GoBear, ShopBack top LinkedIn's list of S'pore start-ups

Financial service company GoBear and cashback platform ShopBack are among 10 Singapore start-ups to watch, according to networking site LinkedIn.

The top 10 have remained resilient despite the coronavirus pandemic, and have continued to draw investments and hire new workers, LinkedIn said yesterday.

It compiled the inaugural list by assessing four key metrics, based on its own data from January to July: employment growth, engagement on the company's LinkedIn page, interest in jobs offered by the company and attraction of top talent.

The list also includes gaming chair manufacturer Secretlab, recruitment platform Glints, big-data company Advance.AI, caregiving service company Homage, cosmetic dental business Zenyum, wealth management platform StashAway, online food delivery company Grain and co-living operator Hmlet.

These start-ups point to growing business trends in areas ranging from digital health to e-commerce, and indicate future career opportunities, LinkedIn said.

ShopBack, for example, has been riding the accelerated growth of e-commerce during the pandemic.

It officially launched its Vietnam business last month, and drew additional funding from investors such as Temasek, Rakuten and the Singapore Economic Development Board's investment arm earlier this year.

While GoBear announced it was laying off 22 workers - or about 10 per cent of its global workforce - earlier this month, it has expanded its corporate partnerships over the past year. These include a product underwritten by insurer Chubb targeted at employees who work from home.

Meanwhile, Grain expanded to Thailand in May, and linked up with bubble tea chain Koi during the circuit breaker here, when bubble tea outlets were not allowed to open.

LinkedIn News senior editor for Asia Chris Anderson noted that companies of all sizes have had to pivot, adapt and change to survive and thrive amid the Covid-19 crisis.

"The inaugural list is a reflection of this shifting landscape and shines a light on those start-ups in Singapore which are leading the way across industries such as retail, online delivery, personal finance, medical devices, AI (artificial intelligence) and more," he said.

Start-ups that cut 20 per cent or more of their workforce from January to July were deemed ineligible for the list.

Staffing firms; think-tanks; venture capital firms; law, management and information technology consulting companies; non-profits and philanthropy organisations; accelerators and government-owned entities were also excluded.