"With Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnology (SWITCH) just around the corner, there is a significant interest directed at Singapore these days.
Of course, there has always been interest in Singapore’s tech and startup scene, especially when the city-state became the only Southeast Asian country to rank in Startup Genome’s Top 20 Startup Ecosystems in World report in 2015.
But if you’re only just discovering Singapore’s tech and startup scene, here’s ten things you should know about it.
2. Highest amount of startup funding in the region
In 2017, startup investments in Singapore reached US$7.3 billion, making up 45 per cent of all deals in the region. This is not a one-off; Singapore has been steadily growing to this number, with venture funding alone growing from US$136 million to US$1.37 billion in just a span of five years (2012 to 2017).
4. It’s the home of unicorns
Singapore has seen the birth of five unicorns – Grab, Lazada, Razer, Sea, and Trax currently valued at a collective US$12 billion. Being headquartered in Singapore gave them access to the talent, funding, and connections that they needed as startups.
Singapore’s startup landscape has provided these companies with the support they needed to grow big – something that young companies like LPixel are banking on. “Overall, I think Singapore is an excellent place for new startups like us, to offer new values and solutions,” said Shimahara.
5. A launchpad to ASEAN
Market-wise, Singapore is small. This is not a hindrance, however, as it only pushes startups to create strong relations with neighbouring countries.
“Our aim is to develop Singapore as a reference test market for startups that want to access the region and we have made concerted efforts to strengthen our connections to those key markets like Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand,” said Lim.
This is a claim that has a lot of history backing it; going back to the previously mentioned five unicorns, all of which operated regionally while headquartered in Singapore.
8. It’s a gateway to the going global
Singapore is ranked 3rd globally on the ability of startup leaders to connect and form relationships with entrepreneurs in other countries. The strong startup community in Singapore allows founders to build relationships and partnerships not only locally but also internationally.Singapore is home to many international tech and startup conferences, after all.
And while there is a strong local support for these conferences, there is also an equally strong international interest in them, resulting in potential million-dollar partnerships in the works.“We want Singapore to be a vibrant and self-sustaining global startup hub that is deeply connected with other startup ecosystems, especially those in ASEAN,” said Lim."