40 Singapore Tech Startups To Work For (or Follow) in 2019
Over the last decade, Singapore’s startup ecosystem has flourished, propelling the Southeast Asian nation into the global spotlight. A 2017 report released by US-based Startup Genome denoted Singapore as one of the leading startup ecosystems globally, which is a major accolade, considering the nation’s relatively small population of 5.8 million.
Factors contributing towards such a lucrative startup climate include: low levels of corruption, continued government support and clear policies, funding and an experienced pool of talent–particularly in the Singapore tech startup sector.
With the new year in full swing, let’s now take a look at 40 Singapore startups you should keep your eye on throughout 2019.
Singapore Startups & Tech Companies
Singapore E-commerce Tech Startups
Founded in May 2012 by Lucas Ngoo, Marcus Tan Yi Wei, Quek Siu Rui, Carousell is a web-based smartphone platform designed for consumers to buy new and second-hand goods with ease. The marketplace is the top-ranked shopping app in Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Australia, and has attracted a total of $126.8 million USD through eight rounds of funding.
- 2. Shopee
Another key player within eCommerce is Shopee, which was launched in 2015 by Sea Group and founder, Forrest Li. Following Shopee’s 2015 launch in Singapore, the platform has expanded into five other Southeast Asian nations, as well as Taiwan. The mobile- and web-based platform is based on a consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer product sales model and allows for fast and secure online transactions. [no funding information available]
Honestbee is an online food and grocery delivery platform that has now expanded into eight nations throughout Asia. The company also provides a parcel delivery service for business-to-business clients, as well as an online concierge service. Isaac Tay, Joel Sng, and Jonathan Low founded Honestbee in 2015, and the startup has raised $46 million USD through three funding rounds. An impressive $31 million USD was raised in Series A funding in September 2018.
Currently dubbed the number one grocery app in Singapore, RedMart is an online supermarket that delivers groceries and essential items to consumers’ homes. Founded in December 2011 by Rajesh Lingappa and Vikram Rupani, the platform also provides manufacturer clients with key insights through data analytics and increased marketing efficiencies. With funding from 19 investors including Visionnaire Ventures and Sea, RedMart has raised $55.1 million USD through seven rounds of funding.
This eCommerce and fashion platform sells vintage fashion items to its users. With products ranging from clothing right through to accessories, shoes and beauty products, THE FIFTH COLLECTION further allows users to sell their own vintage fashion to other consumers. Through AI-powered authentication software, the platform is protected from counterfeit items being sold, corroborating the company’s tagline of “intelligent luxury”. Founded in 2013 by Michael Finn and Nejla Matam-Finn, the platform has raised a total of $1.4 million USD in one round of seed funding in 2016.
Launched in 2012, Zalora Group is a platform focused on selling fashion and footwear products. Boasting internationally reputable brands such as Nike, Puma and Calvin Klein, users of the platform can also enjoy fashion advice, discounts and access to an exclusive online magazine. ZALORA Group has seven founders, including Christopher Strauch, who was one of the co-founders of Rocket Internet in the U.K. The platform has raised a total of $238 million USD over four rounds of funding.
Founded by 2015 by Ankiti Bose and Dhruv Kapoor, Zilingo is the fastest growing online marketplace in Southeast Asia. It is a mobile-first eCommerce platform for fashion, beauty and lifestyle, enabling smaller merchants from Southeast Asia without an online presence to list their items for sale. Zilingo’s mobile app currently has over 640,000 monthly app downloads and has raised a total of $81.9 million USD in funding over four rounds. Their latest funding was in April 2018 through a Series C round.
Singapore Fintech Tech Startups
TOAST is a money-transfer service which enables people to send money of any sum, from Singapore and Hong Kong to recipients in the Philippines. Unlike many of the traditional money transfer services which can involve queuing up in person, TOAST money transfers can be actioned through a secure smartphone platform. Since conception in 2015 by Aaron Siwoku, TOAST has received funding by six investors. The latest seed funding round took place in November 2016 and a total of $2.4 million USD has been raised over three rounds.
Founded by the highly regarded entrepreneur Vinod Nair in 2009, MoneySmart is a leading Southeast Asian personal finance platform that enables their clients to compare insurance, credit card options, loans and insurance all in one place. One of the key goals of the FinTech startup is to provide personalised simplified advice without all the tedious financial jargon. Through Seed, Series A and Series B funding rounds, MoneySmart has raised a total of $12.6 million USD.
