, Singapore

Singapore startups hauled US$7.5b in funding in 2018

The automotive segment drove away with $1.3b in funding.

Startups in Singapore continued to account for the lion’s share of regional funding after raising US$7.5b in 2018 across 189 deals, according to a report from e27

Also readThese Singaporean companies are poised to become the next unicorns

In comparison, Indonesian startups raised a combined US$4.7b in 2018 followed by the Philippines whose startups took home US$304.2m haul. Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand’s total recorded funding raised are at US$232m, US$193.8m and US$92.9m.

The average deal size in Singapore was US$29m with fintech reigning supreme as the most popular vertical for deals (21) although the enterprise solutions segment is fast catching up with 20 deals on its belt. E-commerce, healthtech and big data rounded out the top five with 12-14 deals each.  

Also read: Are fintech startups hoarding capital? 

In terms of average deal size, the automotive segment raised the highest average round at over US$1.3b in 2018 driven almost entirely by ride-hailing app Grab in its bid for superapp status. ICT raised over US$300m and Entertainment crossed the US$200m mark. E-commerce averaged over US$15m whilst the Aerospace sector raised an average of US$50m.

About 75% of all funding deals in Southeast Asia went through Singapore, whilst a significant chunk of the money went to only three companies: Grab, Lazada and Sea Group which all trace their roots to Singapore.

“Singapore is arguably the capital of startups in Southeast Asia. With its business-friendly environment the city-state has become the nesting ground of many young international startups and large international firms looking to reach out to other parts of the region,” the report’s authors said.

However, the level of maturity in Singapore’s startup ecosystem means that the Lion City will see lower growth rates from 16% in 2015. This is expected to further drop to 13% from 2018-2025 as newer ecosystems like Philippines and Vietnam expand at a faster pace with growth rates of around 25%. 

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