North America is top target market for Taiwanese startups

Judy Lin, Taipei; Adam Hwang, DIGITIMES Asia

North America is Taiwan-based startups' top target market, with China coming only in fourth place, according to a recent survey.

The survey, jointly conducted by PwC Taiwan and Taiwan Institute of Economic Research, shows 31% of the 678 startups asked rank North America as their first target market, followed by Southeast Asia and India (26%), Japan and South Korea (20%) and China (12%).

Of the surveyed startups, 73% have only 1-5 employees, and 48% of them have consumers or individual users as primary customers, followed by enterprises or organizations (43%) and government agencies (9%).

Only 27% of the startups have profits; 55% have generated revenues but not yet profits; and 18% have yet to see revenues. The top-3 reasons for the profitable startups: Understanding market demand via accurate evaluation (21%); competitive products/services (19%); and efficient business models (13%).

In terms of engagement, 58% of the startups have experienced cooperation with partners, and 42% of these startups have had non-listed small- to medium-size businesses as partners, followed by other startups (26%) and listed companies or large enterprises (20%).

In startups' opinions, the top-3 factors influencing such cooperation are: There have to be communication mechanisms for cooperation between both sides' decision-makers (36%); one side's business model or operational processes has to be compatible and/or can be connected with the other side's (28%); large enterprises should not unduly intervene in startups' independent decision making.