Singapore has been a perfect host to global Fintech industry with more than 200 banks with operational headquarters based there. The net asset value managed is around a whopping $2 trillion. The country still remains to be a favourable place for startups, especially the ones working on Blockchain.
One of the primary reasons is the Government of Singapore, which is well known for it’s welcoming and supportive policies towards startups in general. The Government has proposed new changes to the existing Entrepass system which enables foreigners to start and operate new businesses in Singapore.
This includes a complete waiver in requirement of paid-up capital of 35,000 USD earlier and an initial validity approval of two years as opposed to one year earlier. Also, Singapore government’s enterprise agency SPRING Singapore is aimed at aiding startups through mentoring and assistance with sourcing funding from third parties if needed.
This definitely comes in as a boon to entrepreneurs looking at bootstrapped startups. Additionally, the government is looking forward to shell out close to $3 million USD as co-investment funding to startups based on upcoming tech like Blockchain, AI, VR etc..
The second reason will be ease of access to capital. The last two decades have seen extensive influx of angel investors, venture capitalists and private equity investors in Singapore thereby making it one of the easiest places to get funding approved. It is worth noting that Singapore’s largest Banks (DBS, Standard Chartered and OCBC) have extensive startup oriented lending and banking schemes.
Singapore has straightforward and corruption free business infrastructure – as a result it stands number one in ease of doing business and fifth least corrupt country in the world. One can get his company registered, set up and running in two business days in Singapore as opposed to weeks in the Silicon Valley.
The tax system is another most efficient prospect with the highest of corporate tax rate falling in the 17% segment in Singapore. Furthermore, there are no capital gains or dividend taxes for startups in Singapore. Other Government schemes entitling startups upto full waiver on three year taxable incomes is a big plus.
A Software Developer role has a mean salary in Singapore around 35000 USD as compared to 49000 USD in Silicon valley making acquisition of talent more affordable on the pocket for bootstrapped startups.
With a series of active events and enthusiast meet-ups, Blockchain community has been thriving in and around Singapore area. This keen community interest combined with abundance of local talent from top universities like NUS and NTU and friendly immigration policies give Singapore a competitive leap over its other Global counterparts.
Although as indicated in Global Startup Ecosystem report, Silicon Valley still overall tops the list, Singapore does rank up SIlicon Valley in other possible aspects like Global connectedness thereby putting Singapore at one of the best places to startup, in the current scenario.