Shruti ,CEO, ApnaKlub, an Indian company featured on the Forbes Asia 100 to watch list. Image: Selvaprakash Lakshmanan for Forbes India O
n August 29, Forbes Asia released the third annual edition of the ‘100 to Watch’ list, which spotlights small companies and startups that are on the rise across the Asia-Pacific region. The list highlights 13 countries and territories that are represented across 11 categories, including biotechnology and health care, e-commerce, retail, and finance. The companies that have made it to the list are those that are targeting underserved markets or are utilising cutting-edge technologies, spanning generative artificial intelligence (AI) to blood-based cancer diagnostics. The list includes notable examples featuring environmentally conscious breakthroughs, like creating protein alternatives from insects and digitising milk production to enhance output.
To curate the selection of the 100 to Watch list, Forbes Asia banked on online submissions and nominations from industry experts. From 550 odd entries, the final roster of 100 companies was chosen. To meet eligibility criteria, companies needed to have their headquarters in the Asia-Pacific region, maintain private ownership, operate for profit, exhibit annual revenue under $50 million, and possess total funding up to $100 million by August 7.
“Companies on this year’s Forbes Asia’s 100 to Watch list are a study in resilience. With rising interest rates, funding is harder to come by for startups. The companies on this year's list therefore represent those with strong prospects to become success stories," says Justin Doebele, editor of Forbes Asia.
Singapore is leading the list, second time in a row, with 20 Singaporean companies. Next in line is Hong Kong with 15 companies, followed by China and Indonesia, both with 11 companies. The country with the least number of companies on the list is Taiwan with just one Taiwanese company.
Six Indian companies feature on the list this year, compared to 11 in 2022 and 22 and in 2021, the highest among all the countries featured in the list that year. The Indian companies on the list include:
- Exponent Energy
- RED Health
- Stellapps Technologies
This year, the list covers 11 sectors, which include bio-technology and health care, enterprise technology, food and hospitality, education and recruitment, entertainment and media, agriculture, logistics and transportation, construction and engineering, finance, e-commerce and retail, and consumer technology.