Sunday, December 30, 2012

Predicing Top Trends for Startup Asia In 2013

As we get ready to ring in the new year, here’s my top 10 predictions for Startup Asia in 2013 — with a decided Silicon Valley lens. In case you missed it, this forecast follows last week’s recap of the top 10 Startup Asia trends in 2012.

Here goes:

1. Silicon Valley will remain the global tech hub followed by China though innovation centers in clusters around the world will matter more. Think Indonesia, Brazil and Russia, and of course, the perennial, Israel. London too will help to jumpstart innovation again in Europe as Silicon Roundabout becomes a reality. Entrepreneurs from around the world still flock to the Valley for that spark of imagination.

2. Startups will consolidate or die in the emerging Asian tech strongholds of China and India as the strong get stronger and the weak get weaker. The result will be more concentration of breakthrough products from fewer players and more pressure on startups to scale up quickly with a distinct advantage or get swallowed up.

To read all 10 trends, click Startup Asia 2013 at

Top 10 Trends for Startup Asia in 2012

As the 2012 calendar near a close in this Chinese Dragon year, it’s time to reflect on the top trends that defined the increasingly sophisticated Startup Asia scene over the past 12 months.

Here’s a few observations here from my many journalistic travels and interviews in China and India during 2012.

1. The rise of the serial entrepreneur. Those who struck it rich with their first startups are now going back in for another try, this time with more cash of their own and with lessons learned. It’s a phenomenon that jumpstarted Silicon Valley and has now spread to Asia’s tech hotspots.

2. The arrival of the angel investor. Serial entrepreneurs are turning to angel investing as a way to seed lots of startups. The jury is still out if these first-time investors can make good bets, but early signs indicate that they are applying their skills to this new artistry. Check out Shanghai’s AngelVest as an example of how this model works.

3. Going private. With stocks trading low, several company founders raised enough private equity finance to take their companies off US exchanges and private again. Witness Focus Media, and a lot more in the cue. When and where the companies are re-listed is a trend to watch.

4. Survival of the fittest for venture firms. Those with a good track record and investment returns raised new funds, such as GGV Capital, which raised a fourth fund. Those that couldn’t get traction have gone silent or shifted their management teams. It’s a natural weeding out of venture firms in Asia, following a pattern that happened in the U.S. a decade earlier.

Continue reading post at Click Startup Asia 2012 Trends.

5. Venture club deals. Venture capitalists are hedging their bets by grouping together and investing in deals that seemed destined to be big winners. Particularly favored are deals that have earlier angel financing say from a big name like Lei Jun.