The next frontier for startups: Accelerating market expansion in Asia

April 28, 2022

U.S. startups are facing growing global competition. Consider, for example, that nearly a third of revenue on average for public SaaS companies now comes from outside the states. Companies founded in Silicon Valley and other parts of the region will need to expand globally if they want to become market leaders.

Yet it’s not just about scaling, it’s about strategy. Founders realize they need to be smart when it comes to where they choose to expand. This includes markets that have the technological foundation for success, along with the people on the ground who have the right skills and a local perspective. One such region that is a hot target for global expansion is the Asia-Pacific.   


There are a variety of factors that make Asia a sweet spot for expansion.

  • Investment in APAC is already happening. In fact, 55 percent of U.S. and Europe-based corporations identified APAC as their key target for international expansion. In particular, funding for fintech companies in APAC almost tripled from 2020 ($5.87 billion) to 2021 ($15.69 billion), highlighting significant opportunities in the region and confidence from startups and investors that APAC is a key growth opportunity.
  • The continent’s economy is booming. Asia is the world’s fastest growing economy, and if incomes continue to rise as forecasted, Asian consumers will account for half of global consumption by the end of the next decade.
  • Asia is the world’s next growth engine. It offers a $10 trillion consumption opportunity, a robust tech and supply chain ecosystem, and a thriving talent pool. All this and more provides a solid foundation for innovation in the region and is predicted to make Asia account for more than half of global GDP by 2040. 

Barriers to entry

While the opportunities for global growth are ripe, U.S.-based startups still face significant barriers to global expansion. Even if these companies have been successful in the West, they often grapple with cutthroat competition in emerging markets from homegrown startups.

 To add fuel to the fire, Asia is not just one market. In many ways, it is a study of contrasts and similarities. U.S. founders have to consider the variety of nuances that come with entering Asia, including managing currency risk, understanding regional regulations and respecting local culture. 

Founders turn to B Capital

Given the opportunities and challenges that arise when eyeing global expansion, many U.S. startups are leaning on B Capital to help them succeed.

Take for example Yalo, a Silicon Valley-based artificial intelligence platform that helps companies build customer relationships through the world’s most popular messaging apps. B Capital, with the help of its strategic partner The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), assisted Yalo with its recent expansion into Indonesia.

“I think what differentiates B Capital and the partnership that we have with them is that it’s not a one-time thing … but it’s something where we keep this cadence as we’re operating and they stay very close to the business so that when the advice comes in, it’s very grounded [and actionable],” said Javier Mata, Founder & CEO of Yalo.  “As I think about continuing this partnership and how we’re going to continue scaling and bringing conversational commerce to Latin America and Southeast Asia, I couldn’t be happier about this partnership that we have with B capital.”

Clari, a Silicon Valley-based Revenue Operations platform, announced in January that it would expand into APAC. It identified Australia and New Zealand as its first focus in the APAC region. B Capital worked with Clari to identify the first country in which to plant its flag and have continued working to accelerate Clari’s growth in the region.

“I can’t stress enough how impressed and personally grateful I am for B Capital and BCG for the remarkable work that they’ve done with us, helping us to execute our game plan in the new verticals,” said Andy Byrne – CEO of Clari. “They’ve delivered actionable insights and clear guidance for the next chapter of our journey.”

Learn more about how B Capital can help startups with their expansion plans here.