Kashmi co-founders; Mufa Lukmanjee, Rajinda Jayasinghe, Rakhil Fernando, Sanjiv Alles launched this mobile payment application in 2014 with a particular focus on engaging the millennial market. With features that enable money to be sent between friends in a simple text message, right through to allowing on-the-go spending, saving and budgeting, Kashmi emplores users to use this platform as their primary bank account. The FinTech startup has commenced three rounds of Seed funding in total, resulting in over $500,000 USD raised.
SingX has utilised advancements in technology to establish an easier and time efficient way to make cross-border payments. Licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, this FinTech startup prides itself on transparent and competitive rates. SingX was also awarded $74,000 USD at the Global Singapore FinTech Awards in 2017, and has raised $4.5 million USD through one round of seed funding in 2017. The startup was founded by Atul Garg, Kula Kulendaran and Vineet Nagrani.
This cloud-based FinTech startup is a lending system that provides automatic evaluation of borrowers and lending automation. Turnkey Lender’s technology allows for smaller scale online lending services to compete with established banks, due to their advanced lending process automation and risk management tools. Turnkey Lender was founded by Dmitry Voronenko in 2017 and Elena Ionenko and has raised a total of $2 million USD over two rounds of funding.
Quione is an online bitcoin trading platform in which virtual currencies can be traded for legal tender. The platform also enables its users to earn additional income through earning daily interest and marginal trading. Founded in May 2014 by Mario Gomez Lozada and Mike Kayamori, Quione has raised $123 million USD across four funding rounds. The most recent funding round was an Initial Coin Offering round in November 2017.
In a nutshell, PolicyPal provides a holistic and simple digital overview of purchasing and managing insurance. Users of the platform will be able to find policies that suit their personal requirements and also manage co-current policies to identify any gaps in their coverage. Founded by Val Jihsuan Yap in 2016, PolicyPal has commenced three funding rounds. An Initial Coin Offering round in March 2018 resulted in the startup obtaining $20 million USD.
Science, Technology and A.I Startups
As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes increasingly prominent in providing solutions for businesses, so too has the diversity and range of services that AI can provide–and ViSenze is a perfect example of creative expansion in this field. This AI startup aims to help eCommerce businesses through advanced visual search and image recognition solutions. ViSenze can make intelligent recommendations to online shoppers based on the products they are already seeing and allow consumers to find a product online by uploading an image or a screenshot. Founded in 2012 by Chua Tat-Seng, Li Guangda, Oliver Tan, Roger Yuen, ViSenze has raised $14 million USD through Series A and B funding.
TAIGER was founded in 2009 by one of the leading experts in artificial intelligence (AI),
Sinuhe Arroyo and has since offered solutions to key financial institutions and government agencies. TAIGER’s integrated AI technology involves the automation of complex that which involve reasoning, skill and understanding, to reduce costs and increase the revenue of large-scale companies. With less than 100 employees, TAIGER is an early stage venture that has raised $6.3 million USD through two rounds of Seed and Series A funding.
Utilising advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), Bambu has successfully developed a robo-advisor that allows investors ease in the process of finding a suitable investment strategy for the needs of their clients. Their robo-advisor has the ability to gain insights into key financial data and proceed to formulate investment strategies, in particular for banks and wealth management providers. Founded in 2016 by respected industry experts, Aki Ranin, Luke Janssen, and Ned Phillips, Bambu has received a total of $3.4 million USD in funding over Seed and Series A funding rounds. Bambu now has a presence in Hong Kong, Malaysia and the United Kingdom.
Tuple Technologies utilises Predictive Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology and automation to consolidate data, target consumers and predict customer behaviour. This enables businesses to make more accurate, intelligent decisions and ultimately drive customer growth. Founded in 2016 by Anmol Mohan, who has an extensive background in data analytics, Tuple Technologies has raised $1 million USD over two rounds of funding. The latest funding was from a Seed round in March 2018.
Singapore PropTech Startups
99.co is a startup centred on Singapore’s very own lucrative real estate market. Utilising map-based technology, property agents, buyers and renters can be connected to their new potential homes according to their requirements. Considering Singapore’s major property boom, this startup was a smart move by founders Conor McLaughlin, Darius Cheung, Dominic Ee, Ruiwen Chua, Saurabh Mandar, Yan Phun who launched 99.co in 2014. In a 2017 round of Series A funding, $7.9 million USD was obtained from four different investors.
