Hailed as Asia’s emerging Silicon Valley, as it continues to drive technological ingenuity and connectivity, Singapore is home to an exceptional network of tech startups.
Singapore has evidently become the startup epicentre of South East Asia’s venture capital funding, raising over SG$11.2 billion in 2021 alone. With a progressive Information and Technology (IT) infrastructure, tech startups in Singapore are amongst the fast-growing clusters in the Asia Pacific region (APAC). The nation emphasises its state-of-art technology which provides economic, environmental, and technological solutions for a global business convergence.
The Government’s rigorous policy reforms and incubation schemes have established Singapore as a friendly and transformative business ecosystem, promising an attractive startup package for global investors, entrepreneurs, and future prospects. Given the endless opportunities available, there has been a rise of homegrown innovators, with over 3,800 tech-enabled startups established in Singapore in 2021 alone.
Stepping further into the nation’s technology ecosystem, many notable names emerge, and among those are the below industry-leading tech startups in Singapore fostering the movement.
AI and IoT Tech
Unicorn startup CARRO tapped into the automobile sector in 2015, and has ever since positioned itself as Southeast Asia’s leading automotive marketplace. The used-car dealership platform is driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI) tech, where big data analytics are used to optimise customer experience and provide seamless communication. Transparency and convenience being key to their services, the e-commerce space leverages data science, machine learning, and its AI capabilities to keep up with the ever-evolving industry. In addition to their wide scope of services, the company offers flexible financial solutions to improve purchasing power and ownership pathways.
KaHa Pte Ltd’s trademark brand, COVE® is a smart end-to-end Internet of Things (IoT) platform that devises personalised fitness and wellness solutions for businesses looking to venture into smart wearables and IoT technology. With the growing itch for IoT products, the company incorporates novelty in their prototype concept and design to provide highly customisable user experiences through network connectivity and intelligent algorithms. KaHa entered the healthcare ecosystem in partnership with EasyCare, a healthcare firm, launching the fitness tracker and a remote monitoring system with the iDOCWATCH wearable.
Women represent half of the world’s population, yet the women’s healthcare industry has not been represented equally, especially in Asia. Singapore’s FemTech hub is in the midst of an evolution however, as more and more startups explore its untapped potential. Still, “only 5% of FemTech startups serve to fill the gap in women’s health”, as Viracha (Pear) Poolvaraluk, the Marketing Manager for Fermata Singapore states.
EloCare scours the women’s healthcare spectrum with the help of their Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) and AI technology. The founders went on to design their menopause tracker which contains symptom monitoring solutions through biomarkers and self-assessments. The FemTech startup won the ESG Healthcare Open Innovation Challenge in 2021, for its smart pillbox invention and secured up to SG$2 million in co-funding grant support.
Revolutionising women’s access to health and wellness, Ease delivers an accessible, affordable, and convenient healthcare system. In 2021, the HealthTech startup raised US$1.3 million in seed funding, led by Insignia Ventures Partners. The app promotes a discreet network that transforms accessibility and traceability, where users can freely acquire contraceptive medications and book online consultations without facing stigma. Guada and Rio, the founders of Ease stated that “the platform empowers women to take control of their sexual and reproductive health,” effectively facilitating open communication and breaking the stigma revolving around women’s reproductive healthcare.
Read more: 10 FemTech Startups Advancing Women’s Healthcare in APAC
As a prominent name in Singapore’s biotechnology startup faction, MiREXS has made remarkable progress with its optimised proprietary algorithm technology. GASTROClear is the world’s first molecular blood test kit designed to detect gastric cancer in its early stages as the test measures microRNA biomarkers linked to gastric cancer. Since the majority of cases are not diagnosed until advanced stages, early detection is important to bring down mortality rates, their invention detecting up to 90% of cases of cancer patients in Stage I and II. The company continues to innovate with comprehensive plans to provide solutions in the early detection of lung and thyroid cancer in 2022, colorectal and breast cancer in 2023, and liver and ovarian cancer in 2024.
The global population is estimated to peak to 9.7 billion by 2050, and with the inevitable rise, food and protein demand is expected to increase accordingly. Being able to provide for such high demand would mean causing extreme strain to the world’s farmscape ecology. Entobel ventures into biomass technology with efforts to upcycle our food system by converting low value biomass into sustainable protein.
Black Soldier Flies are a species of insect that play a major role in processing in the bioconversion model as a functional ingredient for the feeding stimulant, H-Meal™. The sustainable feeding powder is infused with nutrients and immunostimulant properties, creating a solvent solution for the feed industry.
Food wastage in Singapore accumulates up to 11% of total waste generated by the nation, a cost that comes with its title as a food paradise. Weighing in on the matter, a FoodTech startup founded in 2017, Lumitics, crafts smart food waste tracking solutions with intricate sensors and proprietary AI image recognition technology. Major Food & Beverages (F&B) waste contributors such as restaurants, hotels, and airlines, are seen as potential key investors in the technology to drive efforts in commercialising green kitchens. The seamless technology helps businesses distinguish and quantify waste produced by their restaurants and kitchens, empowering them to trace and reduce their environmental footprint by moderating food wastage and incorporating sustainable practices.
Businesses in the modern era have a social responsibility beyond their constructs, to leave a positive footprint behind. Climate technology startup Handprint’s circular connection enables sustainable solutions for companies to measure their ecological impact. Mathias Boissonot, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Handprint said “Using Handprints, companies become truly Regenerative for the planet, making a positive impact [for causes] that resonate with them,”
With the use of blockchain and machine learning technology, the social enterprise allows them to select from various projects, such as education and empowerment, coral restoration, clean water supply, and more. Amongst their clientele is e-commerce platform Lazada, one of its many bespoke integrations for companies.
Read more: 8 Sustainability Startups in Singapore to Watch
Would an app that allows you to track day-to-day work expenses simply on your mobile be great? FinTech startup, Volopay is the solution to corporate-scaled monetary management. With real-time AI technology, the app streamlines expense workflows for high visibility and accessibility, giving your business the financial control you need. A decentralised spend network that allows the company to issue monitor the expense on the corporate debit card, Volopay also tracks payments processed through the virtual card. The free platform saves around 3% on foreign exchange fees, combining various payment methods and accounting software into a seamless connection.
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