Singtel pumps US$100m more into venture arm

Singtel is investing another US$100 million into its Singtel Innov8 corporate venture arm, bringing total capital commitment to US$350 million.

Innov8 invests in startups 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, reinvesting 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.

Since its inception in 2010, the venture arm has invested in more than 95 startups with over 35 exits. Four of the more notable exits were unicorns Arista, Ruckus, Jasper, and Shape. Its portfolio also includes a number of companies that have demonstrated scale. These include BitSight, Carro, Cato, FinAccel, SenseTime, Shopback, and Sygnum.

Recent investments include Endowus, a wealth-tech platform, and, which offers interactive AI-driven talk bots with human-like voice and can converse in Southeast Asian languages in the respective local accents.

“This capital infusion is meant for identifying and growing innovative start-ups with new technologies and capabilities that are synergistic and in lockstep with Singtel’s strategic reset to drive greater improvements in our core operations, accelerate our new growth engines, and place us at the forefront of new and fast-evolving areas,” said Yuen Kuan Moon, Group Chief Executive Officer of Singtel and Chairman of Singtel Innov8.

According to Edgar Hardless, Chief Executive Officer of Singtel Innov8, the company is empowered to move quickly to capture investment opportunities in the fast-paced venture market.

“We believe in backing founders to execute on their vision and support the company’s growth through partnerships with the Singtel Group. Innov8 facilitates access to businesses units across the Group’s footprint, evangelises innovative technologies within the Group, and supports partnerships with the business units,” he said.

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