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20 Hottest Startups of 2022

Fintech startups dominated the eleventh edition of Singapore Business Review’s 20 Hottest Startups, taking over eight of the 20 spots on the list.

FULL STORY: Fintech at the forefront of 2022’s Hottest Startups list

  • Una Brands

Founders: Kiren Tanna, Adrian Johnston, Kushal Patel, Tobias Heusch, and Srinivasan Shridharan

Funding: Una Brands recently raised $53.93m (US$ 200m) in an equity and debt round. 

Start of Operations: 2020

Founded by entrepreneurs Kiren Tanna, Adrian Johnston, Kushal Patel, Tobias Heusch, and Srinivasan Shridharan, Una Brands is an e-commerce platform aimed at using growth capital to develop brands. The startup uses brand strategies to help transform brands into household names and to aid through the development of plans that involve geographical expansion and product line launches. Recently, it raised $53.93m in a debt and equity round, with investors such as 500 Startups, Kingsway Capital, 468 Capital, Presight Capital, Global Founders Capital, and White Star Capital.

  • Spenmo

Founders: Mohandass Kalaichelvan and Isaq Ahmed

Funding: Spenmo raised $45.7m (US$40m) in a Series A funding round. 

Start of Operations: 2017

The platform founded by Mohandass Kalaichelvan and Isaq Ahmed offers ways for companies to manage their business payments. This includes methods such as automated local transfers, the use of credit cards to make non-card payments, and the issuance of virtual and physical corporate cards. On top of these financial services, Spenmo also helps small businesses through a network of over 100 licensed small and medium enterprise lenders. The startup recently raised $45.70m in a Series A funding round. 

  • Syfe

Founders: Dhruv Aurora

Funding: Syfe acquired $40.33m in a Series B funding round. 

Start of Operations: 2019

US stocks just got more accessible with this investment-focused platform. Syfe, founded by current CEO Dhruv Arora, is aimed at consumers wanting to invest in both US stocks and exchange-traded funds. Five free financial trends per month, Securities Investor Protection Corporation coverage, and real-time stock quotes are some of the supplemental functions offered by the program. The platform recently acquired $40.33m in a Series B funding round, with Valar Ventures as the leading investor.

  • Volopay

Founders: Rajesh Raikwar

Funding: Volopay raised $39.59m in a Series A funding round. 

Start of Operations: 2019

This finances platform helps to plan and manage business spending. Total visibility and control are the main focuses of Voloplay, as it allows for real-time monitoring of company card use, domestic and international money transfer, and payment management. To accelerate the startup’s plans, it raised a total of $39.59m from a Series A funding.

  • Endowus

Founders: Gregory Van 

Funding: Endowus raised $35m in a follow-on fund raising.

Start of Operations: 2017

Endowus makes expert investing advisors within reach. The app offers personalised advice for customers with low fees and 100% trailer fee rebates. Several investment portfolios are amongst the offerings of the startup—ranging from its flagship, which offers broad market exposure through low-cost funds with long-term outperformance, to environmental, societal and governance (ESG)-based portfolios. Prosus Ventures led the startup’s latest funding round, adding $35m to its funds in a follow-on fundraising.    

  • Sleek

Founders: Julien Labruyere, Adrien Barthel

Funding:  $34m in funding was raised by Sleek in an extended Series A funding round.

Start of Operations: 2017

This subscription-based service offers everything a budding business needs. From business registration to accounting and tax, Sleek—founded by French entrepreneurs Julien Labruyere and Adrien Barthel—aims to make the process easier. The entity also helps by offering a company secretary and business insurance for entities with more years behind them. Recently, the company underwent a successful Series A round to reach $19m in funding, with White Star Capital and Jungle Ventures as amongst the investors. EDBI, meanwhile, headed the extended round to raise an additional $15m, totaling the start-up’s Series A funding to $34m.

  • Rainforest

Founders: Per-Ola Röst, JJ Chai, Jason Tan

Funding: Rainforest raised $26.96m in a pre-series A funding round.

