5+ Startups That Succeeded in Singapore

With its business-friendly policies, openness to foreign investors, and bustling technology scene, Singapore is indeed home to ambitious entrepreneurs who simply want to make their mark in the Asian business world. And even if strong Asian contenders like Japan and South Korea won’t give up the entrepreneurial fight that easily, many believe that Singapore is still the leader when it comes to business opportunities, innovation and the high-tech future.

Nonetheless, if you have faith and high hopes that your business idea will be a hit in The Lion City, is there anything that’s still stopping you now? Whatever the circumstance or evil force that’s keeping you from reaching your dreams and business goals, what we want you to remember now is: there will always be risks, complications, obstacles, competition, and heap of surprises in doing business – not only Singapore, but anywhere in the world. Yes, there are lots of businesses that have failed. But there are also those that have succeeded.

So if you’re truly determined and ready to launch your startup business in Singapore, don’t waste any more time and just go ahead with it. As experts in accounting and company incorporation in Singapore, we here at Enterprise Assurance PAC want to tell you that there’s no need to worry as we’ve got you covered.

First and foremost, we’ll provide you with just the right kind of push you need to get things started. To give you more inspiration, read up as we tell you about the startups that have surprised everyone for succeeding in Singapore:

Lazada (eCommerce)

If you’re about to open an eCommerce business in Singapore, there’s no better company you should look up to and find inspiration in than Lazada – a privately-owned eCommerce company founded by Rocket Internet last 2012. It most definitely had its own fair share of challenges and obstacles such as reliable delivery system for rural areas, lack of credit card as purchasing power, threat of competition (Alibaba and Amazon), and of course, the strong preference of buying from brick and mortar businesses. But only about 5 years after, Lazada has indeed made it through them all. It is now the top-of-mind of most online consumers not only in Singapore but also in Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

With its primary intention of introducing the Amazon business model in Southeast Asia, Lazada now helps thousands of local and international wholesalers and retailers in Singapore. Today, they are now considered as the largest eCommerce player in Asia. No wonder Lazada has received another round of funding last year, amounting to a hefty $1.38 billion.

Lingokids (Education)

Education belongs to some of the most thriving business sectors in Singapore today. Not only because Singapore has always been known to aim for perfection and success (in all aspects), but also because it is considered as an educational destination in East Asia. The education industry has faced strong threats of competition. But the private educational sector in particular, have found ways to succeed individually – by finding their own niche. Just like what the founders of Lingokids have done.

Monkimun SL (Lingokids’ previous name) started in Singapore with the primary purpose of providing safe and suitable digital resources to help Asian children learn the English language. While the need for English education has always been present in Asia, they have found the perfect way to integrate that with technology being part of our daily lives now. Today, Lingokids has helped families of all sizes in more than 200 countries worldwide. And even though their company is now based in the United States, it still doesn’t erase the fact that this Singapore startup has truly shown the world what it takes to succeed in business using your passion.

Chope (Food)

Having the perfect blend of Eastern and Western cultures, it truly isn’t a wonder that Singapore is considered as a Food Haven or Foodie Paradise. Now instead of braving the storms and fighting the tough competition in the food business, the founders of Chope has found a way to capitalize on the wide variety and increasing number of industry players in Singapore. Simply put, instead of fighting with these restaurants and other food establishments, they help them get more bookings and customers while making money out of it.

They launched their restaurant booking app, Chope, only last 2011. By downloading it on their iOS and Android devices, diners can easily make reservations at restaurants not only in Singapore but also in Hongkong, Shanghai, Bangkok, Phuket, Jakarta, and Bali. Today, Chope is now helping more than 2,000 restaurants and other food establishments in Asia. By taking the high road, its founder, Arrif Ziaudeen, has indeed made its mark in the Singapore food scene without having to battle the rough competition.

99.co (Real Estate)

Singapore, despite its limited natural resources and small land area, is understood to be among the Top 10 real estate markets in the world. Because of that, the founders of 99.co realized how it could be both challenging and yet rewarding if they would be able to tap the Singapore real estate market. Yes of course they are aware of the fact that it’s generally expensive to buy a property in Singapore. But they looked at it as an opportunity instead of a threat.

Today, 99.co, a Singapore property portal, helps thousands of people who are having a hard time finding the perfect home. With its map-based search engine that makes use of high-tech tools and smart algorithms, 99.co can easily connect house-hunters with various properties that match their needs, budget, and preferences.

And because they have shown everyone how they have been helping many people find their dream homes, Cheung and the rest of the 99.co team has fortunately been receiving generous funding from venture capitalists and foreign investors.

Ezyhaul (Logistics)

Although it has first launched its operations in Malaysia, it is a known fact that Ezyhaul was a young startup that was founded last 2016 in Singapore. It was formed to provide for the inefficiencies that have emerged in Southeast Asia’s road freight industry. And with the continuously growing eCommerce ecosystem, the founders of Ezyhaul have found the perfect way to connect shippers to transportation/freight companies and make bookings – by using an “Uber-like technology” platform for businesses and logistics companies.

Today, Ezyhaul has made its name as a global leader in digital freight platforms. They are now considered as experts in supporting the B2B market by making short- and long-haul shipments a lot easier for both shippers and transportation companies. With Ezyhaul’s success story, anyone could really see how they made use of digital technology to efficiently meet consumer demands and at the same time earn income from helping logistics and transport partners. Another perfect example of using the market needs to your advantage.

Airfrov (Travel)

It is a known fact that the travel industry is one of the strongest contributors of Singapore’s success. But the thing is, when speaking of the travel industry, what we’re actually pertaining to are the large number of foreigners who come to Singapore for business and pleasure. But what about the industry that caters to Singapore locals and expats who need to travel to other places in the world? Is there such a thriving industry for them?

Well apparently, Cai Li (Airfrov’s founder and CEO) has found a way to capitalize on his frequent travels all over the world. As he frequently travelled to many countries and cities, many of his friends along with his girlfriend would usually give him a shopping list to help them purchase items that were exclusively found in those places that he would visit. That alone gave him the big idea. Airfrov was born as a small Singapore startup that allows buyers to post requests for items found in some countries, and travellers to these countries can then choose to take up the offer. Simply think of it as a global personal shopper site.

Of course, Cai Li’s success story is not without hardships and fallbacks. But despite them all, Cai Li continued to press on and pursue his passion with his head up high. Today, because the business has indeed proven its mark by providing unique and convenient shopping services, Airfrov continues to receive generous rounds of funding from investors and venture capitalists.

After learning about the stories of these successful startups in Singapore, you can really say that anything is possible. No matter how tough the competition, how small your initial capital, or how bizarre your business idea is, there will always be a way for you to succeed in the bustling economy of Singapore. With your passion, faith, perseverance, and hard work, there is truly nothing that can stop you from reaching your goals, wherever you are in the world.

And should you need expert assistance in company incorporation or setting up your startup in Singapore, the best team you can ever count on is Enterprise Assurance PAC. Call or email us now so we can discuss how we could turn your startup into a successful enterprise just like these ones.