SG's Singtel to invest $100m more in corporate venture arm Singtel Innov8

A woman walks by a Singtel sign in Singapore. Photo: Reuters

Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel) plans to invest a further $100 million into Singtel Innov8, its corporate venture arm, raising its total capital commitment to $350 million, according to an announcement.

Innov8 invests in startups that align with Singtel Group’s businesses in the areas of 5G, artificial intelligence, the digital economy, sustainability, cyber security and emerging technologies. It operates on an evergreen fund model, reinvesting returns from portfolio exits into new investments.

The new fund will be used to further expand its portfolio of investments in Southeast Asia, the US, China, Israel and Australia.

“This capital infusion is meant for identifying and growing innovative startups with new technologies and capabilities that are synergistic and in lockstep with Singtel’s strategic reset to drive greater improvements in our core operations, accelerate our new growth engines, and place us at the forefront of new and fast-evolving areas,” said Yuen Kuan Moon, group CEO of Singtel and chairman of Singtel Innov8.

“As we sharpen our business focus, we will recycle our assets and capital into selected growth areas, reshaping our portfolio to better serve our stakeholders and build momentum for the longer term,” he added.

“This additional funding and our proven approach will help drive further investment deal flow and greater collaboration with the startup ecosystem, unlocking more value for both the group and our portfolio companies,” said Singtel Innov8 CEO Edgar Hardless.

Innov8 has invested in over 95 startups since its inception in 2010 and has had over 35 exits. Four of the exits were unicorns Arista, Ruckus, Jasper and Shape — startups that achieved a valuation in excess of $1 billion.

Apart from investing capital, Innov8 facilitates access and partnerships with business units across the Singtel group’s footprint and evangelises innovative technologies within the group.

Singtel is one of Asia’s leading communications technology group, providing a portfolio of services from next-generation communication, 5G and technology services to infotainment to both consumers and businesses.

Singtel said in July it would sell its loss-making digital marketing arm Amobee to London-listed Tremor International for $239 million in a bid to sharpen its focus on core businesses.

Earlier, Singtel also proposed to raise its stake in Thailand-headquartered subsidiary Intouch Holdings from 21.21% to 24.99% by acquiring an additional 3.78% stake from Temasek’s wholly-owned subsidiary Anderton Investments.

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