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Funds raised by Singapore’s tech startups up 59% in 2023

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s early-stage technology start-ups secured $402 million (S$548 million) in funding in 2023, a 59 percent increase from the $253 million raised in 2022, according to SGInnovate, the national investment arm. The number of seed-stage deals also rose by 50 percent, from 20 in 2022 to 30 in 2023, across four key sectors: advanced manufacturing, agrifood and sustainability, and health and biomedical sciences. SGInnovate noted these figures in its report on the sector’s development in 2023, highlighting a growing interest in emerging tech investments as Singapore’s ecosystem matures.

Singapore

SGInnovate examined early-stage start-ups established between January 1, 2019, and December 31, 2023, defining emerging technology start-ups as those developing tangible products like devices, machinery, food, and pharmaceuticals based on physical sciences, life sciences, and engineering.

Tong Hsien-Hui, SGInnovate’s executive director, remarked that these trends reflect Singapore’s evolving and dynamic emerging tech landscape, with specialized investors increasingly supporting specific industry verticals.

Agrifood and sustainability emerged as leading sectors in funding and start-up incorporations, likely driven by public and private initiatives. Both sectors saw growth in funding events year-on-year, with the agrifood sector securing 13 deals in 2023 (compared to eight in 2022) and the sustainability sector closing 16 deals in 2023 (versus 12 in 2022).

Despite overall increases in funding and deals, the number of start-ups incorporated in 2023 across the four sectors declined from 35 in 2022 to 25 in 2023. SGInnovate attributed this to ongoing macroeconomic uncertainties, potentially leading to deferred incorporations.

Looking forward, SGInnovate anticipates increased private market investments in emerging technologies in 2024, especially with predicted rate cuts, and remains optimistic about start-ups addressing long-term challenges, supported by Singapore’s policy initiatives.

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