Start-ups raised more than $14.7 billion in 2021; venture funding in first half 2022 reached $8.18 billion

Data shows significant increase in funding activities over the last five years as Singapore's innovation and start-up ecosystem continues to grow. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Investments in start-ups have grown exponentially, with ventures in Singapore raising more than $14.7 billion in 2021.

It comes amid data which shows a significant increase in funding activities over the last five years as the Republic's innovation and start-up ecosystem continues to grow.

Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG) on Wednesday said investments in start-ups grew by more than 45 per cent per annum between 2017 and 2021, with venture funding within the first half of 2022 alone reaching $8.18 billion.

This is a 54 per cent increase compared with the same period last year.

"The pandemic has spotlighted the vital role that start-ups played in developing solutions to disrupt and rejuvenate industries despite trying circumstances," said Mr Edwin Chow, assistant chief executive officer of innovation and enterprise at Enterprise Singapore.

He added that a resilience and entrepreneurial mindset is what Singapore needs to form as the bedrock of its innovation economy.

"EnterpriseSG is committed to deepening our support for start-ups, including by expanding our network of local and foreign partners, so that we can continue to catalyse the formation of innovative start-ups and support their growth in Singapore and beyond," said Mr Chow.

To that end, it will host a conference later in October that brings together public- and private-sector players.

The Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (Switch) 2022 event will see more than 300 speakers and 250 exhibitors.

Entrepreneurs, investors and public-sector leaders will be discussing emerging tech trends such as Web 3.0 technology and green solutions at the event, which will run from Oct 25 to 28 at the Resorts World Convention Centre.

Key speakers include Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong, Meta managing director Damian Kim, and Ms Bernadine Lim, chief commercial officer and co-founder of tech start-up QuantumCyte.

The conference also includes the sixth iteration of deep tech start-up pitching competition SLINGSHOT 2022, which will see 50 start-up finalists from 16 countries competing for more than $1.2 million in grant prizes.

The top three winners will also each receive up to 18 months' rent-free space at JTC LaunchPad at one-north or LaunchPad at Jurong Innovation District. These LaunchPads are homes to communities of incubators, accelerators and venture capitalists.

The competition started accepting start-up applicants in April, and has attracted over 3,600 applicants from 153 countries in about three months.

The 50 finalists will each receive a sponsored trip to Singapore to participate in an immersion programme one week before the grand finals.

They will also get matching and networking sessions with investors, accelerators, venture builders, corporates and innovators.

Switch director Cindy Ngiam said: "We are excited for Switch to return in-person this year, where we can come together as a global innovation and start-up community to discuss innovation priorities globally and in the region to drive opportunities for collaboration."

Ms Bernadette Cho, a partner at Entrepreneur First Singapore, said the conference is a valuable platform for start-ups globally, whether to connect with future investors or prospect for new customers.

"They can also compete in SLINGSHOT to pitch to international corporates and investors to amplify their story and reach," she added.

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