Singapore ranks No.1 in Asia in latest 2015 Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking

Compass Co. has published the latest 2015 Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking. This article summarizes the key Singapore-specific findings for you. If you are interested in the full report, please refer to the link at the end of the article.

This is the Publisher’s first update since November 2012, as the startup sector continues to boom. Components such as performance, funding, talent, market reach, talent, and startup experience have been evaluated extensively in the study.

We are glad to share that Singapore continues to dominate the rankings, maintaining its leading No.1 position in Asia and became the first Asian city to rank among top 10 globally.

Singapore specific findings

Thanks to huge influx of investor money, incubators, strong government support, and business friendly environment over recent years, Singapore has come a long way conquering the world rankings with startup ecosystem and has climbed 7 spots to become a top 10 player globally. Below are some findings we believe would be of interest to you -


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1)    Performance & Growth

Singapore’s ecosystem value has reached an average of $11-14 billion in recent years. There is still much room to catch up versus Silicon Valley at $200-300 billion but Singapore is well ahead of APAC average of just under $6 billion.

Startup output is averaging around 2.4-3.6k, on par with APAC’s 2.3k and compared to 14-19k at Silicon Valley. Growth index is relatively low at 1.9, but similar to Silicon Valley’s 2.1.

According to another report from KPMG, Asia has attracted lots of capital especially in Fintech in recent years, more so than in North America for Q1-2016.


2)    Demographics

More than half of all Singapore startup employees are foreign born, representing a good mix. The startup community is extremely vibrant versus other Asian peers, with Singapore having the highest number of advisors with equity in the region. In fact, every startup has an average of 1.27 mentors, one-fourth more than regional average.

In Singapore, tech founder age averages to 35, on par with Silicon Valley’s 36.2. What’s interesting is only 10% of them has work experience in a hypergrowth startup, versus over a third in the U.S.

3)    Startup experience

Singapore startups have 42% of employees having startup experience, behind Silicon Valley’s 48% but better than APAC average of 37%. Typically, 10% equity is given to employees, vs 8% in Silicon Valley.

4)    Funding & Exit Value

In terms of exit value, Singapore does lag behind the likes of Silicon Valley or New York City mostly due to anemic VC investment growth. Nonetheless, its funding is strong, second only to Bangalore in Asia.

Average seed round typically attracts $450-500k of capital. Whilst this is half of Silicon Valley average, it’s well on par with APAC average. Series A round is $4.0-4.5million for Singapore, closing in to 60-70% of Silicon Valley’s average.

5)    Market reach

Reach in Singapore is extremely international, with the US, China and Indonesia being key target. An impressive 49% of customers are foreign, vs 36% for Silicon Valley and 41% for APAC average. The city has a very robust metropolitan GDP of $327bn to provide a healthy environment for budding businesses.

Global ranking – Key changes since 2012

The Publish Compass Co. has acknowledged Singapore’s success in making the big leap in its startup ecosystem. While key APAC competitor Bangalore has moved up four places to rank No. 15, Singapore maintains its strong hold as an APAC market leader, climbing seven places to reach No. 10 globally.

For more information, please refer to: The 2015 Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking - New Report with Unexpected Results and Insights.


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