Singtel to invest extra US$100 mil into Singtel Innov8

  • Total commitment to Singtel Innov8 to date stands at US$350 million
  • New capital injection enables Innov8 to expand its investment portfolio

Singtel to invest extra US$100 mil into Singtel Innov8Singtel has announced its plan to invest a further US$100 million (RM445 million) into Singtel Innov8, its corporate venture arm, raising its total capital commitment to US$350 million (RM1.5 billion). 

One of the earliest corporate venture capital firms in Southeast Asia, Innov8 invests in startups that align with Singtel group’s businesses in the areas of 5G, artificial intelligence, the digital economy, sustainability, cybersecurity and emerging technologies, the company said in a statement. 

The telco added that it operates on an evergreen fund model re- investing returns from portfolio exits into new investments. 

With the capital injection, Innov8 will further expand its portfolio of investments in Southeast Asia, United States, China, Israel and Australia, Singtel said.

Yuen Kuan Moon, group chief executive officer (CEO) of Singtel and chairman of Singtel Innov8 said this capital infusion is meant for identifying and growing innovative startups with new technologies and capabilities that are synergistic and in lockstep with Singtel’s strategic reset.

“As we sharpen our business focus, we will recycle our assets and capital into selected growth areas, reshaping our portfolio to better serve our stakeholders and build momentum for the longer term,” he said.

Edgar Hardless, CEO of Singtel Innov8 said Singtel Innov8 is empowered to move quickly to capture investment opportunities in the fast-paced venture market. 

“Our mandate is flexible, allowing us to invest in both early and growth stage companies.

“Innov8 facilitates access to business units across the group’s footprint, evangelises innovative technologies within the group, and supports partnerships with the business units,” Hardless said.

He said this additional funding and Singtel Innov8’s proven approach will help drive further investment deal flow and greater collaboration with the startup ecosystem, unlocking more value for both the group and its portfolio companies.

According to Singtel, Innov8 has invested in over 95 startups since its inception in 2010 and has had over 35 exits. 

Four of the exits were unicorns - Arista, Ruckus, Jasper, and Shape, startups that achieved a valuation in excess of US$1 billion (RM4.5 billion). 

It said Innov8’s portfolio also includes a number of companies that have demonstrated scale, namely BitSight, Carro, Cato, FinAccel, SenseTime, Shopback, and Sygnum amongst others. 

It added that some of Innov8’s recent investments in notable high growth startups include Endowus, a leading wealth-tech platform, and, which offers interactive AI-driven talk bots that have a human-like voice and can converse in Southeast Asian languages in the respective local accents, it added. 

Apart from investing capital, Innov8 facilitates access and partnerships with business units across the Singtel group’s footprint and evangelises innovative technologies within the group, thus facilitating meaningful and strategic collaborations. 

To date, more than 350 commercial engagements with start-ups such as BitSight, Silverfort, and have been driven through such engagements. 


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