Bangkok, Oct 3 (IANS) Southeast Asia’s Internet economy is estimated to hit $100 billion in 2019, a 39-per cent increase compared to 2018, according to industry forecasts released on Thursday.
The annual “e-Conomy SEA” report presented by the Singapore-based investment firm Temasek also projected that the region’s digital economy could reach up to $300 billion by 2025, Efe news reported.
“The region has tremendous potential for further growth thanks to fundamental consumer behaviour changes, growing Internet connectivity and more,” the report said.
“Investors remain bullish about Southeast Asia despite the global economic headwinds, with over $37 billion of capital poured into the region’s Internet economy over the past four years,” it added.
With over 360 million people across the region having online access, users have become used to performing day-to-day tasks such as shopping, booking a cab or making e-payments through the Internet.
Though more than half of Southeast Asia’s Internet economy remains concentrated in just seven sprawling metropolitan areas (Bangkok, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila and Singapore), activity in other areas is witnessing rapid growth, said the report.
According to the report, 11 e-commerce and ride-hailing unicorns – such as regional giants Grab, Lazada or GoJek – attracted two out of every three dollars raised since 2016.
In addition, $5 billion have been invested in more than 70 so-called “aspiring unicorns” – tech startups valued at between $100 million and $1 billion – that are “on the lookout for late-stage funding to scale further”.