Coming good on its promise to focus on Israel, Asian telecom giant SingTel has opened its first base in the country aimed at supporting the local startup community and gaining closer access to developing technologies — particularly those in the wireless optimization and voice/facial recognition spaces.
SingTel has history in Israel, it bought mobile ad startup Amobeefor $321 million and invested in Everything.me and Moment.me, and now, in partnership with local tech firm Amdocs, it has an on-ground presence with a joint development center: ‘SingTel L!feLabs @ Israel with Amdocs’.
Located in the Amdocs Ra’anana campus, the lab will reach out to the local community with three primary aims: to invest in young Israeli startups, work with research institutes, and support incubator programs and angel investors at large.
The company says the base “will serve as a gateway for local start-ups” to get into the Asia Pacific market, where it serves some 470 million plus customers. That’s likely a very alluring prospect for Israel’s fast growing tech scene.
SingTel’s interests are primarily focused on voice and facial recognition technologies, as well as those that enable wireless technologies to operate more efficiently (the latter makes a lot of sense given its emerging market business). Startups in those spaces, and others, could come under the radar for investment, which may include direct funding from the SingTel Innov8 fund, or co-operative rounds alongside local partners.
Allen Lew, CEO of SingTel’s Group Digital Life group, paid tribute to Israel’s startup scene saying the company is “extremely satisfied with the wealth of talent in Israel.”
“Through this partnership … we are embedding ourselves in one of the leading innovation hubs of the world. We are committed to engaging the local innovation community,” Lew explained.
Amdocs CEO Eli Gelman called the launch “a win-win-win opportunity which will benefit all those involved: the SingTel Group, Amdocs and young Israeli companies and startups.”
The Israel launch kicks off SingTel’s new ‘L!feLabs’ program, which gives developers a new way to work with the company to build, test and bring to market services across the SingTel network. That presence includes mobile operator businesses in Singapore, Australia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand.
Headline image via ROSLAN RAHMAN/Staff