Top 5 Emerging Industries for Startups

By Angelee L. Carandang | April 20, 2021

Aspiring to be a startup founder? With the pandemic changing entire business landscapes, some things have remained the same while others have completely changed. For all industries, tech has boosted its presence all over the world especially in Southeast Asia. According to the research of Cento Ventures, Southeast Asian tech startups drew $8.2 billion of investment in 2020. I’d like to share top industries that are booming today and how tech plays a major role in each one of them.

1. AI (Artificial Intelligence)

According to the latest release of the International Data Corporation Worldwide Semiannual Artificial Intelligence Tracker: Worldwide revenues for the AI market are forecast to grow 16.4% yearly in 2021 to $327.5 billion. By 2024, the market is expected to break the $500 billion mark with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.5% and total revenues reaching an impressive $554.3 billion.

AI is definitely a top industry for tech startups but this is not limited to Silicon Valley alone. In fact, in the very heart of the Philippines lies CawilAi – an industry-agnostic artificial intelligence solution that provides data labeling and annotation to train machine learning models for businesses, internet-of-things, and the environment. 

One of their products is the SyREN – an online telemed and supply chain app for reproductive health products. It is a mobile app platform that provides a convenient way to access (over-the-counter) contraceptives. Another one of their projects is the electronic catch documentation and traceability app that automatically identifies species of Tuna with estimated length and weight. CawilAi has focused its solutions to help uplift the lives of young women, fishermen, and so much more with AI technology. So, AI is definitely not just about smart robots taking over the world.

2. eCommerce

Almost everything can be bought online and the pandemic has reinforced the need to do so.

According to Statista: retail eCommerce sales worldwide amounted to $4.28 trillion in 2020 and e-retail revenues are projected to grow to $5.4 trillion in 2022.

Shopee, Lazada, Amazon, Alibaba, and Shopify are well-known eCommerce platforms and services but did you know that a former Silicon Valley hotshot has decided to empower 100,000 Philippine SMEs with simple and affordable eCommerce software. Dennis Velasco founded Prosperna with an obsession to help SMEs through SaaS technology and they even became #1 sales productivity & online marketing platform in the real estate industry in the Philippines.

As a major player in the eCommerce industry, Prosperna can help you set up an online store and you can expect rockstar support from their team. It’s time to pivot and adjust to changing trends by upgrading your physical store into a money-making business in the online realm.

3. FinTech 

With online banking and payment systems on the rise, the fintech industry is among the top for startups today. Statista reports that the total transaction value of digital payments grew from $4.1 trillion in 2019 to $5.2 trillion in 2020. With a 12.8% projected CAGR from 2019 to 2023, the total value of transactions is expected to reach $6.7 trillion by 2023.

Long before the pandemic, Joseph Chan founded AsiaPay in Hong Kong to provide cost-effective digital payment solutions to businesses creating room for innovation and digital transformation. Now, AsiaPay is a premier digital payment solution and technology vendor in Asia as they offer a variety of award-winning, multi-currency, multi-lingual, multi-card, and multi-channeled payment solutions, bundled with advanced functionalities including fraud detection, tokenization, and data analytics. 

If you’re looking to launch a fintech business, fraud detection and cybersecurity are a must to become competitive and trusted by the market.

4. Esports

Universities around the world are starting to offer official esports courses for skilled professionals. Grand View Research reports that the global esports market size was valued at $1.48 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 24.4% to reach $6.81 billion in market value in 2027.

Shinta Dhanuwardoryo founded Bubu.com way back in 1996 and has now emerged as a pioneer company in the esports industry in Indonesia. They are a digital marketing agency that has hosted tournaments, designed team uniforms, and introduced gender equality in esports by bringing the same prize pool for male and female divisions.

You don’t have to be a professional player to become an entrepreneur in the esports scene. You can be like Shinta who empowered players and paved the way for esports to become a reputable sport and source of entertainment for her country.

5. Education

The pandemic canceled physical classes and almost everyone is experiencing online learning at home. Virtual classes and tools for online education are badly needed by teachers and institutions all over the world. Research and Markets’ report on the global online education market is projected to witness a CAGR of 9.23% during the forecast period to reach a total market size of US$319.167 billion in 2025.

The School of Agility Grit and Entrepreneurship is an online educational platform for entrepreneurs to develop their skills and acquire life-long mentorship and guidance. SAGE has already partnered with higher educational institutions and universities in the Philippines, Singapore, and Malaysia. SAGE hopes to bridge the gap between success and failure by making sure students and aspiring entrepreneurs are part of an ecosystem built on a mindset of helping each other grow and thrive in today’s technological age.

 In fact, all of the founders of the companies I mentioned above (Cawil AI, Prosperna, AsiaPay, and Bubu.com) are part of SAGE’s global faculty of speakers and mentors.

If you need a mentor, entrepreneurship classes, or enriching business ideation programs, SAGE can be the platform for you to test your skills, validate your ideas, and scale your business. SAGE is even giving out free startup kits for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Get yours here!

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