As Southeast Asia’s first publicly listed crowdfunding site, CoAssets integrates a funding platform with real estate, creating an easily accessible space for aspiring real estate developers to connect with a pool of potential investors. As the fundraising process for real estate is still very much a manual process, this platform allows for individual fundraisers to connect with a vast pool of investors–both national and international. Founded in 2013 by Getty Goh and Seh Huan Kiat, CoAssets has raised $1 million SGD in one round of Series A fundraising.
Although PropertyGuru Group is no newcomer in the PropTech sphere, the company is renowned for revolutionising the Singapore real estate market by taking property searching online in the region and creating transparency in this process for home seekers. Founded in 2006 by Jani Rautiainen and Steve Melhuish, the portal now lists more than 2 million sale and rental properties and caters to over 25 million hungry real estate searchers each month. Five funding rounds have raised $440 million SGD, the most recent in October 2018 from Series D funding
Property management platform, Pegaxis claims to be the first and sole business-to-business marketplace to aid real estate agents to obtain quotes in a measurable and transparent way. The PropTech startup also provides realtors with templates for contract management and tools that will reduce costs for their clients. The founders Lim Jun Rong and Ted Poh established Pegaxis in 2016 and have so far raised one round of Seed funding in November 2016.
Hmlet is an online property rental platform providing affordable, high-quality and community-centric homes in both Singapore and Hong Kong. They offer short-term, shared accommodation on monthly rolling contracts to attract young tech professionals. Through advanced analytics, Hmlet is able match customers to the right home in a personably suitable community. Founded in January 2016 by Yoan Kamalski and Zenos Schmickrath, Hmlet has raised $8 million USD over two rounds.
Greyloft was established in 2014 and is a property brokerage firm and licensed real estate agency which utilises a host of online tools and offline services to improve the process of property rental and sales. The tools assist customers with initiating the rental and purchasing process online and Greyloft’s in-house property agents follow suit in coordinating and negotiating terms of property agreements. The founders of this PropTech startup are Archit Agarwal and Sid Narayanan and through one round of Seed funding in September 2016, Greyloft raised $1.1 million USD.
Singapore Big Data & Analytics Startups
Dubbed as the TripAdvisor of healthcare, wellness and insurance, CXA Group is an AI-driven, holistic network for workplace wellness and employee benefits. Utilising the likes of health screening and claims data to aggregate and predict premium costs, the platform is designed with the goal of improving employee health, engagement and productivity. Founded by Rosaline Koo in 2013, CXA Group has garnered $33 million USD in funding over two rounds.
Handshakes has gained reputability in the Singapore tech world, in particular for their award- winning Handshakes app, which acts as an analytics platform for gathering critical financial and corporate data about businesses. This allows for thorough background checks and creates visually interactive maps based on this data. Former regulators at the Singapore Exchange, Daryl Neo and Charles Poon, founded Handshakes in 2011. In 2015, Singapore Press Holdings made an investment of $1.5 million USD into the tech firm.
Founded by Srikant Sastri, Suresh V Shankar, Suresh Venugopalan in 2012, Crayon Data is a fast-growing big data and AI startup based on a vision to simplify the world’s choices with their digital personalisation engine Maya through the analysis of personal taste to increase sales conversion. Crayon Data has raised a total of $5.3 million in funding over five rounds. Their latest funding was raised on November 2017 from a Venture-Series Unknown round.
Since establishment in 2010 by Dror Feldheim and Joel Bar-El, Trax has revolutionised image recognition technology and market data services in the retail industry. The platform allows for sales representatives to receive critical product information, including promotional compliance, stock levels and other insights delivered to their smartphone within minutes. Trax has raised eight funding rounds, resulting in a total of $287 million USD.
Aureus Analytics is a cloud-based analytics solution that enables banks and insurers to provide an ultimate customer experience in order to gain customer retention and long-term loyalty. This is actioned through machine learning and predictive analytics technologies that deliver insights guiding customers in making key financial decisions. Founded by Anurag Shah, Ashish Tanna and Nitin Purohit in May 2013, Aureus Analytics has raised $850,000 USD through four rounds of funding. A Seed round raised in July 2017 was the company’s latest funding round.
Nugit is a data storytelling platform to help technology companies wade through “information overload” in order to get a clear view of data and present it accordingly. The platform gathers critical marketing insights from some of the online ‘big dogs’ like Google AdWords and DoubleClick, and automates processes–such as cleaning and aligning data, so that presentations can be created with much better time efficiency. Nugit was founded in 2013 by Dave Sanderson and has attracted $5.2 million USD in funding over over two rounds.
