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Singapore Start-up Stack: Over 150 Cloud-Based Tools are Helping Start-ups Reach Their Full Potential

New research finds that Singapore start-ups are going global faster, thanks to cloud-based software

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BY Jared Carl Millan - 11 Oct 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

The start-up scene in Singapore may have gotten off to a slow start, but it has since become a start-up powerhouse.

According to Tech in Asia, Singapore is the 10th best start-up ecosystem in the world. The growth of Singapore’s start-up scene, writes Michael Tegos, is a relatively recent phenomenon, “The market was chugging along but didn’t have much to show for it compared to other startup bastions in the world. But after 2012, a series of seeds planted by the city-state’s government started bringing forth crops. There was a veritable explosion, both in the number of startups founded and in investment flowing into them.”

Among the factors powering Singapore’s rise to tech start-up stardom has been a flourishing ecosystem of cloud-based software that is making it easier, cheaper, and faster for start-ups to launch and scale globally. This is affirmed by new research published by Stripe, a US-based financial technology company that provides businesses and private individuals a platform to receive payments through the Internet.

The in-depth report, done in collaboration with 500 Startups; General Assembly; GGV; Jungle Ventures; and SeedPlus, reveals that a new generation of start-ups is being powered by a new “Start-up Stack” — a suite of more than 150 cloud-based tools that is helping businesses to move faster with less, as well as fueling a whole new wave of entrepreneurship. The study finds that tools like Slack, AWS, GitHub, Stripe, and Google Analytics were among the most popular, with 63% of respondents using more than six such tools to help their business grow.

Nine in 10 startups, the study reveals, are choosing to outsource their tools, servers, and infrastructure. By automating some of the most resource-intensive parts of building a business, from communications to invoicing and accepting payments online, these cloud-based tools are helping Singapore’s entrepreneurs do more faster, with fewer resources.

In fact, 93% report that these tools have made starting a business cheaper and 97% say these tools have made it easier to launch a tech startup in Singapore. Furthermore, Singapore start-ups rank “increased productivity” as the top factor (70%) on how such tools can help them, followed by “ease of working remotely in a team” (63%), “reduction of overall operating costs” (55%), and “quicker product development” (48%).

The study also highlights interesting information about how the Start-up Stack is powering global growth for Singapore’s start-up ecosystem. Ninety-four percent of start-ups say that these cloud-based tools make it quicker to go global from Singapore. In fact, 64% believe that they could not have launched their businesses from Singapore as little as five years ago.

“The Startup Stack is powering a new generation of globally minded entrepreneurs in Singapore,” says Piruze Sabuncu, Head of Southeast Asia and Hong Kong at Stripe. “Plugging into these cloud-based tools means that start-ups no longer need to build everything from scratch. They can integrate instantly with tools that do all the heavy lifting. By outsourcing some of the most resource-intensive parts of building businesses, Singaporean start-ups are able to start and scale global organizations from day one.”

Currently, 60% of Singaporean start-ups are selling internationally, with almost half of the remaining number intending to go global within the next year. More than a third (35%) of start-ups that launched within the past year are also already selling internationally.

Last October 10, Stripe celebrated its first anniversary in Singapore. For this report, Stripe collected 235 responses from start-ups through an online study, with more than half (55%) coming from founders and co-founders. Most respondents were from early-stage startups (70%), almost half of which (48%) employed five or fewer staff.

Read the full Singapore Startup Stack survey findings here.

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