As entrepreneurs will know, startup funding is necessary when it comes to building the company.
Startup funding pays for incorporation, business licenses, insurance, facilities, equipment, marketing collateral and the hiring of necessary talent.
It also funds the manufacture of products, marketing and distribution of services, as well as overseas expansion.
Sea, Grab and Ninja Van are some of the widely-known startups which have been heavily invested by top investors. With that, we have compiled a list of the 13 top-funded startups and companies in Singapore:
Grab – US$10.1 Billion
Founded in 2012, Singapore-based ride-hailing startup and Southeast Asia’s first decacorn Grab has raised a total of US$10.1 billion (S$13.7 billion) in funding over 31 rounds.
Their latest funding was raised on 3 August 2020 where it acquired another US$200 million from Seoul-based private equity firm Stic Investments.
The venture round came just six months after it secured more than US$700 million from Japan’s largest bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group.
Grab had also raised US$9.9 billion in known funding across 29 reported rounds going back to 2013, according to Crunchbase.
In 2019, it raised US$1.5 billion in a Series H round with SoftBank Vision Fund as the lead investor, followed by US$300 million with Invesco as part of the Series H round.
Recently, it was said that Alibaba is reportedly in talks with Grab to invest US$3 billion (S$4.1 billion).
The e-commerce giant could be acquiring a percentage of the Grab stock held by Uber technologies.
This could give Alibaba access to data on millions of users in eight countries, an extensive delivery fleet, and e-wallet and financial services.
Lazada – US$4.2 Billion
Lazada is the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia, and has presence in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The unicorn company raised a total of US$4.2 billion in funding over nine rounds. Their latest funding of US$2 billion was raised on 19 March 2018 from a Secondary Market round led by Alibaba Group.
In 2017, Alibaba also invested US$1 billion into the fast-growing e-commerce company.
SEA – US$2.6 Billion
Founded in 2009 and previously known as online game developer and publisher Garena, the Singapore-based Sea Limited has raised a total of US$2.6 billion in funding over eight rounds.
Sea Limited is the parent company of e-commerce marketplace Shopee. Besides Shopee and Garena, Sea runs SeaMoney, a digital financial services network in Southeast Asia.
In 2017, Sea listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and has a market capitalisation of more than S$25 billion as of 31 December 2019.
Their latest funding of US$1.4 billion was raised on 6 March 2019 from a post-IPO Equity round with Tencent Holdings as the lead investor.
In 2017, they raised a Series E round of US$550 million with undisclosed investors.
AirTrunk – US$1.3 Billion
Data centre platform platform and unicorn AirTrunk has raised a total of US$1.3 billion in funding over three rounds with the latest funding raised in April 2019 from a Debt Financing round.
The Debt Financing round raised US$332 million (S$450 million) to fund its expansion across Asia, including the launch of its hyperscale data centre in Singapore.
The debt financing was undertaken with three global financial institutions, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Natixis, with additional equity capital from its founder and CEO Robin Khuda, and shareholders, Goldman Sachs and TPG Sixth Street Partners (TSSP).
Previously, in another Debt Financing round in 2018 and Private Equity round in 2017, Goldman Sachs was also the lead investor.
PropertyGuru – US$740 Million
Founded in 2007, PropertyGuru is the leading property classified business in Southeast Asia, operating in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.
The Group has raised a total of S$740 million in funding over six rounds. It is funded by nine investors, with global investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) and TPG as the most recent investors.
In 2018, its series D funding round clinched US$200 million led by KKR.
Their latest funding of S$300 million was raised on 2 September 2020 from its existing investors KKR and TPG Capital.
PropertyGuru is touted as the next unicorn in 2021, as we think that with the latest funding round it will bring them on its way to a US$1 billion valuation.
Ninja Van – US$396.5 Million
Singapore-based last-mile logistics player Ninja Van was set up in 2014.
In April 2020, Ninja Van raised US$279 million in its latest Series D funding round, with investors including Grab and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Savarin’s B Capital Group.
With the latest funding round, it took the company’s total funding to US$400 million and valuation to around US$750 million, which could put it on course to become the next Southeast Asia’s US$1 billion unicorn.
