According to startup organizations and venture capital firms, Cambodia lacks privately-held startups with a value more than $1 billion, making unicorns in the nation as rare as the mythical animal. But things might change shortly.
A private firm with a value of over $1 billion is called a unicorn startup. The term “Unicorn Startup” was first used by venture capitalist Aileen Lee in a 2013 in an article on the lessons learnt from the spectacular success of Facebook and Google.
She claimed that businesses that can reach this milestone valuation are as uncommon as unicorns at the moment. 39 unicorns from around the world were on the list in 2013.
As of March 30, 2022, there were 1,068 unicorn startups worldwide.
Since the term’s introduction, even larger versions have appeared: Decacorns are valued at more than $10 billion, and Hectacorns are valued at more than $100 billion.
In the 10 ASEAN nations, 19 startups become unicorns in the previous year.
Region had 35 $1 billion+ startups, 15 of them were in Singapore, 11 in Indonesia, 3 in Malaysia, 3 in Thailand, 2 in Vietnam, and 1 in the Philippines.
According to Tech in Asia’s research, there are currently 49 such unicorns in the South East Asian region (which also includes a number of decacorns – firms valued at $10 billion or more).
Let’s look in to the important conclusions provided by FounderKit on Unicorn Stratups:
- Software makes up 87 percent of unicorns’ products.
- Retail, technology, and financial services account for 50% of unicorn businesses.
- The most common founding size is two (followed by one).
- Businesses owned by unicorns are 62% business to consumer (B2C).
- The typical time it takes to surpass the billion-dollar threshold is five years.
How Cambodia is building an ecosystem to help Startups?
The nation lacks Singapore’s predicted 2021 per capita income of $60,000 and Indonesia’s 278 million potential consumers, but it does have a young population and more mobile phones than its 16 million plus citizens.
When it comes to training, support is not lacking for Cambodian entrepreneurs. The government-funded Techo Startup Center offers incubator, accelerator, and R&D services. It also helps university students obtain internships at businesses and connects business owners with investors.
Impact Hub Phnom Penh provides meeting and workspaces, training, mentoring, and development programs.
By investing $8 billion in the National Incubation Center of Cambodia at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, the governments of South Korea and Cambodia are collaborating to support young entrepreneurs.
Khmer Enterprise, a division of the Finance Ministry, has the responsibility of creating an environment that supports local business owners, providing both financial and non-financial support to startups, and enticing both domestic & global venture capitalists to invest in Cambodian businesses.
Although there isn’t a specific formula for creating a unicorn startup, you can develop your business with the ideas and strategies of successful unicorns.
Once you develop a simple, reasonably priced solution to address users’ problems and scale it, you’ll move one step closer to unicorn standards.
It’s true that unicorns are quite uncommon. However, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t study examples and build up your business to follow the successful strategies they used.
Soon, Unicorns will appear in Cambodia!