Expert points to absence of Malaysian unicorns (The Sun Daily)

Super applications are attracting the attention of investors, having witnessed investments worth US$43 billion (RM182.29 billion) between 2016 and 2019, but Malaysia has failed to grow or even house one super application or unicorn company (startups valued at US$1 billion and above) in the country, according to EY Parthenon Asean leader Joongshik Wang (pix).

Malaysia reportedly struggles to grow unicorns due to its smaller population, lower gross domestic product (GDP) per capita compared with neighbouring countries, and fewer international investment opportunities.

Wang said more than 80% of unicorns in Southeast Asia are concentrated in Singapore and Indonesia, while the number of emerging unicorns in Vietnam is growing.

“Although Malaysia has high market maturity of digital economy, interestingly, we do not see unicorns in Malaysia. Many of its digital ecosystem are not (provided by) local companies but taken by other countries in the region,” Wang told reporters today at the virtual media launch of an EY study “Building Successful Digital Ecosystems in Southeast Asia”.

Some of the leading digital natives in Southeast Asia are transforming into super digital platforms, by delivering interconnected services through an integrated experience – from ride-hailing, food delivery, grocery, logistics, through health, lifestyle and financial services, the study found.

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The Sun Daily

11 August 2021

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