Friday, December 25, 2015

13 Asian Startups To Watch In 2016

2015 was an eventful year for the tech industry in Asia. Funding started to flow in India, which is expected to become the world’s second-largest Internet market soon, while many tech companies in China, South Korea, and Southeast Asia also hit key milestones. The following is just a tiny sample of startups that we think will do impressive things next year in industries ranging from finance to healthcare.

One97 Communications (India)

A mobile Internet company in India backed by Alibaba Group, One97 is probably best-known for launching mobile payments platform Paytm, which is spun off into a separate company this year and is reportedly valued at more than $1 billion.

Paytm’s platform, which gives users different ways to top-up their online account, is important because it provides e-commerce payment methods for the many Indian consumers who don’t have bank or credit cards. It also recently granted provisional approval to act as a payment bank by India’s banking authority, which gives Paytm more opportunities to expand its fin-tech services.

Omise (Thailand)
Omise is younger and smaller than Paytm, but it is poised to become one of the leading online payment companies in Southeast Asia, which has one of the world’s most promising e-commerce markets.

Practo (India)
The health technology startup, whose investors include Sequoia Capital, Matrix Partners, Google Capital, and Chinese Internet giant Tencent, is eyeing international growth, with China first on its list of new markets.

Practo wants to improve healthcare with two main products: a marketplace that helps patients find the best doctors and cloud-based practice management software called Practo Ray

Coupang (Korea)
An e-commerce company based in Seoul, Coupang joined a small but growing list of Korean unicorns this summer when it scored $1 billion in funding from SoftBank at a reported $5 billion valuation.

South Korea’s high smartphone penetration rate has helped Coupang grow rapidly, but the company doesn’t just rest on its mobile commerce chops. It’s also built its own logistics network, with delivery staff who act as brand ambassadors by handing out product samples and handwritten thank you notes.


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