2021 Taiwan Startup Investment Scene Report

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Taiwan is seeing an increase in the number of startups entering the market and more capital pouring in. The country has also seen tremendous growth in the health tech, energy tech and electronics industries. Powered by Crunchbase data and other sources, the latest Taiwan Startup Investment Scene Report analyzes investment trends in Taiwan over the past few years, in addition to comparing trends seen in Taiwan to those experienced by global counterparts.

Note: The following data was compiled near the end of 2021, and the report covers the full years of 2015 to 2020.


The current startup investment scene in Taiwan

Taiwan is a growing startup ecosystem with more investment deals happening every year. From 2015 to 2020, 1,421 early-stage investment deals were done, totaling over $4.05 billion invested.

bar chart with the total amount of money invested in startups per year

In 2020, 310 investments were completed. Compared to 2019, which saw 355 investments, that’s a drop of 12.68%, mainly due to COVID-19 impacting the market and affecting investment deals. However, Taiwan saw an all-time high in investment in 2020, with a total amount of $873 million invested—a 25.04% increase compared to 2019’s $698 million. This increase is due to a higher number ofdeals with more than $10 million involved. The biggest deals include KKday’s $75 million Series C round and Kneron’s $40 million Series A+ round.

line chart with the total number of deals closed in Taiwan from 2015 to 2020

Distribution of investors

Looking at the distribution of investors in Taiwan, we can see that 56% of deals were initiated by local corporations or CVC’s, totaling an investment amount of $2.8 billion from 2015 to the end of 2020. Within all early-stage investors, CVCs and corporate investors have been putting in more money and investing in more deals every year, with 2020 at a new high of 179 deals. 

However, if we look at the amount of money invested, local VCs are actually the biggest players, being involved in 593 deals and investing $3.065 billion in total from 2015 to the end of 2020.

Note: Corporations are typically strategically investing and often do not disclose their investments to the public. As a result, we don’t see many full-scale reports on these investment deals.

composition of investors in Taiwan based on number of investments each year from 2015 to 2020
composition of investors in Taiwan by type of deals from 2015 to 2020

There are three industries we want to dive into: health tech, energy tech and electronics.

From the FINDIT report on Taiwan’s early-stage investment scene, we can see that these three industries are either dominant in total deal amounts and total invested amounts, or up-and-coming topics with an increasing number of deals and total investment each year.

top startup industries in Taiwan by total number of deals and funding

Health tech

Taiwan’s Health tech sector has ranked No. 1 in both total dollars invested and total investment deals for a few years already. According to the Numbeo Health Care Index By Country 2020, Taiwan ranks No. 1 in the world in health care and health care experience. The country also has one of the world’s largest health care systems and data pool, titled National Health Insurance, which was instituted in 1995 with the population coverage reaching 99% by 2005.

With COVID-19 in 2020, digitalization and cloud services became the new normal for corporations, and as a result, within the health tech startup investment cases, digital health startups are a rising topic, with an increase in cases and funding. Since 2015, there have been 289 cases totaling $917 million invested in the health tech industry, specifically in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, cloud medical services and medical devices.


Energy tech

In recent years, we’ve seen a surge of cases and money poured into energy tech. In 2020, energy tech topped health tech and became No. 1 in total amount of money invested at $235.3 million. The reason for the increase in energy tech investment cases may be due to ESG topics surrounding green energy, with wind and solar receiving a lot of funding from large corporations in Taiwan that are all seeking ESG and green energy solutions for the country’s heavy industry and factories.

Energy tech investment in Taiwan 2022 table

Most of the investors in the green energy or energy tech industry in Taiwan are domestic corporations. During 2020, four of the top 10 early-stage investment cases with the most capital involved were energy tech startups, showcasing the awareness of corporations and the high demand of ESG and sustainability startups in Taiwan. We can expect more foreign investors to join in the green energy development of Taiwan.



Taiwan has always been a leader of original equipment manufacturing and original design manufacturing, with many factories and corporations playing key roles in the global supply chain. In fact, a large amount of the tech components and particles used daily worldwide are manufactured and assembled in Taiwan or by a Taiwanese manufacturer. 

Startups that produce electronic components like integrated circuit design or communication components also appeal to these manufacturers, which are seeking digitalization solutions for their factories. It’s also a common practice for business units in Taiwanese corporations to spin off and develop products and solutions specifically for their parent company. As a result, we’ve seen 150 deals totaling $363 million invested in electronic component startups since 2015.


The next big startups in Taiwan

Take a peek into the benchmark startups emerging from Taiwan’s startup ecosystem in The Startup Island TAIWAN Magazine. Selected for their trailblazing accomplishments and potential, we interviewed the nine “NEXT BIG” to see their origins and how they are disrupting their respective industries.


Comparing to other markets

Like other counterparts of Asia, Taiwan had a great 2020 in terms of startup investments, despite COVID-19 impacting every aspect of the global market. We saw an all-time high in the total investment amount in 2020, with $873 million invested, a 25.04% increase compared to 2019’s $698 million.


Looking forward for Taiwan

Although Taiwan has a compact land area and a relatively small domestic market, the country has accumulated numerous resources to boost innovation development. Both the public and private sectors have been involved in startup development in recent years. With programs such as the NDF and numerous other initiatives to boost startup growth, Taiwan is becoming more ideal for startups. 

In recent years, we’ve started to see more new startups attract the attention of both local and foreign investors. Although the average amount in each investment case hasn’t increased significantly, we see an increase in the total number of deals each year. This indicates that the general market is growing, and shows that Taiwan’s startup ecosystem is becoming more lively.

We look forward to new opportunities that arose in recent years, such as digital transformation, cloud services and smart manufacturing to name a few. We hope our report can shed light on the early-stage investment scene and show that Taiwan is a beautiful island with great investment potential.

For more details and the full 2021 Taiwan Startup Investment Scene Report, please take a look at the Startup Island TAIWAN Innovation Reports page, where we uncover the happenings and trends of the Taiwan startup ecosystem.

Taiwan Startup Stadium

Taiwan Startup Stadium logo

Taiwan Startup Stadium (TSS), powered by Startup Island TAIWAN, is Taiwan’s leading ecosystem builder aiming to cultivate global-minded entrepreneurs and showcase the most innovative Taiwanese startups to the world. Founded in 2015, TSS has already served 230+ startups with 120+ mentors, 500+ investors and 30+ corporations. In addition to a broad network of ecosystem players, we also provide solid coaching programs through extensive bootcamps, workshops and seminars to empower entrepreneurs to grow and succeed in their startup journey and build a startup ecosystem throughout Asia.

Startup Island TAIWAN

Startup Island TAIWAN logo

Startup Island TAIWAN is the national startup brand of Taiwan. The brand symbolizes a journey from a startup island to the international arena. It demonstrates to the world the strong ambition and capabilities of Taiwan startup companies as well as their intention and ability to contribute to other startup ecosystems around the world.

  • Originally published June 2, 2022