A few years ago, a worry that many Chinese investors had with Southeast Asia was the lack of experienced talent.

What does that mean? You might ask. The talent who have actually been through a fast-growing internet company, who will not be able to go back to any slow-paced environment, and who will, given a chance, be founders of new companies.

In the US we have the Paypal mafia, and in China, the alumni of successful tech companies such as Alibaba have created thousands of startups, including listed companies and unicorns/decacorns:

Some of the unicorns / listed companies founded by Alibaba alumni

The good thing for Southeast Asia is, after about a decade of tech development, experienced internet executives are spilling over.

There are approximately 397 founders & co-founders in Southeast Asia who are alumni of Rocket (including Lazada), Uber, Grab, and Gojek.

Some of the companies founded by these alumni are Alodokter (Indonesia’s healthcare super app), Pomelo (a leading international online fashion company based in Bangkok), and Dahmakan (a full-stack food delivery startup based in Malaysia).

New companies founded by alumni of big tech companies in SEA

So what are the prospects for these startups in Southeast Asia? We believe it is only a matter of time that some of these new founders in Southeast Asia will make it.

In China (and the US), successful exited founders would fund their ex-lieutenants to create new companies, in a positive spiral. As exits in Southeast Asia will probably come in the 2020s, we look to that too.

Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at hello@mworks.asia.