On this National Day, despite everything that Singapore has to go through during the pandemic, there are still reasons to celebrate. One of them being the local tech startups that have made notable achievements and milestones this year.
These achievements and milestones range from securing unicorn status, confirming plans to go public, and raising more than US$15 million in a single funding round.
For your reading convenience, we have gone through our news coverage of the Singapore startup ecosystem this year and compiled the top 27 for you.
Nium, which offers cross-border payment services in multiple countries around the world, has become Southeast Asia’s latest tech company to get the unicorn status, following a US$200 million Series D investment round led by US-based Riverwood Capital.
Temasek, Visa, Vertex Ventures, Atinum Group of Funds, Beacon Venture Capital, and Rocket Capital Investment also joined the round. Notable angels such as DoorDash executive Gokul Rajaram, FIS’s CPO Vicky Bindra, and Tribe Capital co-founder Arjun Sethi also participated.
announced that it will merge with Bridgetown 2 Holdings, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) formed by Pacific Century Group and Peter Thiel’s Thiel Capital, to go public in New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
The combined entity will have an enterprise valuation of approximately US$1.35 billion and an equity value of approximately US$1.78 billion at closing, according to a statement.
Syfe, a Singapore-headquartered digital wealth management company, announced that it has closed its Series B funding round of SG$40 million (US$30 million) led by Valar Ventures, the US-based VC firm co-founded by Peter Thiel. Existing investors Presight Capital (US) and Unbound also participated.
This capital injection comes just nine months after Syfe’s US$18.6 million Series A round led by Valar Ventures in September 2020.
Plant-based foodtech startup Next Gen Foods has extended its seed financing round by raising US$20 million afresh.
This comes less than five months after it raised US$10 million from a host of investors, including Temasek and K3 Ventures — bringing the total funds raised from this round to US$30 million.
Cross-border e-commerce enabler SCI Ecommerce announced the final close of its ongoing fundraising, bringing the total capital raised from this round to approximately S$88 million (US$65.4 million).
The first tranche of this round worth US$38 million, announced on May 3, 2021, was led by Asia Partners.
Cialfo, a startup in the international student mobility space, raised US$15 million in an extension of its Series A round co-led by new investors SIG and Vulcan Capital. Backers also include January Capital, Bisk Ventures, Patrick Walujo and Teik Ngan Loy.
Cialfo will use the new capital for product innovation as well as expansion to India, China and Southeast Asia.
Endowus.com, a MAS-licensed digital wealth platform, announced that it has received investments from strategic investors, including UBS, Samsung Ventures, and Singtel Innov8. Lightspeed Venture Partners and SoftBank Ventures Asia also joined the round.
The strategic investors will play a critical role in Endowus’s growth and ambition to become a leading robo-advisor and digital wealth manager in Singapore and Asia.
Zenyum, a direct-to-consumer dental products startup, raised a US$40 million Series B funding round led by L Catterton, a global consumer-focused private equity firm. L Catterton invested US$25 million into the startup in this funding round.
Existing Zenyum investors including Sequoia Capital India, RTP Global, Partech, TNB Aura, Seeds Capital, and FEBE Ventures also participated in this funding round.
US-based tech company Nityo Infotech invested US$100 million in embedded finance company MatchMove Pay in return for a significant equity stake. With this investment, Nityo will become the largest shareholder in MatchMove.
Together, the two companies aim to empower clients to embed own-brand digital financial services in their own platforms and apps.
Osome, a startup that has developed an accounting and corporate compliance app for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), secured US$16 million in Series A funding. Investors are Target Global (Berlin), AltaIR Capital, Phystech Ventures, and S16VC, besides Peng T. Ong, Managing Partner of Monk’s Hill Ventures.
The fresh capital will be used for international expansion and to fuel product integrations.
Pace Enterprise, a ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL) startup owned by Spacemob founder Turochas “T” Fuad, secured an ‘eight-figure USD’ debt financing round led by Genesis Alternative Ventures.
The fintech startup will use the cash to grow its business in Southeast Asia.
Leading online classifieds company Carousell is mulling public listing in the US via merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), says a Bloomberg report, citing undisclosed sources.
The transaction could value the tech company at about US$1.5 billion. It is already working with an adviser on the potential deal.
Engine Biosciences, a Singapore- and US-based drug discovery company, raised close to US$42 million (S$57 million) in Series A financing from a slew of investors. Led by Polaris Partner, the round was also joined by Invus, 6 Dimensions Capital, WuXi AppTec, DHVC, EDBI, Baidu Ventures, Vectr Ventures, Goodman Capital, WI Harper, and Nest.Bio.
This comes after over three years after it raised US$10 million in seed funding from leading US, Singapore and China-based VCs and multi-stage investors.
Clinical-stage biotech company Hummingbird Bioscience announced the close of its US$125 million Series C financing round, led by Novo Holdings.
