Top 10 Women in Tech of Southeast Asian Startups

Southeast Asia has seen its fair share of home-grown unicorn startups. Grab, Lazada, Gojek, Traveloka, and Tokopedia, to name a few, are among major startups finding fruitful business journeys thanks to the region’s established ecosystem. Interestingly, more venture capital (VC) companies and angel investors are recognizing the value of putting their investment in the region’s female founders. These female entrepreneurs and C-level executives bring industry knowledge, tenure on both VC and corporate boards. Here are 10 women leaders of startups in Southeast Asia, as reported by TechNode Global. Check them out and get inspired!


1 . Joanne and Cindy Kua (Thailand)

Joanne Kua

Joanne and Cindy Kua, Sunday’s co-founders and sisters, continue to operate their family-owned conglomerate KSK Group while supervising Sunday’s expansion. The sisters are serial entrepreneurs, having co-founded Carmana, a used automobile platform established in Bangkok, in 2016. Joanne is the CEO of KSK Group and the managing director of KSK Land, while Cindy is the CEO of Sunday and the Managing Director of KSK’s insurance company. Sunday, a full-stack InsurTech firm, offers customised insurance products and services with AI- based technology. Some of its notable investors include Tencent, Vertex Ventures, SCB 10X, Siam Commercial Bank’s venture arm, and LINE Ventures and Quona Capital.


2 . Yada Piyajomkwan (Indonesia)

Yada Piyajomkwan is the Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer of Ajaib, Indonesian newly-established broker to buy and sell stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds. This startup has raised a $65 million investment this year, with Softbank Ventures Asia, Insignia Ventures, Alpha JWC Ventures among its notable investors. 


3 . Azita Azizan (Malaysia)

Azita Azizan is a Malaysian startup executive director of Aerodyne, an AI-driven drone-based solution. She is in charge of coordinating this startup’s activities in 35 countries all over the world. This startup is estimated to be worth $47.29 million, with a $4.8 million of the latest round investment from June 2021. Arc Ventures, Leave a Nest, and Japan’s Drone Fund have also invested in Aerodyne. Gobi Partners, 500 Startups, and North Summit Capital are among its current significant investors.


4 . Clare Ros (Philippines)

Clare Ros is the woman behind KUMU, a startup headquartered in the Philippines. It is a social live streaming and entertainment network with the goal of promoting Filipino creativity, community, and business. KUMU’s latest series B of nearly $37 million has moved it to the top of the financing rankings. Endeavor Catalyst, Summit Media, and the Filipino media group ABS-CBN have also invested in KUMU.


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5 . Utari Octavianty (Indonesia)

Utari Octavianty co-founded Aruna, an Indonesian integrated fishing platform. She also serves as Chief Sustainability Officer. This startup intends to improve fair fish trade, enhance the livelihoods of local fishers, and provide communities with inexpensive and high-quality seafood. She brings to Aruna her industrial knowledge as well as a family heritage of fishing and coastal village life. In July 2021, it obtained a funding round worth of $33.08 million, with Prosus Ventures and East Ventures becoming its notable investors.


6 . Sharon Lim (Singapore)

Browzwear is a Singaporean startup led by Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Sharon Lim, who began as a distributor for Browzwear in Asia before acquiring the company in 2012. Browzwear, a provider of 3D digital solutions for the fashion industry, made its financial debut in August with a $35 million round from growth equity company Radian Capital.


7 . Jessica Li (Malaysia)

Pop Meals is a meal delivery business that uses artificial intelligence to automate logistics and cooking. Jessica Li, Pop Meal’s female Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, has a strong expertise, having previously worked at Foodpanda and PWC. This was Malaysia’s first startup to be admitted into the Y Combinator accelerator in 2017, thanks to Li’s leadership. Other major investors include Rakuten Capital, East Ventures, Woowa Brothers, and UpHonest Capital.


8 . Raena Lim (Singapore)

Raena Lim, a former Goldman Sachs executive, co-founded Style Theory with her husband Chris Halim in 2016. Style Theory is a fashion rental subscription platform that offers cost-effective fashion selections. Style Theory now has over 200,000 users in Singapore and Indonesia. This Singapore-based startup is estimated to be worth $24.07 million with Softbank Ventures Asia, The Paradise Group, Alpha JWC Ventures as its notable investors.


9 . Christina Suriadjaja, Christie Tjong (Indonesia)

Christina Suriadjaja

Travelio is an online residential real estate management firm that allows renters to search and rent homes for as little as a day to as long as a month. Christina Suriadjaja, Chief Strategy Officer, is a descendant of the Suriadjaja family, which owns commercial real estate, construction, and hotel industries in Indonesia. She collaborates with Christie Tjong, the Chief Operating Officer, to keep this startup developing. Travelio created its own online grocery shop and disinfection services during the pandemic. Revenue recovered to pre-pandemic levels by August 2020 as a result of this swift shift. Some of its renowned investors are Gobi Partners, Pegasus Tech Ventures, and Vynn Capital.


10 . Marcellina Claudia Kolonas (Indonesia)

With the rising popularity of investing and trading in Indonesia, Pluang seized the chance. This startup was founded by Marcellina Claudia Kolonas in 2019, after years of investing experience in Celebes Capital. The focus of Pluang as a startup is providing investment accounts for gold trading (XAU). GoVentures, Gojek’s venture arm, has invested in this startup along with Openspace Ventures.


C-level positions for women should not be something odd among startups. In fact, it should be worth preserving, since leadership ability is not exclusively owned by men. With the rising awareness in gender equality, these women in Southeast Asian startups are just 10 among thousands more women who thrive in today’s startup environment. Do you want to be one of them? Browse through interesting jobs at Startup Jobs Asia and pave your way to the top!


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