Singapore Software Solutions Tech Startups
This InfoTech startup launched in 2014 by Ken Soh, sources and distributes effective technology to Singapore and the wider Asia Pacific region. Athena Dynamics focuses on products that have a proven track record but have yet to gain international reputability in the areas of Cyber Protection and Enterprise IT Operation Management. (Funding information unavailable)
Janio is a cross-border logistics platform established in early 2018, which allows businesses to manage all eCommerce shipments through a singular platform. The company’s logistics solutions allow for simplicity in tracking and management of shipments. Founded by Ng Jun Kai, Syed Ali Ridha Madihid, Mohamed Afiq and Nathaniel Yim, Janio is currently in the process of establishing its first fundraising round.
Founded in 2014 by Robin Khuda, AirTrunk is a developer and operator of large-scale data centres, and has become recognized as a leader within the Asia Pacific market in this sphere, with its innovations in technology. The InfoTech startup has raised $1.3 billion USD across two rounds of funding and has earned global attention in 2018 after receiving financing from Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank.
Singapore EdTech Startups
Founded by Stanley Han in 2009, KooBits is a software firm focused on empowering children to self-learn through their interactive digital publishing platform. With a mission to engage children who may not have access to adequate education, this EdTech startup has the means to deliver personalised content and allows for critical, self-directed learning in the Singapore math curriculum. They have since released the the Koobits 2.0 ebook reader software. KooBits raised $4 million USD in its first round of financing from both government grants and venture capitalists.
Cialfo is a platform launched in 2012 designed to guide students through the university application process to find an overseas education provider that fits their specifications. The platform also monitors students throughout their university education to maximize the students’ results. Cialfo’s mission is to help “one million students get into their dream universities by 2020.” Cialfo has raised one round of Seed funding in May 2016 and was founded by Rohan Pasari, Stanley Chia DingLi and William Hund.
Singapore IoT Startups
Founded in 2015, Overdrive.sg is one of the leaders in the growing sector of IoT (Internet of Things). The cloud-based platform allows individuals to connect to their vehicle from their choice of smart device. This has been utilized particularly in Enterprise Fleet Management, allowing for live tracking features and instant dispatch instructions. The concept behind this startup was built over a number of years by founders Zen Chi and Aston Chia. Overdrive.sg raised $2.9 million USD in one round of Series A funding in January 2019.
AEvice Health has developed respiratory devices that are wearable, for children suffering from asthma. The device includes smartphone notifications when there is any anomaly in a child’s breathing to alert parents and allow for early medical intervention before an asthma attack. The device also collates data to assist doctors with diagnosis and subsequent treatment. Founded in 2016 by Adrian Ang, AEvice has raised two funding rounds, most recently a Seed round in December 2017.
Founded by husband and wife duo Pranoti Nagarkar and Rishi Israni in 2008, Zimplistic is a product design and kitchen robotics startup, with the mission of inspiring people to lead healthier lives through utilizing innovative and intelligent kitchen appliances. The duo’s defining product Rotimatic, integrates Internet of Things (IoT) and robot technology to create a kitchen robot that prepares homemade, healthy rotis at a mere click of a button–a world first. A total of $48.5 million USD has been obtained over four funding rounds, the latest being a Series C round in April 2018.
Singapore Unicorn Tech Companies
Grab’s dominance and revolutionization of ride-hailing in Southeast Asia, means the company isn’t really constituted as a startup. However as one of the first ‘unicorns’ (a privately held startup company valued at over $1 billion) in the region, industry watchers ought to keep their eyes on it. Founded in 2012 by Anthony Tan and Tan Hooi Ling, the ride-hailing and logistics services app has become an integral part of transportation infrastructure in neighbouring Southeast Asian nations. Through 21 funding rounds, Grab has received a total of $7.1 billion USD, the most recent in Series H funding on January 7, 2019.
Established in 2012 by a group of 11 highly accomplished experts and entrepreneurs, Lazada Group operates Lazada, Southeast Asia’s number one online selling and shopping destination. This Singapore startup is present in six Southeast Asian nations and boasts over 100,000 local and international brands to a growing consumer base of over 560 million customers. Through a total of nine funding rounds, Lazada has received a total of $4.2 billion USD in funding, with a major capital injection of $2 billion USD in March 2018 by Alibaba Group through a Secondary Market funding round.
Looking to get involved in the SIngapore’s lucrative startup scene? Check out our article on how to get a startup job in Singapore.