The country’s allure to foreign tech companies, abundant Government funding, and an optimal atmosphere for entrepreneurship has made it highly ideal to Asian tech entrepreneurs, says the nation’s leading incorporation consultancy.
Singapore inches closer to becoming Asia’s version of Silicon Valley as the National Research Foundation (NRF) injects $60 million this week into six venture capital funds that finance high tech startups in Singapore. This capital will be matched dollar-for-dollar by selected private investors to amount to $120 million for the sole purpose of stimulating technology-oriented entrepreneurship in Singapore.
Singapore is the gateway to Asia and attractive destination for expatriates. It is also identified as one of the top launch pads for business ventures, owing primarily to the ease of conducting business. The nation’s growing entrepreneurial momentum and tech-savvy workforce makes it an ideal hub for tech-startups to flourish, among other factors as stated below.
Generous Provision of Funding
The $60 million contributed by the NRF is the second batch of funding allocated for tech startups in Singapore. In 2008, the NRF created the Technology Incubation Scheme for the common purpose of uplifting tech startups, and have since funded 14 incubators and more than 100 tech startups to date with $50 million from 2010 to 2013.
“With the Government co-investing 85% of the capital up to $500,000, it is no wonder that Singapore is touted as Asia’s Silicon Valley”, said Mr. James Nuben, Head of Taxation at AsiaBiz Services.
Apart from the Technology Incubation Scheme, Spring Singapore has also offered co-funding opportunities to local tech startups called the Spring Seeds Capital (SSC), which has invested over $75 million in 210 startup companies, and garnered private investments for startups at over $150 million since 2001.
These funding schemes have made Singapore extremely popular among tech entrepreneurs from around Asia to kick start their tech startups.
An Ideal Ecosystem
Singapore has also created a number of hives of tech entrepreneurial activity. BLK71 in Ayer Rajah Crescent and The Hub in Somerset are some of the sites selected by the Government to accommodate numerous startup companies. For instance, BLK71 is the home to more than 100 startup companies that includes 3D-printing startups, software startups, and electric mobility startups, and is now being expanded into JTC LaunchPad@One-North, as announced earlier this year.
The close proximity the tech entrepreneurs share with one another has become a defining characteristic in their dynamic exchange of ideas and mentorship. The cross-pollination and diversity in these sites have enabled these entrepreneurs to fuel their innovation and productivity rapidly.
Magnet for Top Tech Companies
The juggernauts of the tech industry such as YouTube, Yahoo, MSN, LinkedIn and Facebook have founded offices in Singapore, and this has led to an upsurge in the tech-entrepreneurial climate of Singapore. This has led to top notch talent from Silicon Valley to be channeled to Singapore, such as Russel Simmons of PayPal fame to mentor tech startups.
The behemoth tech companies that have made their presence in Singapore have also ushered in investor confidence in Singaporean startups and a steady stream of venture capital. One such venture capital and incubator fund is the Golden Gate Ventures (GGV). GGV has migrated from Silicon Valley to establish a US$10 million incubator fund in Singapore, with the objective of fostering the collaboration between Silicon Valley and Asia.
Viki is a local tech company to benefit from this influx of capital. It is an online video streaming site that was registered and incorporated by students of Stanford and Harvard Universities in Singapore due to its closeness to the target affluent Asian market and accessibility to engineering-skilled workforce. In 2013, Viki was among the 20 local startup companies that was acquired by mammoth Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten for $200 million.
“It is undeniably lucid that Singapore has the right mix of capital flow, optimal environment, and ability to entice the big names in the tech universe to evolve into Asia’s Silicon Valley”, declared Mr. James Nuben.
ABOUT ASIABIZ SERVICES
Asiabiz Services is a Singapore-based consultancy that offers business solutions for both local and foreign professionals, investors and entrepreneurs. Our areas of expertise include company incorporation, offshore company setup, accounting, taxation and other related corporate services. Asiabiz Services also provides work visa and immigration services professionals wishing to relocate to Singapore.