The round also saw participation from new investors including Frazier Healthcare Partners, Octagon Capital, EDBI, AMGEN Ventures, DROIA Ventures, Morningside Ventures, Pureos Bioventures, Polaris Partners, Affinity Asset Advisors, Ally Bridge Group and Altrium Capital Management.
MVLLabs, a mobility blockchain company, raised US$15 million in a Series B funding round led by Korean automotive parts manufacturer CENTRAL. Singapore-headquartered TRIVE Ventures also participated in the round.
MVL will channel these funds towards expanding its mobility offerings – beginning with the launch of its first electric vehicle (EV), the ONiON T1.
Rainforest, an e-commerce brand aggregator, announced its launch with a seed financing round of US$36 million. The funding round consisted of US$6.5 million in equity financing, led by Nordstar, with participation from Insignia Venture Partners, and a US$30 million debt facility from an undisclosed US-based debt fund.
Rainforest will use the funds to acquire promising Amazon FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon) brands, invest in technology, and hire top talent to join their Singapore-headquartered and globally distributed team.
Glints, a Southeast Asia-focused online platform for career development and recruitment, raised US$22.5 million in a Series C funding round led by Tokyo-listed PERSOL Holdings.
Returning investors, including Monk’s Hill Ventures, Fresco Capital, Mindworks Ventures and Wavemaker Partners, besides angels such as Binny Bansal (co-founder of Flipkart) and Xiaoyin Zhang (former Head and Partner at Goldman Sachs TMT China) also participated in the round.
Trax secured US$640 million in a Series E financing round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and technology-focused funds managed by existing investor BlackRock. This round of primary and secondary capital financing also saw participation from new investors including Canadian pension fund OMERS and Sony Innovation Fund.
The blockbuster Series E round is more than double what the company raised in the past decade. To date, the firm has raised US$1.03 billion in investments and is understood to be valued at over US$2 billion
Grab confirmed its plans to go public in the US in partnership with Altimeter Growth, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). The company expects it to be the largest-ever US equity offering by a Southeast Asian company.
The combined entity expects its securities will be traded on NASDAQ under the symbol GRAB in the “coming months.”
The proposed transactions value Grab at an initial pro-forma equity value of approximately US$39.6 billion at a PIPE size of more than US$4 billion.
Biotech company Austrianova signed an agreement with Luxembourg-based private alternative investment group GEM Global Yield to provide it with a share subscription facility of up to US$100 million for a 36-month term, following a public listing.
The deal will allow Austrianova to draw down funds by issuing shares of common stock to GEM.
StashAway, a robo-advisor for both retail and accredited investors, raised US$25 million in its Series D funding round led by Sequoia Capital India.
Existing investors, including Eight Roads Ventures (the global investment firm backed by Fidelity International and early investor in Alibaba), and Australian VC firm Square Peg also participated in the round.
PatSnap, a provider of R&D intelligence and IP intelligence platforms for brands and enterprises, secured US$300 million in Series E financing round, led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Tencent Investment.
This round puts PatSnap into the unicorn club.
Ryde, a mobility app company, announced that it is preparing for an IPO launch on the Catalist board of the Singapore Exchange (SGX), according to a press statement.
The IPO is slated for 2022 at a S$200 million (US$148 million) valuation.
Grab Financial Group
Grab Financial Group (GFG), the fintech arm of the Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant, announced an over US$300 million Series A funding. The round was led by Korean asset management company Hanwha Asset Management, with other investors such as K3 Ventures, GGV Capital, Arbor Ventures and Flourish Ventures, joining.
The fresh funds will go towards expanding its team and increasing “more affordable, convenient and transparent” financial solutions in the region, the company said in a statement.
iSTOX, a Singapore Exchange (SGX)-backed digital securities platform, announced a US$50 million Series A funding round, as two Japanese government-backed investors joined the round. The VC arm of Japan Investment Corporation, JIC Venture Growth Investments (JIC-VGI) and government-owned Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) joined other new investors including Japan’s Juroku Bank and Mobile Internet Capital (MIC) in the latest round of financing.
Existing investors SGX, Japan’s Tokai Tokyo Financial Holdings and Korea’s Hanwha Asset Management also made fresh investments.
Goldbell, a Singapore-based transport and engineering group, confirmed the acquisition of local electric car-sharing startup BlueSG in February.
The group expects the acquisition to be completed before August 2021 and claims it will help accelerate BlueSG’s development and expand its operations to other smart cities across the Asia Pacific region.
RWDC Industries secured nearly US$168 million over its six years of existence from renowned VCs such as Vickers Venture Partners as well as the ‘Iron Man’ star Robert Downey Jr.
RWDC Industries is one such startup that has long been working on developing a biodegradable alternative. It produces medium-chain-length polyhydroxyalkanoate (mcl-PHA) biopolymers that are designed for use across a broad range of applications.
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