The Edge Singapore published an article on the talent gap in the deep tech landscape in Singapore. Since announcing its Smart Nation ambition in 2014, Singapore has launched national AI programme ‘AI Singapore’, along with government-owned agency, SGInnovate, which was tasked to invest in deep tech startups and build up Singapore’s tech ecosystem. MNCs and startups shared that local deep tech talents are hard to come by, especially those in experienced roles.
The Business Times featured an article based on an interview with Tong Hsien-Hui, Head of Venture Investing at SGInnovate, on the challenges that Deep Tech startups face beyond the early stage. According to Hsien-Hui, early funding stages tend to be well-taken care of because of the government’s strong push to commercialise more Deep Tech companies, but challenges arise from the Series B stage onwards when the needs of the business are beyond what can be funded by its founders and early-stage investors. A Deep Tech investments white paper published by SGInnovate found that investors remain cautious about the Deep Tech sector despite the compelling proposition of defensible technologies paired with smart business models. More work needs to be done to educate limited partners on the potential of returns in the sector. As Singapore’s startup ecosystem matures, it is important that Deep Tech funding comes from local investors as well. Hsien-Hui added that while foreign investment is welcome, investors might bring the company to where the returns are best and be agnostic to national interest.
The Business Times Online reported that HealthTech startups in Singapore have attracted US$105 million across 21 deals in 2018, according to a report by HealthTech researcher Galen Growth Asia in collaboration with EDB. Overall, investment value in the Asia Pacific totalled US$6.3 billion across 294 deals, with Singapore making up 24 percent of the total deal value in Asia (excluding China and India). Prominent startups include Biofourmis, which clinched US$35 million in a Series B round led by Sequoia India and MassMutual Ventures SEA. In 2018, 58 investors invested into Singapore-based health tech startups and noteworthy Singapore-based investors included SGInnovate, with four investments, and Heritas Venture Fund, Venturecraft and Wavemaker Partners, with two investments each.
SINGAPORE-based adtech startup Pencil has raised S$1.5 million through a seed round led by early-stage venture capital firm Wavemaker Partners, together with SGInnovate and talent investor Entrepreneur First.
AIDA Technologies, a startup that uses Machine Learning to generate insights that help financial services companies make decisions, announced today that it has raised a Series A round from Mastercard, Kuok Ventures (belonging to the Kuok Group), and Singapore government-linked SGInnovate.
The Straits Times Online reported that Singapore-based cleantech firm SensorFlow has raised US$2.7 million in series A funding led by private investor Pierre Lorinet, along with contributions from existing investor, Singapore-based Cocoon Capital. Cocoon Capital led the startup's initial seed funding round in 2018, with SGInnovate and SparkLabs adding support through the Entrepreneur First accelerator programme. The startup aims to provide Asian hotels with a smart wireless Internet of Things solution to monitor, analyse and automate hotel room environments with the aim of optimising energy efficiency and enhancing guest experience. Wireless sensors are used to collect real-time data and AI to automate decision-making. Sensorflow said that its solutions have delivered up to 30 percent in energy savings and up to a 40 percent reduction in maintenance costs.