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Singtel pours additional $100m in VC arm Innov8

Singaporean telco Singtel has committed an additional investment of US$100 million in its VC arm Innov8, bringing the former’s total capital commitment to US$350 million.

The additional funds will help Innov8 expand its portfolio across Southeast Asia, China, Israel, Australia, and the US.

Established in 2010, Innov8 targets startups in areas similar to Singtel’s such as 5G, digital economy, AI, sustainability, cybersecurity, and other emerging technologies. It uses a circular fund model where it reinvests returns from portfolio exits into new ventures.

Since its inception, the unit has invested in more than 95 startups with over 35 exits, four of which were unicorns: Arista, Ruckus, Jasper, and Shape. The VC arm has also backed high-profile startups such as Carro, SenseTime, ShopBack, and Sygnum.

Apart from investing, Innov8 also partners with academic institutions and local authorities to promote innovation. Among these partnerships is Block 71, one of the largest startup hubs in Southeast Asia that houses nearly 1,000 firms, incubators, accelerators, and investors.

“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,” said Yuen Kuan Moon, group CEO of Singtel. TechinAsia

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