In many aspects, the Marketing industry in Southeast Asia expands despite the impact of the COVID pandemic and its ramifications. Although the core task of this industry, delivering products and services to the customers, remains unaltered, the target audience and the ways to reach it are undergoing significant changes. The digital marketing sphere, one of the industry’s relatively new branches, is expected to grow worldwide by 17.8% yearly by 2026. For countries of Southeast Asia, the CAGR is predicted to be 13.93%, making it the fastest expanding regional market in the world. By the same year, the field said to reach $15.35B worth in this region. Other industry sectors, such as advertising, branding, market research, etc., are developing as well. For instance, digital ad spendings of the mentioned province saw an increment of more than $0.5B over the last three years, peaking at 2.94 billion US dollars in 2020.
Given such paces, the industry is attractive to VCs and corporate investors. Held over the period between 2019-2021, 20 funding rounds in the Marketing industry accounted for 5.2% of the total number of rounds in Southeast Asia over this time. Among all, 12 investors, sampled on the diagram below according to their number of rounds, are especially active.
- Funds Geography – Roughly half of the 12 funds come from Indonesia, more specifically – from its capital city, Jakarta. The rest of the companies come from Malaysia, with 3 companies from Kuala Lumpur, and the Philippines, where 3 firms are based in the cities of Pasig, Parañaque, and Makati. Since the top investors prefer to put money into the startups with the country of origin similar to their fund’s, financing is mostly drawn to Indonesian projects; startups from the United States, Malaysia, and the Philippines are the next to receive material support.
- Industry Focus – The list of investment focus industries for the sampled funds includes Finance, E-Commerce Platforms, Business Development, and Art (Auctions). Most attention is paid to the Finance projects, such as Amartha or Cermati (both coming from Indonesia).
- Important Years – The oldest fund from the sample, Navis Capital Partners, was founded in 1998; the newest one, ScaleUp Malaysia, was formed only two years ago, in 2019. In that interval, many funds were established in 2013. Regarding the VCs’ activity, the period between 2000-2020 saw the most deals accomplished; for some companies, the peak fell in 2018.
- Investments – For the listed VCs, it is common to invest 2 or up to 6 times per year, or 27.1 times on average. At maximum, the number of rounds per company reached 60 (for Alpha JWC Ventures); the least active fund so far invested only 4 times. Most frequently, the funds became lead investors once, although some of them never led any rounds, and some reached the maximum of 21 lead investments. The average number of lead investment rounds and its median are 7.2 and 6.5, respectively. Because the index of difference between lead investments and the average rests between -71.0 and 29.0 percentage points, it can be said that some firms from the list choose to lead the financing more often than others. Finally, this index’s average value is 0.76, and the median is 4.6.
- Typical Rounds – Among the types of funding, Seed and Early stages prevail and are followed by Late and Venture rounds. The number of investors per round does not follow any pattern for the sampled funds. Typically, the amount of money given during the round does not exceed 100 thousand US dollars; however, it lies between 10-50 million in some cases. The multiplicator for portfolio companies of the listed VCs averages at 0.14 and has a median of 0.05; at maximum, the increase equals 0.48. The majority of the funds have a zero value for this multiplier.
In general, the major part of the financing for the Marketing industry of Southeast Asia is delivered by Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Investments are focused on the Finance field, with E-CommercePlatforms, BusinessDevelopment, and Art (Auctions) following. Although there is no clear tendency regarding the number of partakers per round, the analysis suggests that the investment size is either less than 100 000 or 5-10 million. The listed VCs also choose to participate up to 6 times annually.