Ms Foo Mee Har: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry what is the Ministry's assessment of the resilience of startups in Singapore during the COVID-19 pandemic and how they are positioned to grow in 2022 onwards.
Written Answer by Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong
1. On the whole, startups in Singapore remained resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the first nine months of 2021, startups raised S$11.2 billion, more than double the S$5.5 billion raised in the whole of 2020, and up from S$8.5 billion in 2019 before the pandemic.
2. In 2021, there were eleven new Singapore-based tech unicorns, which are privately held startup companies valued at over US$1 billion, almost equal to the total number of unicorns produced in Singapore over the past seven years. This brings the total number of Singapore-based startups that reached unicorn status to 22.
3. Despite current global challenges, the growth outlook for Singapore-based startups continues to be optimistic. Singapore is well-positioned as the leading startup and innovation node in Southeast Asia. The region offers growth opportunities, driven by favourable demographics and accelerated digitalisation.
4. Today, startups in Singapore have access to over 200 global and local accelerators, up from about 120 accelerators five years ago. The number of early-stage VCs has also increased by about a third, from about 130 in 2016 to close to 180 today.
5. The Government is committed to supporting research and innovation. Under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2025 masterplan, or RIE2025, the Government will invest S$25 billion to anchor Singapore’s positioning as a Global-Asia node of technology, innovation and enterprise. Enabled by the strong innovation ecosystem, Singapore is starting to see more deep tech startups gain traction and secure venture capital interest. Investments into deep tech startups in Singapore for the first nine months of 2021 are 2.6 times that of the same period in 2020.
 Report “Singapore : The Futuristic Nation Beyond 2021” by Enterprise Singapore and DealStreetAsia