Here is the monthly round-up of recent startup-related news and upcoming events in Singapore for January 2017.

Government Initiatives

IE Singapore, CapitaLand and UrWork sign an MOU to help Singapore SMEs venture into China market

International Enterprise (IE Singapore) recently announced that it has entered into a tripartite agreement with CapitaLand, Singapore’s real estate developer and UrWork, China’s co-working space operator. The main purpose of this partnership is to facilitate the entry of Singapore SMEs into the China market. IE Singapore will identify the potential SMEs in Singapore and link them to the co-working spaces in China. Additionally, CapitaLand will provide co-working spaces to UrWork in CapitaLand’s properties in China and Singapore. UrWork will include C31 Ventures, CapitaLand’s venture capital arm as its venture capital partners creating investment opportunities for C31. IE Singapore and UrWork will jointly attract and groom a group of talents to drive innovation, entrepreneurship and internationalization through regular seminars, thematic exchanges, networking sessions and internship opportunities. This partnership will help Singapore companies accelerate their market expansion into China.

Funding

HR-tech startup Rewardz raises $2.1 million from Benefit One

Rewardz Pte Ltd, an HR-tech startup based in Singapore raised $2.1 million from Benefit One, a benefits outsourcing company in Tokyo. The main focus of Rewardz is to provide technology solutions to boost employee engagement and corporate wellness.

Edutech startup XSEED gets Series B funding from Verlinvest

A Singapore and Bangalore-based startup XSEED raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Verlinvest, a venture firm in Belgium. The company states that it will use the funds to scale its footprints to reach 10 million children by strengthening its technology platform, international footprint, and brand in the K-8 elementary education space. Founded in 2008, the headquarters of the company are in Singapore with development centres in Delhi and Bangalore.

Singapore-based Ruvento raises $25m funds for hardware startups

Ruvento, a capital firm based in Singapore raised a seed fund of $25 million for hardware startups in Singapore, China, and the U.S. The fund will write 70 percent of its checks between $100,000 and $500,000. The balance amount will be reserved for any follow-on investments of up to $2 million. Investing particularly in hardware, robotics, and IOT globally, Ruvento is connected with more than 100 VC firms and has worked with more than 10 manufacturers to bring hardware products into mass production. Founded in the year 2011, Ruvento, headquartered in Singapore was first an incubator program. The firm invests in China, India, Indonesia, etc and also helps local startups in Russia venture into the Asian market.

Easyship raises pre-series A funding to expand to Singapore

Easyship, a logistics startup based in Hong Kong raised pre-series A funding round from 500 Durians. The online platform that provides cross-border solutions for ecommerce companies will use these funds to expand its presence. Jakub Zakrzewski, Easyship’s head of growth stated that they chose Singapore as their next destination since it is important for the company’s strategic access to the Southeast Asia market. While the current amount raised by Easyship remains undisclosed, the company has raised a total of $2.5 million till date. After Singapore, the company plans to expand to other countries in Southeast Asia.

Upcoming Events

71 SG will help Singapore startups enter the China market

71 SG, a Singapore startup has introduced a Startup Development & Learning Programme (SDL) to help Singapore startups expand into the China market. With the support of IE Singapore, the program will provide overseas market access, market intelligence, networking and funding opportunities for local start-ups. Additionally, the programme will connect these startups to potential customers, partners and investors. The SDL will be a five-day tech and business workshop and will be held in Wuhan, China at the end of March.

Mediapreneur partners with FundedHere to raise seed funding for digital media startups

Mediapreneuer, Mediacorp’s incubator program has partnered with FundedHere, a crowdfunding platform, to help local digital media startups raise capital. Startups that are a part of Mediapreneur’s one-year incubation program will be listed on FundedHere. Mediapreneur, launched in 2013, extends seed funding, intellectual property, working space, mentoring and networking opportunities to digital media startups in Singapore that are selected for the one-year incubation program that the company offers.