This story appears in the August 31, 2021 issue of Forbes Asia.
From underwater drones to satellite propulsion systems and everything in between, the inaugural Forbes Asia 100 to Watch list spotlights notable small companies and startups on the rise across the Asia-Pacific region. At a time when economies worldwide are struggling from the pandemic, these agile companies are on a growth path. Their inclusion in the list comes in part from addressing problems such as improving transportation in congested cities, expanding affordable connectivity in remote regions and preventing food waste. Seventeen countries and territories are represented. Top categories include biotechnology & healthcare, e-commerce & retail, food & hospitality and education & recruitment. The lively startup communities in India and Singapore produced 22 and 19 companies, respectively. Hong Kong has 10 and Indonesia eight. Mainland China has just four, as many candidates were above the required maximums for revenues or funding.
Edited by Jeanhee Kim with John Kang
Reporting by Jonathan Burgos, Rina Caballar, Ramakrishnan Narayanan, Danielle Keeton-Olsen, Amit Prakash, James Simms, Yue Wang and Ardian Wibisono.
METHODOLOGY: To select the 100 to Watch, Forbes Asia solicited online submissions, and invited accelerators, incubators, SME advocacy organizations, universities, venture capitalists and others to nominate companies as well. The final 100 was selected from over 900 submissions. To qualify for consideration, companies had to be headquartered in the Asia-Pacific region, be at least one year old, privately owned, for profit, and have no more than $20 million in its latest annual revenue or total funding through Aug. 1. Forbes team evaluated each submission, looking at metrics such as a positive impact on the region or industry, a track record of strong revenue growth or ability to attract funding, promising business models or markets, and a persuasive story. The editors reserve the right to remove or replace any company or individual included in a list in light of any new information that would disqualify them from inclusion.