Localaos, a notable start-up from Laos led by Souliyo Vongdala, and four Vietnamese companies were named by Forbes Asia Magazine in its inaugural Forbes Asia 100 to Watch list.
The Vietnamese companies listed are Logivan, a platform that connects truckers with shipping companies; Lozi, one-hour-delivery e-commerce startup; Med247 an offline-to-online health-tech startup; and Hoozing, an application providing user reviews, price calculation tools, and digital payment options in property leasing and sales.
The list was created after scanning a pool of over 900 submissions. To qualify for consideration, companies have to be headquartered in the Asia-Pacific, 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 as of August 1.
Forbes 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.
This inaugural list spotlights notable small companies and start-ups on the rise across the Asia-Pacific region. The companies featured on the list are considered to be making remarkable progress and impact in spite of the challenging financial climate triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Seventeen countries and territories have representatives in the Top 100 this year.
Lively start-up communities in India and Singapore produced 22 and 19 companies respectively, while Hong Kong has 10 and Indonesia eight.
Mainland China has just four, as many candidates were above the required maximums for revenues or funding.
The full list and related stories can be found at forbes.com/100towatch, and in the August issue of Forbes Asia magazine.
Loca was founded in 2018, and is the first and the leading ride-hailing service in Laos.
The Lao company has recently added new services to its platform such as out-of-home advertising, a trucking service, and on-demand groceries service. It said most of its customers were tourists in pre-pandemic times. In recent times, the widening of local use has helped it grow its business by 30 per cent per month.
Known for its transparent taxi prices, and for its reliable, safe, and 24/7 service, Loca has a special insurance protection of up to 500 million kip ($52,000) per trip. It recently expanded its services to Pakse, making it the third city after Vientiane and Luang Prabang.
VIENTIANE TIMES, VIET NAM NEWS