Trax – US$386.9 Million
Founded in 2010, Trax is a Singapore-based technology company that provides computer vision solutions for retail.
Trax has raised a total of US$386.9 million in funding over nine rounds.
Its latest Series D round was held on 23 July 2019, where it raised US$100 million, with Chinese private equity investment firm HOPU Investment Management Company as the lead investor.
With that round, it joined Singapore’s unicorn stable – startups valued at more than US$1 billion.
In 2018, it raised US$125 million in a round of funding led by Chinese investment firm Boyu Capital.
One Championship – US$336 Million
Founded in 2011, Singapore-based mixed martial arts promotion ONE Championship has raised a total of US$336 million in funding over three rounds.
Their latest funding of US$70 million was raised on 15 June 2020, with undisclosed investors.
In 2018, it held a Series D round led by Sequoia Capital and raised US$166 million while in 2017, it raised US$100 million after a series C investment led by Sequoia Capital India and Mission Holdings.
It hit unicorn status in 2018 when its valuation surpassed US$1 billion.
Zilingo – US$307.9 Million
Online shopping site Zilingo was founded in 2015 to help Southeast Asia’s independent retailers sell their products online.
To date, Zilingo has raised a total of US$307.9 million in funding over six rounds. Their latest funding was raised on 5 December 2019 for an undisclosed amount.
In February 2019, the Singapore headquartered startup raised a US$226 million Series D led by Sequoia Capital India.
Zilingo is touted to be the next unicorn in 2021 with its current valuation of US$970 Million.
Kacific – US$307.3 Million
Founded in 2013, Kacific is a Singapore-based broadband satellite operator that provides affordable high-speed broadband to Asia Pacific.
Kacific has raised a total of US$307.3 million in funding over three rounds.
Their latest funding of US$160 million was raised on 6 December 2019 from a Debt Financing round led by Asian Development Bank and GuarantCo.
BIGO – US$272 Million
Founded in 2014, BIGO is a fast-growing Singapore technology company specialising in AI technology with presence in over 150 countries and over 400 million monthly active users.
The startup is behind popular live-streaming app Bigo Live, video-sharing app Like, and gamecasting platform Cube TV.
In early 2019, one of China’s top live-streaming companies, YY acquired Bigo in a deal worth US$1.45 billion.
YY was the lead investor in Bigo’s US$272 million fundraising round in June 2018, acquiring a 31.7 per cent stake.
Carousell – US$262.8 Million
Founded in 2012, Carousell is a consumer marketplace for buying and selling new and secondhand goods.
Carousell has raised a total of US$262.8 million in funding over 12 rounds with their latest funding raised on 15 September 2020.
On 15 September, Carousell announced that it had raised US$80 million from South Korean internet giant Naver.
In 2019, it raised US$56 million in a corporate round with Pobts as the lead investor.
Carousell is touted to be the next unicorn in 2021 with its current valuation at over US$900 million — pushing it closer to a US$1 billion valuation or unicorn status following the Naver deal.
RWDC Industries – US$168 Million
Founded in 2015, RWDC Industries develops sustainable biodegradable solutions, with a focus on biodegradable, water-based coatings for paper-based packaging.
The company has raised a total of US$168 million in funding over three rounds.
Their latest funding was raised on 5 May 2020 from a Series B round of US$133 million led by CPV / CAP Pension Fund Coop., Flint Hills Resources, International SA and Vickers Venture Partners.
How To Get Funding In S’pore?
Funding usually begins with an initial pre-seed and/or seed round, which then progresses from Series A to B, C and beyond.
Funds are typically injected by investors, usually angel investors or venture capital firms, which then receive a stake in the startup.
Singapore is lauded as one of the best places to start a business, and the good thing is, there are many available government schemes here to help new businesses with funding.
Recently, Facebook announced that it will award S$4.75 million in grants to support over 800 local small businesses.
Just last month, as part of enhanced measures to boost the local jobs and startups scene, Startup SG Founder Programme is awarding first-time entrepreneurs a higher start-up capital grant of S$50,000, up from S$30,000.
So keep your eyes open — there are definitely plenty of funds and resources available that can help to give your business that financial jumpstart.
Featured Image Credit: Grab / Ninja Van / Carousell / The Lowdown – Momentum Works / ONE Championship
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