These are Singapore’s top five fastest-growing startups

Caecilia Chu is co-founder and CEO of multicurrency travel platform YouTrip
Fintechs, a healthtech and Singapore’s largest carsharing platform, these five startups are leading the way in hiring, growth and employee engagement

When it comes to startup investment, Singapore is bucking the global funding winter trend.

The Southeast Asian city-nation saw fintech funding hit a three-year high in 2022, going against a global trend of falling fintech investments.

Total deal value rose 22% TO US$4.1 billion in 2022 across 250 deals in M&A, private equity and venture capital, according to KPMG.

Among the Singapore fintechs witnessing fast growth is neobank Aspire – which has just been named the the number one buzziest startup by growth and demand, according to LinkedIn’s latest annual report on the top startups in the city-nation.

The annual list, now in its fourth edition, delivers the 10 best startups based on data analyses across employee growth, jobseeker interest, member engagement and ability to attract talent.

The list boasts a strong presence of fintech startups (eight out of 10), thanks largely to Singapore’s “vibrant startup ecosystem that nurtures and develops technology-based startups”, according to Pooja Chhabria, APAC Head of Editorial at LinkedIn.

As well as the top five featured below, the list includes fintechs Thunes, Syfe, ADDX, Endowus and accounting startup Sleek.

1

Aspire

Fintech

CEO: Andrea Baronchelli

Aspire founders CEO Andrea Baronchelli and Singapore country head Joel Leong

Securing top spot for the second consecutive year, fintech Aspire is an all-in-one financial operating system serving Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing startups and SMEs – helping them to pay, manage, and earn.

Founded in 2018 by CEO Andrea Baronchelli and Singapore country head Joel Leong to provide working capital loans for SMEs, the neobank then took a multi-product approach creating a portfolio of services that includes bank accounts for cross-border businesses, corporate cards and automated invoice processing.

The fintech, which hit US$1 billion in annualised transaction volumes within just one year of the launch of its business accounts, tripled its annualised total payment volumes to US$12 billion in 2022. And in June 2023, said it had achieved profitability.

Now serving more than 15,000 businesses in Southeast Asia, mainly new-age businesses covering sectors including IT, professional services and startups, Aspire counts startups Grain, Endowus and Pinhome among clients.

Aspire has more than 430 employees.

In February this year, the payments startup secured Series C funding of US$100 million almost doubling its series B funding, and more than doubling its valuation. Investors include Sequoia Capital SEA, PayPal, Tencent and Lightspeed Ventures, among others.

According to Lightspeed partner Bejul Somaia, “Aspire has emerged as a leader in the B2B fintech space in Southeast Asia, with a complete end-to-end product for managing business finance, a strong track record of growth, and solid fundamentals.”

2

YouTrip

Fintech

CEO: Caecilia Chu

Hong Kong entrepreneur and former McKinsey alum Caecilia Chu

Making its debut on the LinkedIn list, this fintech is revolutionising multi-currency travel. operates a mobile financial platform designed for overseas payments – this includes a multi-currency card and e-wallet, with a focus on reducing foreign transactions and cross-border fees.

Founded in 2018 by Hong Kong entrepreneur and former McKinsey alum Caecilia Chu and Chief Product Officer Arthur Mak, with the aim to reduce foreign transaction and cross-border fees, YouTrip began as a mobile travel wallet and has grown into a travel payments specialist – garnering popularity for its user-friendly mobile app and transparent approach to currency exchange.

The travel wallets allows users to store and spend money in more than 150 currencies, facilitating convenient currency exchange on the move and further provides add-ons including instant top-ups, expense tracking and travel insurance. The aim is to offer holistic travel-related services.

The startup, which secured US$30 million in Series A funding in 2021, bolstered its suite of payment products last year with entry into the B2B payments space – launching its corporate card, YouBiz, aimed at SMEs, offering zero foreign exchange fees.

Today, the travel payments specialist and with 140 employees,

3

Doctor Anywhere

Healthtech

CEO: Wai Mun Lim

Doctor Anywhere founder and CEO Wai Mun Lim / Credit: EY

Launched in 2017 as a telemedicine provider, to connect care-seekers to healthcare providers through video-calls via mobile, Doctor Anywhere now positions itself as a tech-led healthcare company that aims to increase healthcare accessibility by providing services regionally.

