFTs/Digital Assets, Deeptech, Smart Cities, Health Tech, Startups/VC and Corporate Innovation. Speakers included Bin Xu, Director, Digital Innovation Lab Lead, Pfizer, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Chairperson, Toshiba Thailand Co. Ltd, Mark Twaalfhoven, President, Valuec, Erin Meyer, Author, No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention, Dr. Carole Robin, Co-Founder & Head of Faculty, Leaders in Tech and Chris Yeh, Co-Founder, Blitzcaling Academy.

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