Start-ups in Singapore attracted US$4 billion funding in 2020

Despite challenges posed by the pandemic last year, start-ups in the country attracted S$5.5 billion (US$4 billion) in funding.
By: | April 1, 2021

The fact that start-ups managed to attract this level of funding goes to show the resilience of Singapore’s investment landscape and provides confidence that the city-state can perform well despite the fallout from the pandemic, said second minister for trade and industry Tan See Leng. 

This was lower than the S$8.5 billion (US$6.3 billion) in 2019 and S$14.3 billion (US$10.6 billion) in 2018. 

Dr Tan revealed these figures at the Action Community for Entrepreneurship’s (ACE) Community Day, where a World Bank Group report on Singapore’s start-up ecosystem was launched. 

Singapore’s ecosystem – which includes robust government leadership and responsiveness to market changes, a strong university network and substantial investment activity – makes it an attractive location for start-ups, said the report. 

However, the report noted that start-ups in Singapore face the challenge of acquiring and retaining talent due to the country’s small size, competition from multinational corporations for talent, and restrictions on the number of foreign workers they could hire.  

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In addition, although the government’s support has created a conducive environment for budding start-ups to take off, its extensive involvement could lead to an over-dependence on the public sector, said the report, adding that about 69% of start-ups were participating in government schemes in 2017, a significant increase from the 19% in 2010. To address this, the government has taken steps to reduce such dependency risks, according to The Straits Times.