Operating across six Southeast Asia countries, the startup provides omni-channel services that allow patients to receive on-demand medical advice and treatment as well as in-clinic or at-home health screenings and vaccinations.

Its mobile app counts 2.5 million users, lets patients consult a doctor or other healthcare professionals at speed from wherever they are.

Boasting an ever-expanding suite of holistic online healthcare services including consultations with specialist doctors, nutritionists, and mental health professionals, the platform recently launched a virtual Lactation Consultation service.

The health-tech, which counts nearly 600 employees, is led by founder and CEO Lim Wai Mun – who picked up the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year in 2022.

Having raised total capital of nearly US$140m, the health-tech reported a revenue of US$38.2 million in 2022, up 62% from 2021, and is expecting to earn US$73.7 million by the end of 2023. The company has made two acquisitions to date – Doctor Raksa in 2021 and Asian Healthcare Specialists in 2022.

4

GetGo

Carsharing

CEO: Toh Ting Feng

Toh Ting Feng is co-founder and CEO of GetGo Carsharing

As Singapore’s largest and fastest-growing carsharing platform, GetGo makes its LinkedIn list debut and is just one of two non-fintechs to make the top 10.

Founded in 2021 by Toh Ting Feng and Johnson Lim with the aim of alleviating expenses associated with car ownership, GetGo has seen tremendous growth in the last two years, growing more than 30 times in terms of bookings.

The platform operates on a pay-per-use model, allowing users to unlock cars with their mobile app and pay by the hour, with no deposit or membership frees required.

In just two years, the company’s fleet has gone from 300 vehicles across 300 locations to more than 2,100 vehicles, including close to 100 EVs across 1,400 locations today – while its user base has also grown 25 times to more than 25,000 and the team has expanded from 10 to more than 150 people.

Amid rapid growth, international expansion and the introduction of new capabilities, GetGo recently selected Solace PubSub+ Platform for its strategic initiative GetGo2.0 – the goal of which is to decouple applications by replacing fixed connections and request/reply interactions with a flexible data sharing platform.

The startup claims to have undertaken more than 1.8 million bookings to date

5

Advance Intelligence Group

Fintech

CEO: Jefferson Chen

Jefferson Chen is co-founder and CEO of Advance Intelligence Group

Established in 2016, this fintech has developed an ecosystem of AI-powered, credit-enabled products and services, including Asia’s leading BNPL platform Atome, SaaS big data analytics and enterprise solutions provider ADVANCE.AI, Indonesia’s top digital lending platform Kredit Pintar, and omnichannel e-commerce merchant services platform Ginee.

The company’s enterprise and consumer business currently serves more than 800 enterprise clients, 100,000 merchants, and 20 million consumers.

The startup, which employs 1,500 staff and operates in 12 markets across Asia and Latin America, recently reached a valuation of S$2 billion – making it one of the largest independent tech startups in Singapore. This follows a recent Series D funding round that raised over US$400m led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Warburg Pincus.

The new capital is being used to expand its BNPL and digital ledning presence across Asia as well as deepen its AI and big data analytics capabilities, not to mention grow its talent pool.

As founder and CEO Jefferson Chen puts it: “At the heart of our vision is an AI-powered and credit-enabled marketplace ecosystem driving both digital commerce and digital financial services across Asia.”

Share

Featured Articles

Nirvik Singh, COO Grey Group on adding colour to campaigns

Nirvik Singh, Global COO and President International of Grey Group, cultivating culture and utilising AI to enhance rather than replace human creativity

How Longi became the world’s leading solar tech manufacturer

On a mission to accelerate the adoption of sustainable energy solutions, US$30 billion Chinese tech firm Longi is not just selling solar – but using it

How Samsung’s US$5billion sustainability plan is working out

Armed with an ambitious billion-dollar strategy, Samsung is on track to achieve net zero carbon emissions company-wide by 2050 – but challenges persist

UOB: making strides in sustainability across Southeast Asia

Sustainability

Huawei smartwatch goes for gold with Ultimate Edition

Lifestyle

How IKEA India plans to double business, triple headcount

Corporate Finance