Singapore: A*STAR arm partners investors to raise $62m, back deep tech startups

Singapore city-scape. Photo: Pixabay

A*ccelerate, the commercialisation arm of Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), is forging partnerships with investors such as Startup-O, Hafnium Hafaway, Trendlines and Dymon Asia Ventures, among others, to raise total commitments of S$85 million ($62 million) as part of its venture co-creation initiative.

According to the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), the commitment aims to create technology startups in areas like Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence and specialty chemicals.

A*ccelerate has signed seven MOUs in partnership with Venture co-creation partners, Origgin, JSC Venture Lab, Dymon Asia Ventures, Hafnium Hafaway, Trendlines, Startup-O and Marvelstone Group.

Sentient i.o. that provides AI-as-a-service for software developers and companies is an A*STAR spin-off company jointly created with Origgin.

The partnership agreement is expected to result in private equity firm Hafnium Hafaway, focused on chemical businesses, invest up to S$20 million in 10 local specialty chemicals startups.

“This collaboration builds upon the strong research work at A*Star and Hafnium’s expertise in the growing specialty chemical business space,” Philip Lim, CEO of A*ccelerate, was quoted as saying.

Previously known as ETPL, A*ccelerate has over 1,200 patent families, resulting out of A*STAR research, and has helped over 1000 local companies secure licenses.

Apart from helping startups enter the market, A*STAR supports them with innovation and strengthens the connection between research, innovation and enterprise.

“My hope is to see IEOs (Innovation and Enterprise Offices) like A*ccelerate lead the way and strive to become one of the top commercialization offices in the world. In this regard, A*ccelerate will need to meet the high expectations in delivering on three key roles in the Singapore innovation ecosystem,” said Dr Koh Poh Koon, senior minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry.

The startups born out of A*STAR are reported to have raised a total of over S$210 million since 2016 after the Singapore government continued to commit about $19 billion to transform the country into a global research and development hub.

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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.