2020 Letter to Shareholders

To our shareholders,

SSII achieved several milestones in 2019/2020. Since a year ago when we entered into the joint-venture, 3 startups from the National University of Singapore have joined our Cross-Border Accelerator Program, landing them across 3 regions in the fast-growing Yangtze River Economic Belt.

This is the just the beginning for our Cross-Border Accelerator Program. Today, startups struggle to find and access the right market. Tomorrow, through the right partnership, cross border startups will accelerate their process of market discovery. SSII uses our cross-border relationship with venture capitalists, CEOs and government agencies to create value for our customer and by doing so, hope to create a sustainable and scalable business even in established and large markets.

We have a window of opportunity. Geopolitical issues have disrupted trade flows and market entry. The venture capital winter has also made it much harder for startups to raise funds. Our goal is to move quickly to solidify and extend our current position while we begin to pursue new opportunities. This strategy is not without risk: it requires serious investment and shared vision from our partners.

It’s All About the Sustainability and Scalability

Since Day 1, we have always advocate building sustainable and scalable businesses as the basis to create long term value. Our decisions reflect our focus. Because of our emphasis on sustainability, we make decisions based on the value we bring to our customers.

We will continue to focus on our startups:

  1. We will continue to make investments in light of the long-term goals rather than short term reactions
  2. We will measure our programs and the effectiveness of our investment analytically and remove those that do not provide acceptable returns or value to our customers
  3. We will continue to share our strategic thought process with you just as we have since Day 1

With this foundation, let’s review our business focus, progress for the year and outlook for the future.

Focus on the value to our customers

Since Day 1, our focus has always been about helping startups build sustainable and scalable businesses. Therefore, we set out to create DiscoverRight, BuildRight and ScaleRight programs. Our Cross-Border Accelerator program is built on top of these wonderful programs as the foundation.

Today, we provide one-stop access to our startups providing them with investment and funding opportunities as well as recommendations on market entry and access. We dramatically remove the challenge of finding the right beachhead for startups to land while further increasing the opportunities for them to gain funding as well as new customers.

Word of mouth remains our most powerful acquisition channel, and we are grateful for the trust our partners have placed in us.

SSII has come a long way in 2019/2020:

  1. We have our first DiscoverRight in December 2019. More than 20 CEOs, founders of startups and MDs of securities firms from Yangtze River Delta Region visited Singapore to understand first hand about the unique positioning of Singapore as a globalization platform, the importance of Intellectual Property rights and how our Institutes of Higher Learning like the National University of Singapore is putting in place various initiatives to make the startup ecosystem better and stronger.
  2. MasterClass. Our first MasterClass was held in Shanghai the first week of 2020. The focus on Business Model Innovation helps more than 25 business owners and founders to analyse their company’s strategic positioning as well as competitive advantages.
  3. Extending Our Reach. During 2020, we worked hard to expand our reach. Within China, we added Suzhou HuaQiao (花侨) to our list of locations where startups can land given the economic opportunities there. We also entered into a new partnership with DueDash who is based in Germany. The DueDash’s team brings with them a diverse experience but more importantly a shared vision of helping startups succeed.
  4. Panel discussions. 2020 saw an increase in participation of our leaders in panel discussions. Some key highlights include Fudan University MBA program, DueDash’s expert session, cumulating with our Chairman, Mr. WEI Feng (魏锋) in Business China’s Future Singapore panel discussion titled “Embracing the Next Frontier of Technological Growth towards” together with Senior Minister of State for Singapore Dr. KOH Poh Koon.
  5. Our Team. The past year’s success is the result of our team members both in Singapore and China. It is not easy to get to where we are but we are working to build something that matters to startups. Something that we are proud of and we are incredibly fortunate to have all of you working together to build SSII.

Goals for 2020/2021

We are still in the early stages of learning how to bring new value to our startups through cross-border acceleration and training programs. Our goals remain to continue to solidify and extend our brand and support for the startups. Investment and market access remain the top priorities for startups. We will be raising our first US$100M fund; the SSII Catalyst Fund. We believe there are significant opportunities to better serve the startups. Startup founder’s expertise lies not in spending time trying to raise funds, but in building their business and gaining meaningful traction.

Our fund will focus on investing in promising deep-tech startups. We will continue to focus on cross-border acceleration for the startups and the setup of cross-border research labs to accelerate the commercialization of these deep-tech IP.

2019/2020 was a fantastic year. We are grateful to the startups founders for their business and trust, to the team members for the hard work, and to our shareholders for their encouragement and continued support of our vision.

Jay TEO
CEO, SSII Pte Ltd.