As entrepreneurs know, seed funding is required to build the business.
The seed funding pays off for starting up, business licenses, insurance, facilities, equipment, marketing materials, and hiring the talent required.
It also funds the manufacturing of products, marketing and sales of services, and overseas expansion.
Sea, Grab and Ninja Van are some of the most famous startups that have been heavily invested by top investors. With that we have compiled a list of the 13 best funded startups and companies in Singapore:
Grab – $ 10.1 billion
Photo credit: grave
Founded in 2012 and based in Singapore and Southeast Asia's first decacorn grave, the ride hail start-up has raised a total of USD 10.1 billion (S $ 13.7 billion) in funding over 31 rounds.
Her most recent funding was raised on August 3, 2020 when she acquired an additional $ 200 million from Seoul-based private equity firm Stic Investments.
The venture round came just six months after securing more than $ 700 million from Japan's largest bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group.
According to Crunchbase, Grab had raised $ 9.9 billion in known funds in 29 reported rounds dating back to 2013.
In 2019, $ 1.5 billion was raised in a Series H round with the SoftBank Vision Fund as the main investor, followed by $ 300 million with Invesco as part of the Series H round.
It was recently said that Alibaba is reportedly in talks with Grab to invest $ 3 billion (S $ 4.1 billion).
The e-commerce giant could acquire a percentage of the Grab shares held by Uber Technologies.
This could give Alibaba access to the data of millions of users in eight countries, an extensive delivery fleet, and e-wallet and financial services.
Lazada – $ 4.2 billion
Image credit: Lazada
Lazada is the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and has a presence in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The unicorn company raised a total of $ 4.2 billion over nine rounds. Their last $ 2 billion funding was raised on March 19, 2018 from a secondary market round led by Alibaba Group.
In 2017, Alibaba also invested $ 1 billion in the fast-growing e-commerce company.
SEA – $ 2.6 billion
Photo credit: Sea Group
Sea Limited was founded in 2009 and was previously known as Garena online game developer and publisher. Singapore-based Sea Limited has raised a total of $ 2.6 billion in funding over eight rounds.
Sea Limited is the parent company of the Shopee e-commerce marketplace. In addition to Shopee and Garena, SeaMoney operates a digital financial services network in Southeast Asia.
In 2017, Sea was listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and had a market capitalization of more than S $ 25 billion as of December 31, 2019.
The most recent $ 1.4 billion funding was raised on March 6, 2019 from a post-IPO equity round with Tencent Holdings as the main investor.
In 2017, they launched a $ 550 million Series E round with unnamed investors.
AirTrunk – $ 1.3 billion
Image credit: Data Center Dynamics
The platform for data center platforms and the unicorn AirTrunk raised a total of 1.3 billion US dollars in funding over three rounds. The most recent funding came in April 2019 from a debt financing round.
The debt financing round raised $ 332 million (S $ 450 million) to fund expansion across Asia, including the launch of the Hyperscale data center in Singapore.
The debt financing took place with three global financial institutions, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Natixis, with additional equity from its founder and CEO Robin Khuda and the shareholders Goldman Sachs and TPG Sixth Street Partners (TSSP).
Previously, Goldman Sachs was also the main investor in another debt financing round in 2018 and a private equity round in 2017.
PropertyGuru – $ 740 million
Photo credit: PropertyGuru
Founded in 2007, PropertyGuru is the leading real estate company in Southeast Asia with offices 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 being the youngest investors.
In 2018, the KKR-led Series D funding round raised $ 200 million.
Their most recent funding of S $ 300 million was raised on September 2, 2020 by existing investors KKR and TPG Capital.
PropertyGuru is touted as the next unicorn in 2021 as we believe the final round of funding will get them on the path to a $ 1 billion valuation.
Ninja Van – $ 396.5 million
Photo credit: Ninja Van
Singapore-based last mile logistics player Ninja Van was founded in 2014.
In April 2020, Ninja Van raised $ 279 million in its final Series D funding round. Investors included Grab and the B Capital Group of Eduardo Savarin, co-founder of Facebook.
With the latest round of funding, the company's total funding climbed to $ 400 million and valuation to around $ 750 million, which could set it on its way to becoming the next $ 1 billion unicorn in Southeast Asia.
Trax – $ 386.9 million
Photo credit: Trax Retail
Founded in 2010, Trax is a Singapore-based technology company providing computer vision solutions to the retail sector.
