Singapore overtakes the US to become world’s most competitive country

Singapore has overtaken the U.S. to become the most competitive nation in the world, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). In its 2019 Global Competitiveness Report, the WEF measured the strength of 103 key indicators, such as inflation, digital skills and trade tariffs, across 141 countries. The key indicators in the report were organized into 12 pillars, which included…

Singapore AI startup Advance.ai banks $80m in series C round

Singapore-based AI and big data firm Advance.ai raised US$80 million in a series C round led by private equity investor Pavilion Capital and Chinese venture capital firm Gaorong Capital (formerly Banyan Capital). Unicorn Venture and eGarden Ventures also participated in the round, alongside existing investors GSR Ventures and Vision Plus Capital. Founded in 2015, the data-driven fintech company helps businesses…

Singapore healthtech startups attract US$105m in 2018

HEALTHTECH startups in Singapore attracted US$105 million across 21 deals in 2018, according to a report published by healthtech researcher Galen Growth Asia in collaboration with Singapore's Economic Development Board. Singapore's deal value made up 24 per cent of total deal value in Asia excluding China and India. China took home the crown for having attracted the most funding, amounting…

How one Singaporean entrepreneur is impacting the global craft spirits market

F&B veteran Michel Lu turns his hand to distilling boutique Asian flavours under The Orientalist Spirits brand, and also aims to champion other independent distilleries in the region. Turning 50 this year has offered veteran F&B entrepreneur Michel Lu time for introspection. “A brand done properly can last a lifetime, and even outlive you,” he muses, as he shares his…

Singapore-based HR tech startup StaffAny raises $722k in seed funding

StaffAny, a Singapore-based startup which offers a workforce management solution for companies with hourly workers, said it has raised S$1 million (about US$722,000) in a seed round led by Japanese marketing tech company FreakOut Holdings and angel investors. The startup’s angel investors include HR tech entrepreneur Kenji Niwa, as well as the founders of live-chat software firm Zopim; Lim Qing…

The startups turning their backs on hubs

Growing up in Coimbatore, Bengaluru seemed like a dream city to Dhruv Suyamprakasam, the place where every other person was an entrepreneur and the best jobs were. So, after college, he moved to India’s Silicon Valley with dreams of setting up his own healthcare startup. However, after almost 16 months, he realized that Bengaluru was not ideal for the healthcare…

Sequoia’s India arm may raise $200 mn to bolster  sixth fund

Sequoia Capital India, the local arm of storied Silicon Valley venture investor Sequoia, is raising $200 million to add to its existing fund, driven by a fast-growing market and interest from limited partners (LPs, or investors in the fund), said two people aware of the development, seeking anonymity. Sequoia, which is an investor in startups such as Oyo Rooms, Byju’s…

Why are Health and Wellness Startups Flourishing?

The health and wellness industry is experiencing exponential growth. These have become mainstream, and the proliferating startups in these sectors are a testimony. Till last year, there were 4892 startups in the health tech space and raised $504 million between 2014-2018. Same is true for the wellness industry as well, which has been growing at a CAGR of nearly 12per…

Tencent bets big on Indian tech startups amid China slowdown

Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings, best known for its WeChat messenger app, is looking to increase its bets on Indian technology companies, at a time when its home market is seeing a slowdown in venture capital investments. Tencent, which counts some of India’s largest startups including Flipkart, Ola, Swiggy and Byju’s Classes among its portfolio firms, made four fresh investments…

PharmEasy is closing in on $120m in equity round

Online pharmacy venture PharmEasy is close to wrapping up a $100-120 million equity financing round, led by a host of new investors including CDPQ, the second-largest Canadian pension fund, and LGT, the private banking and asset management group controlled by the Liechtenstein princely family. The transaction, which is expected to close by the end of the month, will value the…

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