A horse of another: Here’s the full list of Southeast Asia’s 20 unicorns

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Back in 2014, Southeast Asia had only three unicorns: VNG, Garena (now ‘Sea’), and Razer.

Fast forward to today, the region has 20 unicorns. This stupendous growth can partly be attributed to the region’s growing number of internet users. It also demonstrates a tremendous opportunity — evident from the fact that US$19 billion was invested into tech startups in the region in H1 2021.

According to a report by Google, Temasek, and Bain, the digital economy in Southeast Asia is projected to hit US$300 billion by 2025. This could also mean the region is going to add more companies into the billion-dollar club.

As a tribute to entrepreneurs who put Southeast Asia on the map, e27 has compiled a list of all the 20 unicorns that are an inspiration for millions of to-be entrepreneurs.


Founded by three friends, Bukalapak is one of the biggest success startup stories from Indonesia. Bukalapak, which means ‘open a stall’ in Bahasa Indonesia, helps millions of local small mom-and-pop stores to sell their goods online.

The e-commerce unicorn plans to get listed on the Indonesian Stock Exchange on August 6. The firm, which counts the likes of GIC and Microsoft among its backers, is now set to create history by launching the biggest local listing in 13 years and the largest ever by a startup in the region.

Founding year: 2010

Headquarters: Indonesia

Total funding raised: US$784 million

Unicorn date: Jan 10, 2018


Started originally as an online marketplace for cars, Carro has registered significant growth. In 2021 alone, the firm posted a 2.5x revenue growth and it continues to be EBITDA-positive for the second year running. The startup also has plans to launch an initial public offering (IPO) in the next 18-24 months.

Carro is a subscription-based service that allows customers to drive a car without the hassle of owning it. It also provides a range of services that offer car owners everything they need, including an in-house financing solution, after-sales services, and a flexible car ownership experience with Singapore’s car subscription service.

Founding year: 2015

Headquarters: Singapore

Total funding raised: US$589.5 million

Unicorn date:


Carsome is the only unicorn that emerged from Malaysian so far and is valued at over US$1 billion. With operations across Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore, besides Malaysia, the firm claims to have an annualised revenue of US$800 million with plans to achieve US$1 billion this year.

The company provides end-to-end solutions to consumers and used car dealers — from car inspection to ownership transfer to financing. Every car that transacts on the platform goes through a comprehensive 175-point inspection, and every car purchase is backed up with an extended warranty and a money-back guarantee, it said in a statement.

Founding year: 2015

Headquarters: Malaysia

Total funding raised: US$107.4 million

Unicorn date: July 13, 2021

Flash Group

After recently raising US$150 million from a slew of investors, Flash Group is the only Thai company to make it into the billion-dollar club. Already placed in a competitive market, Flash Group is confident to dominate and intends to increase its domestic market share to over US$16 billion.

FlashGroup provides e-commerce logistics services and delivery services to Southeast Asian e-commerce platforms.

Founding year: 2017

Headquarters: Thailand

Total funding raised: Undisclosed

Unicorn date: Jan 2, 2021


The only company to have the status of a decacorn in Indonesia, Gojek has reached a position which many startups can only dream of.

Started as a ride-hailing service with only 20 motorcycle riders, called “ojek”, Gojek has now grown to a fleet of over one million drivers today. The company has also widened its products and services, from courier delivery, food, and shopping services, to fintech. Its app is also deemed by many to be the most popular and most used in the region.

Also Read:  Ecosystem Roundup: Will the likes of Grab, GoTo crush competition in SEA?

Founding year: 2010

Headquarters: Indonesia

Total funding raised: US$5.3 billion

Unicorn date: August 5, 2016


Grab is one of Singapore’s most-valued super apps that offers not just ride-hailing services but also food delivery and logistics services through its app.

As of now, Grab has a footprint across Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, and Cambodia, and is valued at US$40 billion in 2020 following its SPAC deal.

Founding year: 2012

Headquarters: Singapore

Total funding raised: US$12.1 billion

Unicorn date: May 12, 2020

J&T Express

Valued at US$7.8 billion, J&T Express has grown massively and is predicted by some to have the potential to compete with Chinese logistics companies.

A logistics delivery company, it is also the shipping partner for many notable brands, including OPPO, Tokopedia, Lazada, Shopee, and Bukalapak.

Founding year: 2015

Headquarters: Indonesia

Total funding raised: US$2.2 billion

Unicorn date: April 16, 2021


Lazada is a company that reached its unicorn status only after it was bought by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba for US$1 billion.

As of today, it is a major player in online shopping and selling. Lazada has a presence in six countries in the Southeast Asia region including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Headquarters: Singapore

Total funding raised: US$4.2 billion

Unicorn date: April 12, 2016

Founding year: 2012


It is the latest to enter the unicorn club. Nium achieved US$1 billion+ valuation following a recent US$200 million Series D investment round led by US-based Riverwood Capital.

Also Read: Nium adds US$200M more to its war chest to become Southeast Asia’s latest unicorn

Nium is a global payments platform that enables businesses to send, spend, and receive money from anywhere in the world, in addition to empowering them to develop their own products that simplify cross-border payments. The firm issues approximately 30 million physical and virtual cards today and is licensed in 11 jurisdictions, including direct card issuing capabilities in 24 countries and in 40 currencies.

