We witnessed several startups raise funds very easily in 2021 along with quite a few high profile companies going public. There was a record surge in investments in Southeast Asia and Cento Ventures’ new Southeast Asia Tech Investment report revealed that $14.2 billion was invested in Southeast Asia in 2021!

But what a different world we live in now!

Though things have changed now, how was the tech investment scene in 2021? 

Cento Ventures’ Southeast Asia Tech Investment – 2021 report gives you insights into what happened in the tech investment landscape and what we can expect in the future. 

Momentum Works is also launching a Chinese version of the report and the Japanese and Korean versions will be out soon. You can download the report here: https://thelowdown.momentum.asia/country_sector/southeast-asia-tech-investment-2021/?option=2021-southeast-asia&code=14779 

Here are a few major highlights from the report:

#1 Record number of deals and investments in Southeast Asia

tech investment in Southeast Asia

The number of venture investments in Southeast Asia surged in 2021 with a total of 942 investments, surpassing the 700 investments in 2020. This is a 70% YoY growth! 

This is mainly due to the increase in large deals, with single deals over $100 million accounting for 52% of the investment. 

5 largest deals accounted for 21% of investment in 2021, compared to 39% and 51% in 2020 and 2019. 


#2 Deal sizes and valuations rise sharply

deals and valuations southeast asia

2021 saw a sharp upturn in both deal size and valuation. While we don’t have full information on valuations, the evidence we have indicate that valuations at each stage doubled in 2021. Median valuations for Pre-A deals are at $6.3M, Series A at $21M, Series B at $62M.


#3 Indonesia continues to attract the most investment

southeast asia capital

The geographic distribution of investments in 2021 is similar to the past. Indonesia accounted for 42% of investment value and 64% of the combined number of investments with Singapore. 

Singapore funding is driven mostly by mega-rounds from Ninjavan, Carro, Nium, Aspire, Property Guru, and Carousell. The majority of the Philippines funding is primarily driven by Mynt’s rounds while Vietnam’s shares increased due to mega-deals from Tiki, VN Life, and Momo.


#4 Financial services becomes the largest sector for investment

In 2021, the number of investments in the fintech industry was three times that of last year, making it the hottest industry today.

The top 3 sectors, namely financial, retail and multi-vertical sectors, account for ~70% of investments. The gaming sector also saw tremendous growth of over 20 times YoY. 


#5 IPOs became the main way to exit 

IPO southeast asia

IPOs accounted for more than 50% of our liquidity tracking in 2021. This was the product of a few large IPOs carried out by CTOS, Bukalapak, and Society Pass, and may signal the start of an interesting trend, regardless of the current volatility in public markets. 

Other types of exit in 2021 increased in the second half of the year, although it was still lower than 2020. We continue to assume that some larger potential deals have been delayed and that we will see some further growth in trade sales in 2022.


If you found this interesting, then we are sure you would like our upcoming event where Jianggan and Cento Ventures’ Dmitry Levit distil the data and share their perspectives on tech investments in the region in 2021 along with insights from the ground.

Register here – https://www.eventbrite.sg/e/tech-investment-in-southeast-asia-2021-on-the-crest-of-a-wave-tickets-325391092517

tech investment 2021

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 [email protected].