Tech in Asia reported that Merkle Science has raised S$1.1 million in a seed funding round to build its technology and expand its sales team across Asia. Merkle Science’s tool analyses blockchain data for law enforcement agencies and blockchain companies to detect illegal use of cryptocurrencies. LuneX ventures, the blockchain-focused arm of VC firm Golden Gate Ventures, and SGInnovate led the funding round. Cryptocurrency trading firms Digital Currency Group and Kenetic Capital, along with Entrepreneur First, also participated in the round.
TechTrade Asia published an article on the progress of blockchain in 2018, and how the technology will play out in the coming year. According to Steve, blockchain will play a bigger role beyond the financial industry. For instance, it can be used to address food safety by preserving the integrity of food supply, create a greener ecosystem through energy or electricity-sharing on the Blockchain, increased transparency in logistical supply chains, and stamping out counterfeit drugs in the healthcare system. He added that blockchain can help solve poverty issues on a large scale and create an economic impact on the underserved community in Southeast Asia. The lack of access and difficulties for many of the unbanked and underbanked population is creating barriers for these communities to come out of poverty, and blockchain helps to remove the need for a ‘middle man’ that requires a fee for a bank account opening or usage, reducing the cost of transactions. Finally, Steve gave the example of how AID:Tech, one of SGInnovate’s portfolio companies, is enabling aid, welfare, remittances, donations and healthcare to be digitised and delivered through blockchain technology in a transparent manner.
Jumpstart Magazine published an article on the deep tech trends to look out for in 2019, from an investment perspective. According to Hsien-Hui, while deep tech has become a hot topic in recent years, investors should remain careful about separating the wheat from the chaff.
- AI as a specialised problem-solver: 2019 will be the year for AI companies that are narrowly focused on specific processes to solve industry pain points to win big in the market, such as AIDA and Taiger. AI startup that identifies their target audience as everyone usually means that their revenue will likely be highly skewed on the service side, making them unable to scale and an unattractive investment to VCs.
Deal Street Asia reported that Swiss-based accelerator and VC firm Blockchain Valley Ventures (BVV) is expanding its reach to Asia with the launch of a regional office in Singapore. The regional office will begin its operations in early 2019, where BVV will work with key strategic partners including SGInnovate, to bridge European and Asian investors and tech startups.
Freight Waves published an article on the Singapore government’s commitment in driving innovation in the areas of AI, IoT and blockchain through various initiatives. SGInnovate stood out in the global arena with the team delivering a first in class conference day at the Deep Tech Summit, focusing on technologies improving societies. During the panel discussion ‘Blockchain and the Decentralised World’, questions centred around the opportunities and challenges of blockchain were addressed. For the transportation/supply industry, blockchain will optimise the current paper-intensive, slow and error-prone process.
Fintech News published an article on the latest announcements made by SGInnovate at the Deep Tech Summit. SGInnovate is partnering with Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) and Kingsland University School of Blockchain to launch Singapore’s first certified blockchain developer programme. NP will be will be providing its experience in education while Kingsland School of Blockchain and SGInnovate will be providing their technical expertise and practical deep tech knowledge to the course. In addition, SGInnovate also announced that it is investing in three deep tech startups, Tricog Health, ThinCl Inc and Quantiply.