Newsletter #72 - SEA startups

Why SEA startups are primed to succeed

  • Bright outlook for Southeast Asia’s startups
  • Pride month: LGBTQ in pop culture
  • NC Team picks: building influence at work; employee retention strats
  • We’re hiring; join the NewCampus team


🌏 Southeast Asian startups finds their place on global stage

  • Southeast Asia’s blockbuster IPOs in 2021—for both Grab and GoTo—could pave the way for more billion-dollar start-ups to emerge, according to venture capital firm 500 Startups. [CNBC]
  • The merger between Gojek and Tokopedia gave birth to an Indonesian technology behemoth, and it’s intensifying two Chinese giants’ competition in Southeast Asia. Currently, the SEA regions’ e-commerce penetration rate is 38%, almost half of China’s 67.7%, translating to much room for growth. [KrAsia]
  • In a 2020 report by Google and Temasek, the Southeast Asian Internet economy will exceed US$240bn by 2025, which means that the market size gained in the next few years will be bigger than the whole market today. [Google]
  • Because these SEA startups were born with a digital-first mindset, their ability to adapt and pivot quickly made them better prepared for disruption. Startups like Gojek, Grab and Tokopedia used cloud technology to help otherwise underemployed people make a better living and help small businesses. [Business Times]
  • As a result, SEA companies embracing the digital future could lead to growth spurts in some sectors—namely education and e-commerce—and opportunities in areas like digital financial services. [The Jakarta Post]

🏳️‍🌈 Celebrating Pride Month: LGBTQ in pop culture

  • Building awareness with art - How do K-pop and LGBT issues inspire Haneyl Choi’s sculptures? Haneyl Choi, an emerging Korean artist who infuses a LGBTQ narrative into his minimalist sculptural installations, presented his work at Art Basel Hong Kong last month.
  • Censorship in media - “Boys’ love” dramas are skirting around China’s censors and adaptations are booming, screened by China’s streaming giants such as Youku and Tencent Video, mostly fueled by demand from straight women and their growing interest in a more delicate form of masculinity.
  • Support from celebs - As the annual LGBTQ rally Pink Dot in Singapore geared up for a virtual celebration on 12 June, celebrities in Singapore spoke up, though not many, admittedly, in a country where gay sex is still illegal.  

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