Singapore AI startups foray into international turf

Singapore startups, with impetus from its government, make headway into the international AI investment bandwagon

Singapore has made a name for itself across the world with its approach, acceptance, and vision of artificial intelligence. From industry integration to the objective of using the technology as a major economy driver, the island-city has been persistently working towards enhancing its fundamentals, potential, and application areas. Apart from the efforts of people in the form of home-grown startups, the current growth rate would’ve had a major setback without the support of government of Singapore.

Role of government

Singapore government has been the mainspring behind AI Singapore (AISG), a national AI program that focuses on the multiple aspects required to build an ecosystem of the technology. AISG focuses on developing talent for Singapore’s AI aspirations by putting the research institutes and companies working on the technology under one roof.

AISG research involves the identification of missing blocks in the current AI knowledge including the integration of a humane edge, cognitive intelligence, etc. The idea is to find feasible solutions to modern world problems and economy improvement with the use of AI without compromising safety and ethics.

In an attempt to achieve this, AISG simultaneously promotes innovations via sub-programs like 100E, AI for Industry, Students, Everyone, and Apprenticeship. As of now, 100E has more than 200 experiments in pipeline that, if receive approval, are subject to receive manpower and financial support of considerable scale. This directly contributes to the notion of identifying AI potential in individual businesses or prolonged problems for people of any domain.

Infinite nature of Scope

According to a data table from Crunchbase, surprisingly, the top 3 funded AI startups belong to retail, healthcare, and HR-marketing, not big data or any dedicated technological domain. For instance, with biometric data and health risk QnA responses as data inputs, the CXA Group aims to use algorithmic combination of predictive analysis and machine learning flags the plausible health issues and corresponding methods to prevent the same.

Its idea of making a health benefit aggregator for company employees helped them secure $33 million in funding, which speaks a lot about the investor’s eagle presence in the market. On that tangent, SilverPush, an adtech startup based in Singapore-Gurugram, bagged $5 million from a Japanese marketing company, FreakOut Holdings.

SilverPush uses Mirror, an AI-based recommendation engine that scans features of advertisements like face, brand logo, products, etc, and suggests the most relevant ads accordingly.

Turning heads of International investors

International investors along with conventional as well as dynamic funds have recognized the potential in futuristic technologies like Artificial intelligence and its derivative applications. With a sense of belief regarding their development and possible prospects, investors are globally looking for opportunities in the form of startups or a new division in a company to accelerate with their funding.

Last year, Boundary Holding, a Luxembourg-based bridge fund founded by investor Rajat Khare, funded XRVision, a Singapore-based startup. Known to invest in next-generation technology ventures, the facial recognition and video analytics startup received an undisclosed amount that is expected to enhance their functionality, efficiency, and research.

Even the Japanese messaging app ‘Line’ along with Toyota-supported Mirai Creation Fund has funded AnyMind Group with $27.9 million. With separate divisions for marketing, HR, and advertisement, its objective is to make dedicated AI-centric solutions with a blend of machine learning, natural language processing, and deep learning.

All that said, Singapore, with impetus from its government and home-grown startups, is catching up with Indonesia and Thailand in terms of AI implementation. In the coming years, with consistently pouring investments from global funds, it will not be a surprise to see Singapore dominate the AI scenario.

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