Singapore

Singapore #17

MEMBERS:
Enterprise Singapore

As the gateway to SE Asia, with the rise of Grab, Sea, GoTo and the GSG alumni network, Singapore's ecosystem is set to accelerate. It also has the right elements to be a hub for deep tech startups.

Lim Ee-Ling
Regional Director, Asia Pacific, 500 Startups
#3 Asian Ecosystem: Funding
Top 15 Global Ecosystem: Funding
Top 10 Asian Ecosystem: Performance

Highlights

Singapore, a vibrant commercial hub ranked the most innovative city in Asia by Bloomberg and Insead, is a natural magnet for entrepreneurial talent and is now home to over 3,800 tech-enabled startups. The government has continually supported this growing ecosystem with programs and funding, especially for nascent deep tech sectors. The Singaporean government works closely with ecosystem players including universities, 190 accelerators/incubators and over 200 investors to provide all-rounded support including financing, mentorship and talent. With Singapore’s strong foundation in science and technology, the Government has doubled its efforts to support deep tech startups in Singapore, including additional S$300mil to catalyse investments and increased its co-investment ceiling to S$4million for early stage deep tech startups. To actively facilitate international connections, the Open Innovation Network was launched to facilitate the co-development of innovative solutions between the startup community and the wider innovation ecosystem while the Global Innovation Alliance supports business internationalisation. Such efforts have propelled several startups to attain unicorn status. Notable unicorns include Carro and Patsnap, who secured US$360 million in June 2021 and US$300 million in March 2021 respectively.

Ecosystem by the numbers

TOTAL EARLY STAGE FUNDING
$2 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$548 m
ECOSYSTEM VALUE
$22.5 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$13.68 bn
MEDIAN SEED ROUND
$600 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$480 k
MEDIAN SERIES A ROUND
$4.8 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$3 m
SOFT. ENGINEER SALARY
$48 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$44 k

Sub-sector Strengths

Fintech

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced a S$125 million support package to sustain the growth of financial institutions and fintech firms amidst COVID-19. In efforts to further liberalize the financial industry, MAS has awarded licenses for digital banks, which include awardees in the startup space: Sea Group and Grab-Singtel consortium.

Cleantech

Under the Singapore Green Plan 2030, the government has identified S$19 billion of green projects to be funded by green bonds. The sector is supported by various incubators and accelerator programs, such as Sustaintech Xcelerator which was launched by Temasek and other partners to identify and nurture climate innovators.

Agtech & New Food

To enhance national food security, the government is investing S$144 million in research for urban agriculture, cultured meat and microbial protein production. It was also the world’s first country to approve cell-cultured meat for human consumption in December 2020. As an emergent sector, more than 15 alternative protein startups have anchored themselves in Singapore.

Reasons to move your startup to Singapore

Government support

The Singaporean government backs entrepreneurship with startup-friendly policies in various aspects including grants for first-time entrepreneurs, talent placements and co-investments. To support growth in deep tech sectors, the government has earmarked S$25 billion for research and development investments in strategic domains as part of the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2025 plan.

Talent development and attraction

Singapore welcomes entrepreneurs and tech talent to anchor themselves in Singapore with talent initiatives like Entrepass visas for foreign entrepreneurs while [email protected] and TechPass provide visas for Singapore-based startups to hire foreign tech talents who are strategic to the startup’s growth.

Startup Community

Startup Genome
Members

Startup Genome
Partners

Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE)
500 Startups
FocusTech Ventures
Starburst Accelerator
500 Ecosystems Singapore PTE. LTD.
Startup X PTE. LTD.
Trendlines Medical Singapore

Featured Articles from
Local Ambassadors

Kristabel Quek
Kristabel specializes in innovation management and entrepreneurship. She believes in creating value, virtuous communities and ecosystems. With background in materials engineering, Kristabel ventured into technology transfer, focusing on using technopreneurship, entrepreneurship, and intrapreneurship to bring ideas to commercial market
Kristabel Quek | Co-Founder, edgex Pte Ltd
Zi Xin Lee
Having finished a Bachelor's in the US, a Master's in China, and a stint at ZhenFund looking at Indian and Southeast Asian start-ups, Zi Xin is a cross-cultural, multilingual and curious young person who yearns to help Singapore become a Global Asia Node for innovation, technology and enterprise.
Zi Xin Lee | Ambassador
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