e-conomy SEA: Unlocking the $200B Digital Opportunity

Technology innovations leveraging the full power of the internet will undoubtedly make the world a different place by 2025. Here is new research from Google and Temasek on what this means for SEA.

In more economically advanced nations, it’s easy to imagine consumers reading newspapers on 3D monitors (think Minority Report) in the back seats of driverless cars. In Southeast Asia, however, even simple internet accessibility is likely to have a more profound and consequential impact on people’s everyday lives.

A teenage girl from Bac Kan in rural Northern Vietnam, inches toward her dreams by subscribing to her first online English language class; she hopes to attend Harvard one day. A man in Derawan, a remote Indonesian island in the Celebes Sea, sighs in relief after using his smartphone to make an emergency purchase: a flight to visit his ailing father in Sumatra. A mother in Pai, a small town in northern Thailand that has no toy stores within 100km, smiles in elation after purchasing her son’s dream toy train for his fifth birthday.

The internet, a tool many of us take for granted, is about to revolutionize the lives of millions of Southeast Asian consumers.

3.8 million new users will come online each month in Southeast Asia, making it the fastest growing internet region in the world between 2015 and 2020.

The internet economy in Southeast Asia is bound to see exponential growth. But just how large is it forecasted to be? To answer this question, Google and Temasek embarked on a five-month long research journey, leveraging proprietary Google and Temasek data and then vetting the data with 59 industry experts including VCs, startups, and investment banks.

Specifically, Google and Temasek estimate that around 3.8 million new users will come online each month in Southeast Asia, making it the fastest growing internet region in the world between 2015 and 2020. This, combined with a burgeoning young population (70% of Southeast Asia is under the age of 40), rising disposable incomes (all six major Southeast Asian countries will break the estimated $3,000 GDP/capita barrier), greater availability of banking systems, and a lack of available organized retail will enable an estimated $200 billion internet economy by 2025.

To learn more about this massive business opportunity, including a sector-wise breakdown, required investments, and business challenges that need to be addressed, access the full Google/Temasek research study below.

Think w/Google APAC on Twitter

Digital tips, trends and insights... one tweet at a time.