DBS commits S$10m to Singapore’s startup ecosystem

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Southeast Asia’s leading lender DBS Friday committed S$10 million ($7.1 million) for Singapore’s startup ecosystem over the next five years, and a bulk of this amount is slated to go into programmes run by the bank such as its partnerships with local accelerators and incubators.

One such initiative that is DBS HotSpot, a pre-accelerator programme created by the bank, where very early stage startups can develop their ideas, through a S$25,000 entrepreneur award, along with workspace, and access to industry mentors, the company highlighted in a statement today.

The first batch from this three-month programme is set to demonstrate their ideas to investors and industry veterans today, even as DBS said it was working towards identifying potential startups for the second intake.

The key differentiators here, when compared to other industry models is that, DBS HotSpot does not require the startup to have an existing prototype or operating business, and the bank does not take an equity stake from the participating teams.

According to Neal Cross, Chief Innovation Officer, DBS Bank: ““Singapore is becoming a thriving startup ecosystem and with our roots as the Development Bank of Singapore, we are keen to help grow the community. For many aspiring entrepreneurs, taking that initial plunge, leaving their stable jobs and following their startup dreams can be a daunting process. The DBS HotSpot is designed to support local startups in the very early stages of testing their ideas and getting them off the ground. Subsequently, we will continue to support them through later stage accelerators and industry programmes.”

From DBS HotSpot’s first batch, the startups worked on ideas spanning social innovation to fintech, and these include:

  • Reducing poverty in Vietnam through bike production – BambooBike
  • Using gamification to motivate people to run – Mirri
  • Enabling consumers to shop online collectively and enjoy greater bargains – BeMex
  • Helping migrant workers remit funds home quickly – Nickel
  • Enabling SMEs to auction unpaid invoices for quick cash – InvoiceInterchange

Both Nickel and InvoiceInterchange have been accepted to Startupbootcamp FinTech FastTrack, the bank said in a statement.

Earlier thus year, DBS had announced that it had partnered with Hong Kong’s NEST to establish a new accelerator, called DBS Accelerator.

Prior to that, it had launched a programme to finance tech start-ups. The dedicated venture debt solution offers tech startups (often at the growth stage of their business life cycles) an option tap funds with minimum equity dilution.Venture debt can be deployed for working capital, fixed assets acquisition and project financing, and for various possibilities.

Also Read: 

Pre-accelerator programme DBS Hotspot@BASH launches

DBS launches fintech accelerator in a JV with NEST

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.