Deep tech has been the new technology buzzword in 2019, and will continue to spread its tech deeply (get it?) into the different industries. With more enterprises adopting solutions that embody artificial intelligence, machine learning or blockchain, deep tech is increasingly commonplace in corporations. To further accelerate deep tech commercialisation, the Singapore government has committed S$19 billion to the development of deep tech startups.
What is Deep Tech?
Buzzword aside, every organisation has its own definition of what deep tech means. On a broad spectrum, a deep tech startup is defined as a startup that builds its technology and/or incorporates elements of AI, machine learning or blockchain. By that virtue, most startups or e-commerce platforms will qualify as a deep tech startup as they make use of recommendation engines that suggest items (people who bought this product also bought this).
Given our access to technology has been developed by scientists, researchers, and academics, we like to define deep tech startups as those that are either 1) commercialising patented technology or 2) own highly defensible (read — difficult to replicate) tech.
Here’s a list of deep tech start-ups to look out for, especially if you are a VC!
7 Singapore Deep Tech Start-ups
ViSenze powers visual commerce at scale for retailers and publishers. The company delivers intelligent image recognition solutions that shorten the path to purchase as consumers search and discover on the visual web.
Retailers like Rakuten and Urban Outfitters use ViSenze to convert images into immediate product search opportunities, improving conversion rates. Media companies use ViSenze to turn any image or video into an engagement opportunity, driving more new and incremental dollars.
Venture-backed by Rakuten and WI Harper, ViSenze is built by web specialists and computer scientists with deep machine learning and computer vision experience. The company originally started as a part of NExT, a leading research centre jointly established between National University of Singapore and Tsinghua University of China. ViSenze now has offices in the US, UK, India, China and Singapore.
As a medical technology company, Biolidics has developed and commercialised the ClearCell® FX1 System, a fully automated CE-IVD medical device that relies on a novel patented technology to separate and enrich cancer cells from biofluids (e.g. blood).
The ClearCell® FX1 System allows users of the system to perform liquid biopsies to test for the presence of cancer cells (specifically circulating tumour cells, or CTCs) in blood samples or perform further analysis on cancer cells, offering potential for many applications throughout the various stages of a patient’s cancer journey, from cancer screening and staging to personalised treatment, and post-cancer monitoring.
As a result, cancer patients can minimise invasive procedures, improve clinical outcomes, and optimise cost and efficiency with the laboratory developed tests that utilise Biolidics’ technology.
3. Seventh Sense
Founded with the vision of making the world a safer and better place through the use of Computer Vision, Seventh Sense is a well-funded, deep-tech AI startup, with experienced founders and team.
Today 99% of all new raw data is pixels. Applying their cutting-edge technology in scenarios where human eyes are needed, Seventh Sense aims to move human capability to higher levels by enabling machines to see the world and with 99.80% accuracy (facial recognition as an example).
Funded by global top tier names such as 500 startups, Seventh Sense’ secret sauce is the ability to run computer vision models, trained on millions of images and having very high computational complexity, on small, low power devices.
Running their technology on Embedded, CPU, GPU and in the Cloud — positions them as a unique tech company that can deliver unified technology on different platforms. According to the founders, the team understands the unique technology trade-offs required to make good products work.
Polybee’s mission is to build autonomous solutions and contribute to increasing productivity in agriculture. Pollination has immense repercussions on the global economy as nearly a third of it depends on the process. Polybee has noticed an anomaly; there are sectors in agriculture where either the only way to pollinate is by hand, or natural pollinators just do not make the cut.
With their core expertise in aerial robotics and computer vision, the team is building scalable autonomous solutions for industries like indoor vertical farms, seed companies and high-tech greenhouses. Polybee has partnered with Singapore Food Agency for initial trials, and has commercial trials lined up starting at the end of this year.
Hamlit’s vision is to create a safer everyday ride for millions of two-wheeler riders around the world. The company offers a machine learning-powered hardware attachment, which senses blind spot areas around the vehicle and warns riders of any danger through intuitive light notification. This reduces situational unawareness, empowering the rider to avoid accidents proactively.
The idea came about when one of the founder’s friends was involved in a road accident. According to him, in India alone, around 400 people die in road accidents every day, and the majority of deaths around the globe are people on two-wheelers.
Having recently raised pre-seed funding from NUS-GRIP program, and forging partnerships to help them manufacture their product on a scale, the future seems bright for this young company. They already have pre-orders, and are also looking for two-wheeler enthusiasts who can help test their prototype and businesses.
If you are interested and wish to find out more about Hamlit — the world’s first smart danger notifier created specifically for two-wheeler riders — visit their website at www.hamlit.co.
TAIGER is the market leader and pioneer of Knowledge Process Optimization, with a mission to help organizations optimize operational efficiencies by automating complex cognitive tasks. With headquarters in Singapore, they have expanded their global offices to Hong Kong, Dubai, Madrid, Mexico City, and New York.
Through their specialization in advanced AI-engineered information access and extraction solutions, they exploit the meaning of structured and unstructured information with unparalleled accuracy for industry leaders in financial services and the government — significantly reducing costs, human risks, and increasing efficiency and trimming processes for organizations.
They work with market leaders around the world like Banco Santander, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Citigroup. Their solutions are also fully accredited by IMDA Singapore, which expedites the procurement process for Singapore government agencies.
TAIGER is recognized as Gartner Cool Vendor in 2017 and has garnered awards and recognition from Citi, Red Herring, and many others for its achievements in redefining the future of artificial intelligence. TAIGER also holds some patents in information access and is a leading global education and training institution in artificial intelligence with its esteemed TAIGER Academy.
7. RWDC Industries
RWDC Industries is a biotech company that aims to harness nature for the production of everyday materials. With a mission to replace single-use plastics with safe, sustainable materials, RWDC’s is currently working on its innovation, Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) — a sustainably sourced, biodegradable, commercially viable biopolymer, that acts as an alternative to single-use plastics. PHA has hundreds of possible applications for everyday life, including cutlery, straws, bottles, ﬁlms and diapers.
Co-founded by Roland Wee (also founder of MEI Project Engineers) as well as Dr Daniel Carraway (one of the world’s top natural chemistry innovators with over 20 years of experience in biopolymers), the company has since grown into a dynamic team, with members from very diverse backgrounds, including biopolymers, pulp & paper, academia, and finance.
Having achieved several notable milestones, including being the winner of Temasek Foundation’s 2018 Liveability Challenge, which awarded them S$1million to manufacture truly biodegradable PHA drinking straws, as well as overcoming all the barriers to commercial-scale production of PHA, the future seems bright for the company as they move forward to pursue more of their goals.
If you are excited about this innovative venture, do visit rwdc-industries.com for more!
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