Launched in 2001 as part of Singapore’s National Technology Plan, one-north offers a vibrant and nurturing environment to startups and leading global firms alike, and it’s often dubbed as Singapore’s very own “Silicon Valley”.
Situated in Northern California, Silicon Valley is the world’s tech hub, where you can find thousands of innovative startups and huge tech corporations.
one-north is also emerging as a ‘Singa-con Valley’ — the area is built around industry-focused hubs, such as the Launchpad which focuses on start-ups, incubators, accelerators, venture capitalists, and the Mediapolis, where the media ecosystem thrives.
From startups to tech giants, here’s a list of tech companies that have made one-north their home:
Operated by 99 Group, homegrown real estate platform 99.co is one of the many local startups housed at Block 71 in one-north.
Block 71 is a tech ecosystem builder and global connector which catalyses and aggregates the startup community. Alongside that, it also guides startups and creates new initiatives for startups to grow in both local and global markets.
Founded in 2014, 99.co started off as a platform enabling renters to find roommates to share an apartment together, until its CEO Darius Cheung realised how “broken” the property industry was.
Today, it has evolved into providing 360-degree solutions to serve agents, developers and media in the property landscape. Additionally, it has expanded into Indonesia, where it has captured 80 per cent of the market share.
In Singapore, 99 Group operates 99.co, SRX.com.sg and iProperty.com.sg, while in Indonesia, it operates 99.co/id and Rumah123.com.
Most recently, 99 Group raised US$52 million in a Series C round, bringing its total funding to over US$80 million. According to Darius, 99.co plans to enter a new market in 18 months, and two new markets in 24 to 36 months.
Gaming giant Razer launched its seven-storey S$100 million Southeast Asia headquarters in one-north back in 2021. It was previously based at the Chai Chee Industrial Estate.
Spanning an estimated 19,300 sqm, its current headquarters is painted in black, streaked with its iconic acid green colour. Razer only occupies the first four stories of the building, while the other three floors are leased out to various tenants.
Beyond housing its office, the Razer headquarters also features its first-ever F&B concept, RazerCafe, where you can get your drinks made and served by Razer’s robotic barista. Guests can order (or pre-order) personalised beverages through its RazerCafe app or ordering kiosk.
Razer also opened its first Razer Store in Singapore on the first floor where guests can have a first-hand look and try out Razer’s latest innovations and creations.
One of Southeast Asia’s leading superapps, Grab also recently moved out of its previous office in Guoco Towers, and launched its new Singapore headquarters two months ago in conjunction with its 10th anniversary.
This is its second HQ in the region, following its other one in Jakarta, Indonesia, which serves as Grab’s regional innovation hub for small businesses.
Located at one-north business park, this new nine-storey facility spans more than 42,000 sqm. The building houses about 3,000 Grabbers, including its newly-formed digibank team. It also features a R&D Centre, as well as its first GrabMerchant Centre.
Grab started off as a ride-hailing company, but has expanded its services to cover a wide range of verticals such as food and grocery deliveries and financial services. It plans to expand its local tech talent pool and is actively hiring across the company.
Identifying the potential of Singapore’s Silicon Valley, JustCo strategically opened up a co-working space located at Razer’s HQ. The co-working space allows companies looking to venture into tech to connect with startups and global firms in one-north.
Unlike most businesses badly impacted by Covid-19, JustCo ploughed through the pandemic and is steadily expanding its business. JustCo has 40 outlets globally and 18 outlets all over Singapore, with different layouts, accessible by all its members.
Over half of its tenants today comprise large enterprise clients such as L’Oreal, Novartis, Dropbox and Riot Games, according to Kong Wan Long, co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer of JustCo.
Situated at Biopolis, a biomedical R&D hub that houses public research institutes and private research organisations, local startup TurtleTree creates lab-grown human breast milk as an alternative to infant formula using stem cell technology.
It aims to reduce the planet’s carbon footprint and to provide access to safe and reliable diary products.
Last November, TurtleTree raised US$30 million in the first tranche of its Series A round, making it one of the largest investment rounds to date in Asia’s cell-based food sector.
Consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble (P&G) set foot into one-north in 2014 and occupies six floors of one-north’s the Metropolis, “the only Grade A office building in the one-north District”. Additionally, the Metropolis provides a range of innovative eco-friendly solutions for water and energy conservation.
P&G’s office at the Metropolis building connects to its Innovation Center at Biopolis, forming a campus where its team provides a range of services. The office spans 14,000 sqm over six floors of Metropolis Tower 2.
P&G spends nearly US$2 billion annually on R&D and invests at least another US$400 million every year in foundational consumer research to discover opportunities for innovation. Innovation has always been key to its growth, ensuring the relevancy of P&G’s FMCG products as trends change.
Data tech company Seagate provides products for storing, managing and accessing digital information and manufactures information technologies such as disc and tape storage devices, magnetic recording heads and media and microelectronics.
Back in 2015, it launched the Seagate Singapore Design Centre, named “The Shugart”, in honour of its founder, Al Shugart, in one-north. The S$100 million facility can house over 900 employees and was designed to provide R&D facilities for its team.
Recently, it reported a revenue of US$2.63 billion and a GAAP gross margin of 28.9 per cent for the fourth quarter of 2022. It also expects a revenue of US$2.5 billion for the first quarter of 2023.
Back in 2008, French video game company Ubisoft moved into Fusionopolis, an R&D hub for infocomm technology (ICT), media, physical sciences and engineering industries, with a team of 22 people.
Ubisoft was founded in 1986, and created the well-known Assassin’s Creed franchise in 2007. The franchise is an open world game genre with over 140 million players, and each game is set in different pivotal points of history such as the French Revolution and the Italian Renaissance.
The popularity of the franchise led to the creation of film and graphic novel adaptations, art exhibitions, a live symphony and a live-action TV series with Netflix. Other notable games produced by Ubisoft include multiplayer dance game JustDance, and tactical first-person shooter game Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six.
Ubisoft’s most recent office expansion was carried out in 2020, where it expanded to a new floor with a team of over 500 people.
Located at Galaxis in the heart of Fusionopolis, Sea Group is home to e-commerce platform Shopee, digital entertainment platform Garena and digital financial service platform seamoney.
Although its market value soared above US$200 billion last October as Shopee and Garena surged in popularity during the pandemic. It was hit hard by the economic downturn and its share value has since tumbled, though Sea Group aims to achieve a positive cash flow in the next 12 to 18 months.
In line with this path to profitability, its top management will forego their salaries until the company becomes self-sufficient. Shopee also carried out a regional layoff and made headlines recently for withdrawing multiple job offers based in Singapore.
Tech giant Apple’s headquarters spans 215,000 square feet at the 18-storey Innovis — one of the three blocks in Fusionopolis Two — occupying around half the tower.
Other than its one-north office, it also opened a dome-shaped floating store in Marina Bay back in 2020. Its shape was inspired by Rome’s Pantheon with an oculus located at the apex of the dome which allows light to shine through the store.
Apple was also not spared by the economic downturn. In August, Forbes reported that Apple had laid off 100 contract recruiters.
With all these tech companies and bright startups setting up their bases in Singapore, Singapore is rising up the ranks and establishing itself as one of the biggest tech hubs globally.
In fact, Singapore has come up top in KPMG’s global ranking of leading technology innovation hubs outside of the Silicon Valley in both 2020 and 2021 consecutively. Singapore is ahead of other major cities such as New York, Tel Aviv, Beijing, and London.
Additionally, Singapore houses the highest number of unicorns and startups among countries in Asia Pacific, according to KPMG and HSBC’s emerging giants in Asia Pacific report.
In line with this, the Singaporean government has also implemented various initiatives to encourage growth in both the tech and startup sectors such as providing a range of funding options for startups.
With all these initiatives in place, Singapore is definitely a lucrative place for startups and tech giants alike to establish their presence and grow their companies.
Featured Image Credit: Razer / JustCo / Sea / Grab
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