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7 startups in Southeast Asia that caught our eye in 2021

Written by KrASIA Writers Published on     2 mins read

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These Southeast Asian startups that KrASIA highlighted in the first half of 2021 have one thing in common: they each identified a relatively unexplored area and built their business around it.

Southeast Asia is as diverse as a region can be. The needs of people in Singapore differ greatly from those in Myanmar, for instance, plus different cultures characteristics, languages, and other contexts create unique conditions for 675 million people. This makes the region ripe for a wide variety of startups to rise and thrive, each producing new applications and solutions for clients of every size and shape.

Here are seven regional startups that KrASIA featured in the first half of 2021.

#1: Ula digitizes Indonesia‘s small retailers

Drawing inspiration from neighborhood retail in India, Ula already had 30,000 kiosks in indonesia signed on for supply chain and inventory management in May.

Nipun Mehra, founder and CEO of Ula, is no stranger to e-commerce and tech investment. Photo courtesy of Ula.

#2: Singapore’s Swat Mobility offers safer transportation for Japan’s aging population

The company offers mobility-as-a-service in its home country Singapore, the Philippines, and Indonesia, but Japan is becoming a prime market due to its aging population.

Swat’s algorithm pools users’ demands in real-time and formulates the most efficient routes for picking up and dropping off passengers. Photo courtesy of Swat Mobility.

#3: Sayurbox is developing a sustainable agricultural supply chain in Indonesia

The technology-enabled grocery service and B2B produce supplier has partnered with over 10,000 farmers in Indonesia, operating in a sector where 30% of Indonesia’s work force garners its income.

Sayurbox buys fresh produce from farmers and sells the goods to end customers through its app and website. Photo courtesy of Sayurbox.

#4: Tonik targets the young and unbanked population in the Philippines

Hailing from Singapore, the neobank is the second financial institution to receive a digital banking license in the Philippines.

Digital banks in the Philippines can operate solely in digital form with a physical office where staff members address customers’ issues. Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash.

#5: Singapore-based PatSnap, Southeast Asia’s newest unicorn looked where no one else didIP data mining

With SoftBank and Tencent as backers, PatSnap describes itself as an “innovation intelligence” services provider that uses machine learning, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing to provide insights on patents.

Jeffrey Tiong and Dian Guan formed PatSnap to analyze patents, corporate and financial records, financing deals, legal records, as well as scientific papers and journals. Photo courtesy of PatSnap.

#6: Singapore-based Nalagenetics advances genetic testing for accurate, personalized medicine

Research and tests conducted by Nalagenetics can reduce adverse drug reactions and increase prescription efficacy.

The success of Nalagenetics’ first genetic testing program led its founders to explore similar testing regimens for a variety of drugs. Phot courtesy of Nalagenetics.

#7: Thailand’s Ricult is building a ‘Bloomberg Terminal’ for Thailand’s agricultural sector

Can a free app improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers? Aukrit Unahalekhaka, an MIT alum and the founder of Ricult, thinks so.

Thailand’s small-scale farmers generally have difficulty accessing regional and global markets, but Ricult is changing that. Photo courtesy of Ricult.

Read this: 5 startups in China that caught our eye in 2021

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