A sharp rise in venture capital and private equity investment in Southeast Asia has helped produce the region’s first set of unicorns—new companies that rapidly achieve market valuations of $1 billion or more. Since 2012, 10 unicorns, including Grab, Go-Jek and Traveloka, have created a combined market value of $34 billion, ranking Southeast Asia No. 3 in the Asia-Pacific region, behind only China and India.
Suvir Varma is a senior advisor with Bain & Company’s Global Private Equity practice, based in Singapore. Alex Boulton is a principal in the firm’s Singapore office.