Here is the monthly round-up of startup-related news and upcoming events in Singapore for July 2016.

Government Initiatives

Singapore and Australia Sign Agreement to Support Fintech Companies

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) signed an Innovation Functions Cooperation Agreement. The ASIC chairman stated that several fintech startups have inquired about the regulatory requirements in Australia and are looking to expand their business operations in the country. This agreement will reduce regulatory burden for financial technology companies in Singapore and Australia when they expand in the other country. To qualify for the support extended by the agreement, the businesses will have to meet the eligibility criteria put forth by their home regulator. MAS stated that once the business is eligible, a dedicated team or person will help the business understand the regulatory framework in the market they wish to join and its applicability for the firm’s situation. Not only will this initiative boost fintech startups in both the countries, but it will also strengthen ties between the countries. Besides this agreement Singapore and Australia have entered into several other treaties in the past.

Startup Activity

Mesitis Pte Ltd to Launch a Robo Adviser for Investments

Mesitis Pte Ltd a financial technology firm plans to launch a robo-advisory business for people to seek online investment advice at a low cost. This business targets high net worth individuals holding investment assets of at least $1 million. The CEO of Mesitis, Tanmai Sharma, said that the robo adviser will be based on a computer algorithm and will charge clients 30 basis points on assets under management. The robo adviser is an asset allocation program that will take the client’s risk preferences into account.

Capital Springboard Pte Ltd – An Invoice Financing Platform for the Global Financial Hub

Capital Springboard Pte Ltd launched an invoice financing platform in Singapore after the success of its pilot project that started in July, 2015. The company gives investors an opportunity to invest in short term invoices of other businesses that are yet to be paid. The company, in a press release stated that the return on investment ranges from 11-25% depending on the “grade of risk” of the invoice. Roger Crook, the CEO of the company states that Capital Springboard will extend an opportunity to accredited investors with a minimum investment of S$50,000, while Singapore-registered SMEs that have been operating for a minimum of one year can participate in the platform with an invoice of minimum S$25,000. The SMEs will have to pay a one-off fee of 2% of the amount advanced to them. Capital Springboard Pte Ltd will ensure that the risk of investment is minimum by assessing the creditworthiness of the companies and their receivables.

Funding

Carro raises USD 5.3 Million in Series A Funding

Carro, an online marketplace for used cars raised $5.3 million in series A funding led by Venturra capital. The company, set up in 2015, connects buyers and sellers of cars on a proprietary platform. This makes it convenient for the entire buying and selling process of cars. The company earns a commission and charges $183 approximately every time it sells a car. This startup was incorporated in Singapore and has grown considerably since its inception in 2015. Aaron Tan, the CEO of Carro wishes to expand the business in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia by the end of the year.

FinAccel Raises a Seven-Digit Seed Investment Round

Singapore-based FinAccel raised a seven digit seed investment round that was led by Jungle Ventures. This fintech company provides credit to customers for short term e-commerce purchases. However, the main vision of the company is to “reinvent credit scoring and digital lending in Southeast Asia.” The company endeavours to completely automate the credit risk scoring system and extend credit to customers instantly with the option to pay later over a period of time. This is possible with the newly developed product “Kredivo Buy Now, Pay Later”. Akshay Garg, the CEO of FinAccel stated that the company will use a data-driven approach to credit scoring that will assess thousands of variables in real time that will offer an unprecedented opportunity to help unlock credit to tens of millions of eligible borrowers in a fully automated manner.

Eunoia – a Foodtech Startup Raises $590,000

Eunoia, a foodtech startup secured a seed investment of $590,000. Golden Equator Capital led the funding of Eunoia. The startup targets at reducing operational costs in the Food and Beverages (F&B) industry. Ordr, Eunoia’s tech solution allows customers at the table to place orders as well as make payments with their mobile devices, without any dependency on manpower. This will help the labour shortage issue that the Singapore F&B industry is currently facing. Additionally, it will improve the industry’s profitability and also enhance customer experience.

Upcoming Events

Singtel’s Future Makers Programme

Singapore Telecommunications Limited (Singtel) has launched Singtel Future Makers Programme to boost startups which are socially impactful. The programme, which spans over a period of 6 months, will host business workshops, networking and support to investors. Seven of the most impactful startups that participate in the programme will be funded up to S$ 20,000. Singtel aims to provide opportunities to aspiring entrepreneurs or startups who have socially impactful ideas. By focusing on the social improvements, the initiatives by Singtel help improve the quality of life in Singapore. The applications for the programme end on August 14, 2016.

Muru-D Singapore is Inviting Applications for Class#2

Muru-D Singapore, Telstra’s startup accelerator, launched last year in Singapore, is inviting entrepreneurs and startups to apply for class#2. This is the second year in a row that muru-D is conducting a six-month program in Singapore to mentor startups and entrepreneurs. Muru-D has partnered with other startup accelerators such as 500 Startups, Chinaccelerator etc and helps startups expand globally. The program conducted by Muru-D will give startups a chance to interact with entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and will mentor startups who wish to take their business to a global level. Muru-D will also offer seed capital to the successful teams in the program. The applications for the programme are open and end on July 11.

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