HubSpot: SE Asia, India Startups Shift to Profitability, Customer Focus

- About half of start-ups across the region say that it was easier to grow the company in the last year than the years before - AI is reshaping the region's startup scene but a widening skills gap can play spoilsport

HubSpot, the customer platform for scaling businesses, announced the findings of a study conducted by Milieu Insight that explored the trends and innovations shaping the startup landscape in Southeast Asia and India.

Despite current global economic headwinds and private funding in the region declining to its lowest levels in six years, the startup ecosystem in Southeast Asia and India remains resilient, demonstrating significant signs of maturity. HubSpot’s new report reveals that on average, about half (53%) of startups across the region found it easier to grow their businesses in the past year compared to previous years. Notably, startups recognise the need to balance growth and profitability, with the majority of regional startups agreeing that a clear path to profitability (98%) has become more important in the last year as compared to the years prior.

This resilience is characterised by an interesting dichotomy: while geographical expansion presents challenges, with 23% of startups finding it harder to enter new markets, customer acquisition and retention have become more manageable. Although 18% mentioned that acquiring customers has become more challenging, more than half (55%) of startups report improvements in customer acquisition and retention. Increased competition (31%), stricter customer demands (31%), and access to capital (29%) were cited as the key challenges to customer acquisition among those who mentioned acquiring customers have gotten harder.

Laurence Butler, Global Senior Director, HubSpot for Startups, commented: “These signs of growing resilience are a testament to the region’s entrepreneurial spirit and adaptability. While digital transformation has been a focus among the region’s SMBs in recent years, the digital-first nature of modern startups empowers them to swiftly adapt to volatile market conditions by leveraging data analytics and foundational technologies such as CRM platforms. Most startups now recognise the critical importance of having a clear path to profitability, marking a shift towards focusing on core markets and building robust customer relationships, which are crucial for long-term sustainability.”

Potential for technology-augmented growth

The survey findings also revealed that startups in the region have built a robust foundation of technology and are leveraging their tech stack to collect, structure, and analyse customer data to drive business growth.

Almost all (99%) startups say they are using at least one CRM tool and eight in ten (81%) startups are satisfied with their tech stack. CRM platforms consolidate customer data from multiple sources, creating a single source of truth that enables brands to accurately track and measure the impact or effectiveness of their customer engagement efforts.

Consequently, 71% of startups surveyed perceive that they have an adequate amount of data at their disposal to identify new opportunities for business growth. The collective use of data and technology is not only helping drive innovation and build better customer relationships, but may have also contributed to the enhanced resilience and adaptability of startups in the backdrop of a persisting global funding winter.

The report also uncovered a disparity between countries surveyed. More than a third of startups (38%) in the Philippines reported a lack of sufficient data on their business prospects and the customer journey. Only 58% of startups in the Philippines indicated satisfaction with their tech stack, the lowest among all countries surveyed. This could have contributed to local startups’ inability to collect the right data for better decision-making and also their growth prospects. Nearly half (48%) expressed that it is more difficult than before to grow their companies, almost double the regional average of 25%.

For more such updates, follow us on Google News Martech News

Previous ArticleNext Article