Tech In Asia 2018: Reflecting on SendBird in Southeast Asia
SendBird, over the past year, made a concerted effort to grow its presence in Southeast Asia. We heard rumblings of the great tech scene in the region and knew that some of the most innovative companies outside of Silicon Valley were based in Southeast Asia. Over the course of a year, we were able to partner with some of the region's leading unicorns from GO-JEK, Traveloka, and Tokopedia in Indonesia to Singapore’s own Carousell.
After working with these different companies, we not only saw passion and drive, but also the ability to execute on great ideas. From our experience, many startups in Southeast Asia have these winning qualities.
It's rewarding to know that SendBird contributed its chat and messaging technology to some of the region's leading ondemand, ecommerce, travel, and marketplace startups.
Recently, our team attended Tech in Asia Singapore 2018, one of Asia’s premier tech conferences that brings together the region's top companies, startups and investors. There we had the chance not only to connect with some of our customers but also to see Southeast Asia's vibrant startup community.
The conference hosted global companies like Y Combinator, Stripe, HubSpot, and Salesforce as well as local giants like Grab, Carousell, PropertyGuru, Go-Jek, Ninja Van and others. It featured several tracks for different topics in marketing, development, revenue, AI, blockchain and more, and was a great opportunity to network and get leading industry insights.
SendBird 💕 Carousell
When our team first arrived in Singapore, we had a chance to visit one of our biggest partners in Singapore - Carousell. It was great to meet with their team and share some of the exciting things going on in both companies. On the day we arrived for the conference, we were proud to find out that Carousell just announced its Series C funding round of $85 million. Carousell was the buzz of the town! It was really exciting to see how far they had come and to share that moment with them. Congratulations again to Carousell!
For many SaaS or API companies, including SendBird, it is difficult for the public to see the impact our products have on a day-to-day basis. One of SendBird's strengths, for example, is that our product is embedded into our client's app and brand.
So it made a lasting impression on me when our booth visitors learned that SendBird powered Carousell's buyer to seller chat because so many people we met used Carousell, GO-JEK and others. We were able to receive direct feedback from our client's app users, who said they loved the messaging experience inside Carousell’s app. If nothing else was gained from this trip, hearing that feedback was rewarding in itself.
Southeast Asia’s Startup Ecosystem
After Tech in Asia, I traveled to Europe to attend another conference. Since I was new to the city and region, I asked my Uber driver who the noteworthy or prominent tech startups in the city were. He couldn’t really point to one specific company, and he eventually mentioned TomTom, Uber, and Stripe. Europe obviously has a strong startup culture and this was only one person. But it struck me that the startup cultures in Singapore and Indonesia, respectively, are unique precisely because they are conspicuously present throughout the community.
When I spoke to many of the attendees who visited the SendBird booth at TIA, nearly everyone we spoke to had used Carousell or GO-JEK in some capacity, and I think this was a testament to the impact they have in their region. And one didn't only sense this about the big players in Southeast Asia, but one could feel the same kind of drive and energy from the small to medium size startups presenting at the TIA exhibition area.
Continuing our goal to support chat throughout Asia
By powering the chat and messaging for Carousell, GO-JEK, Tokopedia, Traveloka, or even Nexon in Japan, we have been able to help startups of massive scale win. But we're equally dedicated to those companies who are just beginning to test out chat and messaging.
SendBird is uniquely positioned to help companies of all sizes because our solution is fully-customizable, feature rich, and backed by a powerful infrastructure. So we have the ability to scale and manage your chat traffic as your company grows into the next unicorn.
SendBird's support for startups in Southeast Asia has been a rewarding because we have been able to see the APAC startup ecosystem continue to prosper.
After attending TIA 2018, we have high hopes for the companies in this region and look forward to helping them become regional if not global leaders in their industries.