Singapore accounted for nearly half of all active accelerator programmes in SE Asia last year

Photo: Austin Distel / Unsplash

The number of active startup accelerator programmes in Southeast Asia’s six major markets dipped slightly to 62 in 2020, compared with 66 in the previous year.

Together, the 62 programmes held 76 batches — nearly the same as 2019’s 78 batches — according to data compiled in DealStreetAsia Research & Analytics’s latest report State of SE Asia Startup Accelerators.

Given the pandemic, the figures were not disappointing as most accelerators managed to move their activities online.

The numbers, though, were propped up by a disproportionately high number of programmes in Singapore. The financial nerve centre accounted for 28 of the accelerator programmes (45%) in the region last year.

Advantage Singapore

Singapore’s share of startup accelerator programmes has been much higher than its peers in the Southeast Asia region in the last five years.

Singapore continues to attract many new startup accelerators as, enabled by digitalisation, the supply of quality startups is no longer an issue in the region.

Singapore remains one of the best places globally to raise capital, attracting founders from across Southeast Asia, South Asia, and beyond. Businesses in the city-state also benefit from progressive government policies, and ample subsidies.

Startup accelerators use Singapore as a gateway to access talent across the region. This trend became more apparent in 2020 as programme managers and startups are forced to conduct all activities from application to demo day online due to region-wide travel restrictions amid COVID-19.

Most of the active startup acceleration programmes in Singapore are focusing on deep tech and fintech. Moving forward, effective public and private partnership will continue to shape Singapore’s startup accelerator landscape.

For more data on PE fundraisings in 2020, refer to our Research & Analytics report.

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.