Trax raised a total of $ 386.9 million over nine rounds.
The last Series D round took place on July 23, 2019 and raised $ 100 million. The Chinese private equity investment firm HOPU Investment Management Company was the main investor.
With this round, it joined Singapore's unicorn stable – startups valued at more than $ 1 billion.
In 2018, US $ 125 million was raised in a funding round led by the Chinese investment firm Boyu Capital.
One championship – $ 336 million
Photo credit: A Championship
ONE Championship was founded in Singapore in 2011 and has raised a total of 336 million US dollars over three rounds.
Their most recent funding of $ 70 million was raised on June 15, 2020 from unnamed investors.
In 2018, a Series D round led by Sequoia Capital took place that raised $ 166 million. In 2017, $ 100 million was raised following a Series C investment led by Sequoia Capital India and Mission Holdings.
It achieved unicorn status in 2018 when its valuation topped $ 1 billion.
Zilingo – $ 307.9 million
Photo credit: The Lowdown – Momentum Works
The online shopping website Zilingo was founded in 2015 to help independent retailers in Southeast Asia sell their products online.
To date, Zilingo has raised a total of $ 307.9 million in funding over six rounds. Your last funding was raised on December 5, 2019 for an undisclosed amount.
In February 2019, the Singapore-headquartered startup raised a Series D valued at $ 226 million, led by Sequoia Capital India.
Zilingo is believed to be the next unicorn in 2021, with a current value of $ 970 million.
Kacific – $ 307.3 million
Image credit: Kacific
Founded in 2013, Kacific is a Singapore-based broadband satellite operator serving the Asia-Pacific region with affordable high-speed broadband.
Kacific raised a total of $ 307.3 million in funding over three rounds.
Their most recent $ 160 million funding was raised on December 6, 2019 from a debt financing round led by Asian Development Bank and GuarantCo.
BIGO – $ 272 million
Photo credit: Gaming Central
Founded in 2014, BIGO is a fast growing technology company in Singapore specializing in AI technology with a presence in over 150 countries and over 400 million monthly active users.
The startup is behind the popular live streaming app Bigo Live, the video sharing app Like and the game casting platform Cube TV.
In early 2019, YY, one of China's leading live streaming companies, acquired Bigo for $ 1.45 billion.
YY was the main investor in Bigo's $ 272 million fundraising round in June 2018, earning a 31.7 percent stake.
Carousel – $ 262.8 million
Image credit: Carousel
Carousell was founded in 2012 and is a hypermarket for buying and selling new and used goods.
Carousell has raised a total of $ 262.8 million in funding over 12 rounds. The most recent funding was on September 15, 2020.
On September 15, Carousell announced that it had raised $ 80 million from South Korean internet giant Naver.
In 2019, a corporate round with Pobts as the main investor raised $ 56 million.
Carousell is touted as the next unicorn in 2021 with a current valuation of over $ 900 million, bringing it closer to a $ 1 billion valuation or unicorn status after the Naver deal.
RWDC Industries – $ 168 million
Photo credit: RWDC Industries
RWDC Industries was founded in 2015 and develops sustainable biodegradable solutions with a focus on biodegradable water-based coatings for paper-based packaging.
The company has raised a total of $ 168 million in funding over three rounds.
Their most recent funding was raised on May 5, 2020 from a Series B round of $ 133 million led by CPV / CAP Pension Fund Co., Flint Hills Resources, International SA and Vickers Venture Partners.
How do I get financing in S’pore?
Funding usually starts with an initial pre-seed and / or seed round, which then goes from Series A to B, C and beyond.
Funds are usually injected by investors, usually angel investors or venture capital firms, who then get a stake in the startup.
Singapore is considered one of the best places to start a business and the good thing is that there are many government programs available here to help new businesses get funding.
Facebook recently announced that it would be providing $ 4.75 million in grants to support over 800 local small businesses.
Just last month, the Startup SG Founder Program granted first-time entrepreneurs a higher start-up capital grant of S $ 50,000 compared to S $ 30,000 as part of increased measures to promote the local employment and startup scene.
So keep your eyes open – there are definitely plenty of funds and resources available to give your business a financial start.
Selected image source: Grab / Ninja Van / Carousell / The Lowdown – Momentum Works / A championship