Singapore’s telecom conglomerate Singtel plans to invest a further US$100 million into its corporate venture arm Singtel Innov8, bringing its total capital commitment to US$350 million.
Innov8 invests in start-ups that align with the group’s businesses in areas such as 5G, artificial intelligence, digital economy, sustainability, cyber security and emerging technologies. It operates on an evergreen fund model, re-investing returns from portfolio exits into new investments.
Some of its recent investments include Endowus, a Singapore-based wealth-tech platform that crossed S$1 billion (US$723 million) in assets under management within 20 months of its full-service launch.
With the latest capital backing, Innov8 says it will further develop its proven track record of investments in Southeast Asia, the United States, China, Israel and Australia.
The corporate capital venture fund has invested in over 95 start-ups since its inception in 2010 and has had over 35 exits. It has exited four unicorns, namely Arista, Ruckus, Jasper and Shape.
Its current portfolio also includes a number of companies that have demonstrated scale, including cyber security ratings firm BitSight, online car marketplace Carro, fintech company FinAccel, AI software company SenseTime, cashback reward program Shopback, and digital asset bank Sygnum.
Commenting on the latest cash injection, Singtel group CEO and Innov8 chairman Yuen Kuan Moon says: “As we sharpen our business focus, we will recycle our assets and capital into selected growth areas, reshaping our portfolio to better serve our stakeholders and build momentum for the longer term.
“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.”