Start of Operations: 2021

As an e-commerce aggregator and brand builder, Rainforest is focused on acquiring e-commerce brands and exposing them to a long-term path headed towards success. The startup’s co-founders are Per-Ola  Röst, taking the lead in developing tools for business teams; JJ Chai, heading the company’s strategy and culture; and Jason Tan, in charge of deal structuring and negotiations. Their startup acquired $26.96m in a pre-series A funding round. 

  • Cyberhash

Founders: Alex Zu

Funding: $26.96m was raised by Cyberhash in an early-stage funding round. 

Start of Operations: 2021

With Alex Zu and CEO Jacky Teo at the helm of this startup, Cyberhash is focused on the distribution of cloud storage. This blockchain-based startup focuses on offering this at a lower cost to businesses. Further helping the company’s plans to expand their staff and operations was a $26.96m early-stage funding round, led by venture capital firm Lemon.

  • Osome

Founders: Victor Lysenko, Konstantin Lange

Funding: $21.57m was raised by Osome in a Series A funding round

Start of Operations: 2017

Osome’s main focus is to untangle the complications of business management. Through an on-call chartered accountant and corporate secretary, the process of maintaining a business becomes their responsibility. This includes processes such as managing invoices, reports, and taxes, whilst the customer is free to focus on growing their business. A $21.57m Series A funding was reached by the startup, with Target Global, AltalR Capital, and Phystech Ventures returning as lead investors. 

  • Tinvio

Founders: Ajay Gopal

Funding: $16.18m was raised by Tinvio in a Series A funding round. 

Start of Operations: 2019

With the current push towards digitalisation, Tinvio was envisioned as an application that bridges supply chain merchants and buyers. Founder Ajay Gopal armed the platform with a communication path between buyers and suppliers, a digital ledger, and an insights report. Over $16.18m in a Series A funding round was reached by the platform, as it prepares to incorporate financial services within its app. All of Tinvio’s existing investors returned for this round of funding, which includes Sequioa Capital India’s Surge, Global Founders Capital, and Partech Ventures. 

  • Neuroglee

Founders: Aniket Singh Rajput

Funding: $13.44m was raised by the start-up in a pre-seed funding round

Start of Operations: 2019

This health-tech based startup takes aim at providing a digital platform for neurodegenerative diseases. Through the use of artificial intelligence, functions like baseline assessment, cognitive intervention, and continuous monitoring are able to be applied to personalided settings. These all then come together to offer a system of digital therapeutics and virtual care to support patients and clinicians. Following pre-seed funding of $13.44m, Neuroglee is slated to launch virtual neurology clinics and see a move to Boston.

  • Upmesh 

Founders: Shawn Teow, Wong Zi Yang

Funding: $10.11m was raised by the start-up in a Pre-Series A funding round.

Start of Operations: 2019

Unlike other platforms with just live streaming and selling, Wong Zi Yang’s platform arms sellers with tools such as automatic capturing of dibs comments, checkout carts for buyers, and an order management system. To further strengthen Upmesh’ capabilities, the platform recently acquired a $10.11m pre-Series A funding round led by Monk’s Hill Ventures.

  • Xen Capital

Founders: Katrina Cokeng

Funding: $10.08m was raised by the start-up as part of a Series A funding round.

Start of Operations: 2018

Over $271.32m of alternative investments were closed through this alternative investment platform aimed at both asset managers and wealth advisors. Aside from offering a market, accessibility became a part of Xen Capital’s focus, which allowed them to bypass obstacles such as high minimum tickets, lack of transparency, and high fees. The wealth-management platform also raised $10.08m in a Series A funding round.

  • Jenfi

Founders: Jeffery Liu

Funding: $6.3m was raised by the start-up in a Series A funding round led by Monk’s Hill Ventures.

Start of Operations: 2018

The goal of this startup is to make business development painless and quick. For Jenfi, the process is as simple as sending an application and seeing the decision within 24 hours. A flexible repayment plan is also in place, with the investment platform only requiring a fixed percentage of sales. The revenue-based platform raised a total of $6.3m in a Series A funding round led by Monk’s Hill Ventures.