Founding year: 2015

Headquarters: Singapore

Total funding raised: US$280 million

Unicorn date: May 12, 2020

Online Pajak

With a valuation of  US$1.7 billion, the Jakarta-based startup has several notable investors backing the company including Sequoia Capital India, Warburg Pincus, and Altos Ventures.

The company was founded to combat the tiresome tax system in Indonesia. To make it easier, its platform integrates web-based data that can be used by taxpayers to calculate, deposit, and report taxes in one platform. Users can also manage taxes for free with additional premium features such as invoicing and payroll.

Its services are now used by companies such as Tokopedia, Gojek, Garuda Indonesia, PT Astra Otoparts Tbk, Huawei Tech Investment, Jasa Marga and more.

Founding year: 2015

Headquarters: Indonesia

Total funding raised: US$41 million

Unicorn date: July 15, 2021


OVO is Indonesia’s fifth unicorn and is currently valued at over US$2.9 billion. It serves over 110 million people spread across 300 Indonesian cities and claims to serve 98 per cent of the adult population in the region.

Through OVO users can get access to payments, transfers, cash-in/out, rewards, asset management, and investments.

Founding year: 2017

Headquarters: Indonesia

Total funding raised: Undisclosed

Unicorn date: October 8, 2019


PatSnap began in 2007 as a patents analytics startup in Singapore and grew rapidly after it set up base in China through the NUS Suzhou Research Institute (NUSRI) and BLOCK71 by NUS Enterprise (the entrepreneurial arm of NUS). It currently provides R&D intelligence and IP intelligence platforms for brands and enterprises

The company raised Series E financing from the likes of Tencent and Softbank placing it into the unicorn club, with a valuation of US$1.35 billion.

Founding year: 2007

Headquarters: Singapore

Total funding raised: US$351.6 million

Unicorn date: March 17, 2021


Founded 16 years ago, Razer is one of the oldest unicorns in SEA. Dually headquartered in Singapore and the US, it is also one of the first to sponsor professional e-sports players in the world. Razer is the only Southeast Asian company to be publically listed in Hong Kong.

Its early business was the production of gaming devices (such as mice and keyboards) but since then has expanded into mobile phones as well as payments.

Founding year: 2005

Headquarters: Singapore/US

Total funding raised: US$200 million

Unicorn date: October 2014

Revolution Precrafted

Revolution Precrafted made headlines when it became the first unicorn company to emerge from the Philippines. However, the startup recently faced allegations of hooking several businessmen into schemes and running away with PHP150 million (US$3.1 million) in suspicious deals.

Founded six years ago, the company is a developer of prefabricated designer homes.

Founding year: 2015

Headquarters: Philippines

Total funding raised: Undisclosed

Unicorn date: October 23, 2017


Formerly known as Garena, Sea is a leading Singaporean gaming and e-commerce company known for launching one of the most successful IPOs in the US. The company also owns Shopee, one of the region’s largest and most popular e-commerce platforms, and AirPay, a digital payment service with a presence in three countries

Also Read: Ecosystem Roundup: Grab’s delayed listing and SEA’s SPAC euphoria

Founding year: 2009

Headquarters: Singapore

Total funding raised: US$2.6 billion

Unicorn date: Unidentified date, 2014


One of the earliest unicorns from Indonesia, the company is now merging with Gojek to create a multi-billion dollar tech company called GoTo.

Tokopedia is an e-commerce giant that aims to build a super ecosystem where anyone can start and discover anything. Today it works with various marketplaces, logistics, payments, and financial technology businesses, while also providing more than 500,000 payment points across Indonesia.

Founding year: 2009

Headquarters: Indonesia

Total funding raised: US$2.8 billion

Unicorn date: November 22, 2018


Founded by ex-Silicon Valley engineers, Traveloka provides access for users to discover and purchase a wide range of transportation, accommodation, lifestyle, and financial services products. The company claims that its app has been downloaded more than 60 million times.

As of July last year, Traveloka has a total of US$1.2 billion in its pocket.

Founding year: 2012

Headquarters: Indonesia

Total funding raised: US$12 billion

Unicorn date: March 16, 2018


With customers in over 90 countries, Trax provides customers with data science solutions that transform how in-store retail data is being collected, viewed, and analysed. With Trax, manufacturers and retailers can improve product availability, reduce distribution gaps, identify category opportunities and increase their sales.

Founding year: 2010

Headquarters: Singapore

Total funding raised: US$1 billion

Unicorn date: July 22, 2019


VNG is Vietnam’s first unicorn with a valuation that has surged more than 50 percent since it gained its unicorn status.

Its products and services are categorised into four business units — online games, payment, Zalo (video call), and VNG Cloud.

Founding year: 2004

Headquarters: Vietnam

Total funding raised: Undisclosed

Unicorn date: Unidentified date, 2014


VNPay has recently joined the ranks of VN Corp to become the second unicorn to be valued at US$1 billion. The company was given the title under a report known as e-Conomy SEA 2020 by tech giant Google and its partners. The report further stated that VNPay was one of the startups that attracted the highest investments in the Southeast Asian fintech industry last year.

The payment company has over 15 million monthly users who access its app to transfer money, pay utility bills and buy bus tickets.

Founding year: 2007

Headquarters: Vietnam

Total funding raised: US$300 million

Unicorn date: December 7, 2020

Having an updated profile in the e27 Startup Database opens up opportunities for greater exposure among potential investors and collaborators. Create and update yours now.

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Image Credit: 123rf

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