After a hiatus of a year and about two weeks after this year’s National Day, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong finally delivered his National Day 2021 address yesterday (August 29).
The National Day Rally is generally considered the most important political discourse of the year and provides a platform for the Prime Minister to address the nation and share important political issues.
They usually outline the challenges our nation has faced, the goals that are set to change the country, and the strategies and policies that have been put in place to shape Singapore as it is today.
In this year’s speech, Prime Minister Lee covered several topics: Covid-19, economic growth, support for low-wage workers, addressing concerns about foreign labor passport holders, and managing race and debt.
During the 1 hour and 15 minute speech, he also highlighted several local businesses:
Carro is an online platform that buys and sells used cars in Southeast Asia. She joined the Unicorn Club of Startups in June of this year when she completed a $360 million funding round that increased its value to $1 billion.
The infusion of new money will be used to add the Philippines and Vietnam to Karo’s existing presence in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
According to Carro, it is now building a strong base in Southeast Asia’s $55 billion used car market with more than two million active users, bringing the total value of merchandise to $1 billion in the year to March.
Carro’s revenue more than doubled year-over-year to $300 million, with Ebitda positive for the second year in a row.
To date, Karo has also raised more than $400 million from the likes of the Singapore government’s investment arm EDBI, as well as B Capital, Insignia Ventures Partners, Mitsubishi, SoftBank and others.
Prime Minister Lee noted, with the growth of companies and entrepreneurs in Singapore, Singapore can better maintain long-term growth.
Secret Lab Co-founder Ian Ang recently came into the spotlight with reports of his purchase of a Multimillion dollar good class bungalow A luxury condominium penthouse.
In the March report, the company was said to have Over 350 million Singapore dollars In sales for the most recent fiscal year. Previous filings revealed how Covid-19 contributed to business growth, as more people bought its chairs due to work-from-home arrangements.
Overall, the company has experienced “rapid growth” with sales increasing steadily over the years.
It took the founders Six to eight months to create the prototype, and at least 20 repetitions To finalize the design. In March 2015, they finally released their first gaming chair: the Secretlab THRONE V1.
The first 200 units were sold out within a week, and the company quickly regressed within a month. Fast forward to 2019, Secretlab Sold over 200,000 chairs.
That same year, Secretlab also secured an undisclosed amount of funding from Temasek subsidiary Heliconia Capital, raising the company’s valuation to Between 200 million and 300 million Singapore dollars.
Then in 2020, Secretlab . reportedly It manufactures more than 500,000 chairs per year It has left its mark in more than 60 countries. Its largest market is North America with more than 50 percent of sales, while Singapore accounts for only about Five percent of its total sales every year.
Carousel has undoubtedly become the favorite app of Singaporeans in recent years.
It’s also no exaggeration to say that it has revolutionized the mobile market, reimagining the way people buy and sell online.
A trio of NUS graduates—Kwik Siu Roy, Marcus Tan, and Lucas Ngo—developed the Carousell mobile app after spending an entire year in Silicon Valley, putting the skills they had acquired to good use by envisioning a peer-to-peer marketplace where NUS students could sell things to each other.
What started in school has now grown into a widely used marketplace application all over the world, reaching millions of buyers and sellers every day.
Since its launch in 2012, Carousell has expanded to more than 20 major cities, including Hong Kong, the Philippines and Australia.
Recently, they also made headlines in List of potential US By merging with a blank check company, the company could be valued at up to S$2 billion.
Carro, Secretlab and Carousell are just some of the examples of Singaporean companies making their mark in the new economy as cited by Prime Minister Lee.
They have grown into global names and emphasized that Enterprise Singapore “supports more entrepreneurs to follow in their footsteps, go out into the world, seize new opportunities and grow their businesses.”
Yvonne Book is the founder cherished, a company specializing in baby feeding bottles and equipment.
Launched in 2015, it was created based on Yvonne’s personal pain points while breastfeeding.
“From the many parts to assemble and clean to the huge, annoying pumps and nipple jamming, I wanted to modernize the entire system while making it simple, functional and innovative,” She said Iphone.
However, trying to enter an already saturated market and compete with world-renowned brands with a legacy spanning decades has been difficult for them.
Moreover, Singapore is a tough market because “Singaporeans are having very few children,” Prime Minister Lee said.
So from the beginning, Yvon has expanded into other markets and now Hegen products are popular in China, Korea and even Israel.
When Covid-19 hit, many of Hegen’s physical retail channels closed so they switched to online marketing. It improved its websites, conducted live broadcasts in multiple languages, and hired more staff to fulfill orders. Now, the main driver of Hegen’s growth is online sales, PM Lee noted.
The government will create the conditions for entrepreneurs like Yvonne to start and grow their businesses. But the subsidies and grants only go so far. Ultimately, it is their determination and resourcefulness that will ensure their success.”
We can beat Covid-19 together
At the end of the day, Prime Minister Lee stressed that Singapore is more than just a place to live, work and play.
“Our greatest strength is our people – united, resilient, steadfast and resourceful, through thick and thin,” he said.
He praised the various ways Singaporeans have taken to supporting each other in times of crisis.
Covid-19 will not be our last crisis. We will definitely have more experiences down the road. We will be tested again, sometimes severely. “
Every generation will wonder, as their parents did: Will we survive? Will Singapore win? Will Singaporeans stay together as one people? My answer: We’ve done it before. We’ll do it again.”
Featured image credit: Carousell/Secretlab/Hegen/Carro