  • Nektar.Ai

Founders: Aravind Ravi Sulekha, Abhijeet Vijayvergiya

Funding: $6.74m was raised in a Seed Round headed by Nexus Venture Partners and 3One4 Capital.

Start of Operations: 2020

Business-to-business sales are the bread and butter of this startup. With the aim of putting together the multiple tools needed by sales teams to work with buyer committees, the platform is able to put together details such as CRM data entry, deal activity, and revenue predictability under one program. Despite the product only being in early access, Nektar.Ai, led by founders Aravind Ravi Sulekha and Abhijeet Vijayvergiya, got $6.74m in their seed round headed by returning investor Nexus Venture Partners and 3One4 Capital.

  • Easy Eat AI

Founders: Mohd Wassem, Rhythm Gupta, Abdul Khalid

Funding: $5.92m was raised  by the start-up in a Series A funding round.

Start of Operations: 2020

Despite the availability of delivery platforms in Singapore, there is more that goes behind the scenes as restaurants rush to transform their establishments in the digital landscape. Enter Easy Eat Ai, a startup that employs a cloud-based point-of-sale. Through this platform, functions like table ordering, deliveries, personalised loyalty rewards, and payment gateway services are all available. Connections between the platform and other delivery infrastructures are also in place. On top of that, no subscription fees exist, with small technology fees serving as fees for the consumer. The platform raised $5.92m in its most recent funding round. 

  • AI Palette

Founders: Somsubhra Gan Chaudhuri, Himanshu Upreti

Funding: $5.92m was raised  by the start-up in an oversubscribed Series A funding round led by pi Ventures and Exfilinity Venture Partners. 

Start of Operations: 2020

Consumer trends in the food and beverage industry got a lot easier with AI Palette, a softwar as a service-based platform that helps entities determine the current trends. It is able to determine insights real-time through a mixture of data and machine learning. Insights accumulated by the platform expand beyond food trends, as integration into business development and the research and development process are offered by the startup. A Series A funding round, which also resulted in an oversubscribed $5.92m funding, was co-led by pi Ventures and Exfinity Venture Partners. 

  • Xopa AI

Founders: Nina Alag Suri

Funding: $5.66m was raised in a Series A funding round headed by ICCP SBI Venture Partners.

Start of Operations: 2017

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotic process automation are what Xopa AI uses in terms of improving its clients’ application process for new hires. Through benchmarking applicants with standards set by the app, the bias present in the hiring process is lost. Instead, a transparent hiring process that allows for communication within the consumer and external agencies is present, with the platform reducing time and cost of hiring by 87% and 50%, respectively. The SG-based startup recently raised $5.66m  in a Series A funding round led by ICCP SBI Venture Partners. 

  • STACS

Founders: Benjamin Soh

Funding: $4.85m was raised by the start-up in a Pre-Series A funding round led by Wavemaker Partners.

Start of Operations: 2019 

STACS’ focus on ESG goals can be found in the products the entity offers. For instance, the start-up’s ESGpedia, done in partnership with the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Project Greenprint, is a blockchain-powered solution that aids the financial industry through ESG-focused methods such as Monitoring of Commitment and Impact Reporting. Backing up the green initiative is a $4.85 pre-Series A funding, led by Wavemaker Partners. 

  • INKR

Founders: Ken Luong, Khoa Nguyen and Hieu Tran.

Funding: $4.18m was raised by the start-up in a pre-series A funding round led by Monk’s Hill Ventures. 

Start of Operations: 2019

INKR is a digital comics platform focused on making comics available to everyone. Through partnerships with publishers and creators worldwide, both ad-supported and exclusive content are available on the startup’s mobile application. Setting the company apart is its localisation technology, which helps make the production process for different markets more accessible. Strengthening the startup’s reserves is a $4.18m pre-Series A funding round headed by Monk’s Hill Ventures. 

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