Singtel has announced an additional US$100 million investment in Singtel Innov8, its corporate venture arm, in order to cultivate businesses with technology matched with the telco’s own priorities. The funds will also diversify their investments across regional and global markets.
The most recent cash infusion brings the Singapore carrier’s total investment in Innov8, which was founded in 2010, to $350 million. According to a statement released by Singtel on Tuesday, the VC arm has since invested in more than 95 companies, and has enjoyed 35 exits, four of which were unicorns.
Innov8 made investments in companies that match the group’s commercial interests, which include 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), sustainability, cybersecurity, the digital economy, and other cutting-edge technologies. The company uses an evergreen fund model of operation, reinvesting profits from portfolio sales into new assets. With this additional funding, Innov8 will diversify its investment portfolio even more, adding ventures in Southeast Asia, the United States, China, Israel and Australia.
The Singtel Group CEO, Yuen Kuan Moon, commented: “This capital infusion is meant for identifying and growing innovative startups with new technologies and capabilities that are synergistic and in lockstep with Singtel’s strategic reset, to drive greater improvements in our core operations, accelerate our new growth engines, and place us at the forefront of new and fast-evolving areas. 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.”
Innov8, in addition to investing funds, provides access to and relationships with business units throughout the Singtel Group’s footprint, and promotes cutting-edge technology inside the organization, enabling fruitful and strategic collaborations. These interactions have sparked more than 350 business deals with start-ups including BitSight, Silverfort and Wiz.ai.