Thai tech startups come to life.

Unlike Singapore and Indonesia, Thailand does not have a unicorn, i.e. a tech startup worth more than $ 1 billion. Funnily enough, Covid-19 may be the catalyst Thailand needs to catch up with other Asian nations and produce a unicorn.

Singapore of course has Grab as a big success story, in the early stages a transport app similar to the American Uber, actually founded by two Malaysians (both graduates from Harvard) who launched the service in 2012 as MyTeksi in Kuala Lumpur.

Between 2014 and 2020, Grab raised $ 5.5 billion from a variety of parties such as Softbank, Toyota and China Investment Corp. It became one of the world’s most liquid unicorns.

Indonesia has GoJek, another transportation app similar to Grab and Uber, but more focused on motorcycles. In June of this year, GoJek collected more than $ 3 billion in capital from US technology giants Facebook and PayPal, and Indonesian conglomerates Djarum and Astra, among others.

Both Grab and GoJek are considered pioneers in Thailand. Grab entered the Thai market in 2018, following the acquisition of Uber’s Southeast Asian business. GoJek entered Thailand last year in the form of a joint venture with Thai tech startup Get. FoodPanda, arguably the region’s first food delivery startup, has been operating in Thailand since 2012.

Not a real Thai unicorn yet, but there are a handful of startups that are doing well. The top three Thai startups show stable growth, with profitability and a business model based on common sense predominating. They are therefore an attractive investment option for investors in the midst of a financial crisis.

aCommerce hopes to become Thailand’s first unicorn. They help brands sell their products through a diverse range of logistics and sales tools, primarily in Thailand with plans to expand into fast-growing ASEAN markets such as Indonesia and the Philippines.

Although they had no funding rounds in 2020, Eko Labs of Amity, as their newly formed parent company is called, made an “eight-digit” acquisition of another Thai startup, AI and machine learning company ConvoLab, which has already raised 1 billion baht in financing.

Eko’s platform has 700,000 paid subscriptions, 5 million active users and “eight-digit” revenue.