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5 Singapore based startups to watch in 2018

Singapore isn’t just some amazing tourist place full of marvelous urban architecture. Behind all those glitters, Singapore is becoming startup hub of south-east Asia. According to Compass, Singapore got 10th place in Global Startups Ecosystem ranking in 2015. Even World Bank ranked Singapore second for ease of doing business. 

Low tax, favorable Govt policies, high-quality human resource, infrastructure, and other factors are actively contributing to this growth. But among thousands of Singapore based startups, some really stands out. 

Without further delay, let’s talk about 5 Singapore based startups you need to pay attention:     

1. Grab Singapore based Tech Startups

Let’s start with a big one. Grab is a Singapore based technology company that offers cab-ride and logistical services across south-east Asian countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Cambodia. 

In June 2012, Anthony Tan left his family business and started Grab with another Harvard graduate Tan Hooi Ling. The app ( then named as “My Teksi”) was launched with an initial grant of $25000 from Harvard Business School and Anthony’s personal funds. Their initial journey wasn’t very smooth— Tan had to go door-to-door for getting companies to try his app. Only the fifth company he spoke to, gave him a chance.   

But after that, there was no turning back for Tan and his team. 

So far Grab has received over $ 2.7Billion in funding and their app has been downloaded over 45 million times. Moreover, Grab has touched 2.5 million rides per day mark. According to Grab’s own stats, close to 1 million drivers are connected with Grab and they earn one third more than average.    

Long story short, Grab is one of the most promising startup based in Singapore and it has shown no sign of getting slowed down. 

2. My Republic Broadband Startup

Next entry is our list is a Singapore based multinational broadband startup, My Republic. This company took full advantage of Singapore’s Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network and gradually expanded themselves to three other countries — Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia. 

The company was founded by Malcolm Rodrigues,  Greg Mittman and KC Lain 2011. Within one year, it had 32 full-time employees, 4500 resellers, 10000 subscribers and over SGD $5 Million in revenue. 

In Jan 2014, Singapore became the first country with 1 Gbit/s bandwidth connection available nationwide, thanks to My Republic’s 1 Gbit/s fiber broadband plan. 

Currently, the primary service of My Response is offering fiber broadband in all four countries. They also offer ADSL plans, VDSL services, and even cable TV packages. Their total subscribers have exceeded over 200000. 

Thanks to their aggressive expansion, they have secured a $52 Million investment from Makara Innovation Fund.  

3. Sunseap Solar Energy Startup

Sunseap is a Singapore based solar and clean energy provider. It’s area of operation usually cover entire south-east Asia including countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Vietnam and so on. 

This company was founded by Frank Phuan and  Lawrence Wu in 2011. Since then they have been taking ambitious projects like 168 MW solar project in Vietnam and collaboration with Telco StarHub.  Recently Sunseap also signed an agreement with Microsoft on a 60 MW solar project, largest ever in Singapore.  

So far the startup has managed to raise a total of $152 Million funding in four rounds. Their main investors include big names like Goldman Sachs, TRIREC and Banpu. 


4. Referral Candy Web Startups Singapore

Referral Candy is a Singapore based referral marketing web app company founded in 2009. This app allows users to refer others using email marketing. Simply put, when a user purchases something from Referral Candy’s client, he gets a coupon to share with his friends. If someone makes a purchase using that coupon, the previous user gets a reward.

 According to startup itself, they have hundreds of clients and helped them to make $ 3.7 Million worth of sale in the year 2013 alone. Referral Candy app is integrated with major e-commerce platforms. It is the year 2018 and since they are growing exponentially, I will let you do the math here. 

In the year 2014, they get a sweet S$ 1 million investment. 

5. Masons Home decor Furniture E-commerce Startup

We saved the dark horse of the startup race for the last. 

Masons home decor, founded by Justin Chua in 2017, is an e-commerce store that sells furniture, home décor items, and Christmas trees. In spite of its young and tender age, they have seen quick growth and seem to have a bright and promising future ahead of them. 

With just 6 months of operation, they sold more than 2000 Christmas trees a month from September 2017. They have established themselves as one of the most reputable Christmas stores in Singapore online and offline. Later on, in 2018, they expanded into selling furniture items boasting brilliant contemporary designs at crazily low prices. Their technologically advanced structure and airtight operations have allowed them to be a fierce contender in becoming one of the best furniture stores in Singapore.  

According to internal sources, Masons home décor maintained the revenue they enjoyed during the Christmas season even after it which was approximately S$60000 to S$80000 a month – very impressive for a start-up. The company also saw an inclusion of a new partner and many new team members. 


Singapore has become a startup hub of South-East Asia. Thanks to infrastructure and favorable Government policies, businesses are booming. And some of those startups really stands out for various reasons. You should pay attention to them and try to apply whatever works for you.

Related: Top 10 Most Innovative SaaS Startups in India

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