Data Vantage: Capital-rich Singapore continues to lure startup funding

As Southeast Asia’s premier financial hub, Singapore continues to lure startups from the region and beyond that seek to raise venture capital.

More than $150 million in equity investment was secured last week by startups with registered entities in Singapore, data compiled by DealStreetAsia – DATA VANTAGE shows.

Video game developer Virtuos, which operates in Asia, Europe and the US, received $50.3 million from an affiliate of Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA) last week. The capital infusion is part of a $150 million investment by BPEA in the company, per an announcement on Tuesday.

Bangladesh-based B2B commerce platform ShopUp secured $74.4 million in a round led by US venture capital fund Valar Ventures last week, bringing the total funding raised by its Singapore-registered entity to $100 million.

New investor Valar Ventures injected $45 million in the round and is now the largest shareholder in ShopUp. VEON, a Nasdaq and Euronext Amsterdam-listed provider of connectivity and internet services, holds the second-largest stake in ShopUp.

Another new investor in the round was Prosus Ventures (formerly known as Naspers Ventures), the VC arm of South Africa’s internet and media giant Naspers.

Top shareholders in ShopUp

Source: DATA VANTAGE

Prosus Ventures also joined an investment round for Borneo, a data security platform with offices in San Francisco, Singapore and Bangaluru. Registered in Singapore as Securezapp Pte Ltd, the platform raised $15 million from a group of investors, including Vulcan Capital, Wavemaker Partners and Lytical Ventures.

Regional springboard

Often seen by tech startups as a springboard to penetrate markets in Southeast Asia and South Asia, Singapore attracted a record number of fundraising deals in the first half of this year.

Startups in the city-state inked at least 223 deals in the first six months of this year with combined total proceeds of $5.65 billion. This compares to 140 deals and $2.15 billion, respectively, in the same period last year.

Our latest quarterly deal review shows that Singapore-based startups generated 48.3% of total proceeds raised in Southeast Asia in the second quarter, followed by Indonesia (26.6%) and Vietnam (15.7%).

Source: DATA VANTAGE

In the second quarter, Singapore-based startups also dominated fintech deals, garnering a 49.9% share of the $1.04 billion raised in total proceeds by startups in the sector. 

Singapore-headquartered insurtech firm Bolttech was the largest fundraiser among fintech startups in Q2 with $180 million, followed by Philippines-based Voyager Innovations ($167 million) and Singapore-registered MatchMove Pay ($100 million).

The second quarter also saw a flurry of investments in blockchain-based fintech, also known as decentralised finance (DeFi), which accounted for 22 out of 61 fintech deals.

Other updates from DATA VANTAGE

Trusting Social, a Singapore-based company that provides credit scoring solutions for fintech firms, turned a profit in 2020. It recorded $10.3 million in profit after tax, a marked improvement from $21.1 million in total losses in the previous year. 

Advanced Micro Foundry, a commercial silicon photonics foundry services and solutions provider, reported a net loss of $22.3 million in the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, as its revenues slid 3.1% year on year. According to our calculations, the company has raised $111.7 million in total funding to date and was latest valued at $321.8 million.

The Singapore entity of Indonesian fishery and marine platform Aruna issued new shares worth $1 million last week to Ridge Global Holdings Limited as part of the former’s $35 million Series A round. The latest investment brings the total funding in Aruna to $36.3 million and its valuation to $83.4 million.

Entrepreneur First-backed Portcast raised $3.2 million in its latest funding round joined by Imperial Investment Ventures, Wavemaker Partners, Trail Mix Ventures and Innoport, the venture capital arm of German-based Schulte Group. The startup uses AI technology to predict how cargo moves across the world and enable data-driven decisions.

Singapore-based collaborative e-commerce enabler platform DiMuto has raised $1 million from private equity firm First Alverstone Partners. The company recently teamed up with OPAL Payment to develop a payment system that will allow its customers to track the movement of goods that have been paid.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.