Singtel announced its plan to invest a further US$100 million into Singtel Innov8, its corporate venture arm, raising its total capital commitment to US$350 million.
One of the earliest corporate venture capital firms in Southeast Asia, Innov8 invests in start-ups that align with Singtel Group businesses in the areas of 5G, Artificial Intelligence, the digital economy, sustainability, cyber security and emerging technologies. 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.
Innov8 has invested in over 95 start-ups since its inception in 2010 and has had over 35 exits. Four of the exits were unicorns – Arista, Ruckus, Jasper, and Shape – start-ups that achieved a valuation in excess of US$1 billion. Innov8’s portfolio also includes a number of companies that have demonstrated scale – BitSight, Carro, Cato, FinAccel, SenseTime, Shopback, and Sygnum amongst others. Some of Innov8’s recent investments in notable high growth start-ups include Endowus, a leading wealth-tech platform, and Wiz.ai, 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.
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. More than 350 commercial engagements with start-ups such as BitSight, Silverfort, and Wiz.ai have been driven through such engagements.