Singapore is already one of the most developed startup hubs in Asia. Now its government wants to bring more U.S. startups to the city-nation.
Earlier today, the Infocomm Development Authority Of Singapore, a government organization focused on growing the country’s tech industry, opened a new office for Infocomm Investments in co-working space Block 71 San Francisco, which was originally set up by NUS Enterprise, an entrepreneur program run by the National University of Singapore, and SingTel Innov8, the telecom’s investment arm.
While Block 71 San Francisco was first launched to help Singaporean companies break into the U.S. market, Infocomm Investments’ new office will help U.S. startups that want to expand into Asia. Resources founders can tap into include Singapore-based accelerator programs and potential funding from Infocomm.
Infocomm Investments and Block 71 San Francisco are part of a larger initiative by Singapore called Smart Nation, which launched in December with the aim of growing the city-nation’s tech industry.
While Singapore itself is a tiny market with a population of just 5.4 million, it is a base for some of the region’s most prolific investors, including Rakuten Ventures and Gree Ventures.
Many companies that launch there first expand into Southeast Asian countries, which boost some of the highest mobile penetration rates in the world before attempting to tackle other parts of Asia. Notable startups headquartered in Singapore include GrabTaxi, the fast-growing car hailing app in Southeast Asia with over $330 million in funding, and Sequoia-backed Carousell, a marketplace app that is currently expanding into Indonesia, Malaysia, and Taiwan.