After spreading its wings in Silicon Valley, Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) has set its sights on a bigger presence in Israel. It has teamed up with Amdocs, an NYSE-listed provider of customer experience systems and services, to set up a joint development center, dubbed SingTel L!feLabs, in Israel. The move signals SingTel’s formal entry into the Israel startup market. The center is a co-investment between SingTel and Amdocs and will be hosted on Amdocs’ Ra’anana campus.
The partnership will enable startups from Israel to access the Asia Pacific market. The lab will focus on reaching out to the local community of entrepreneurs to develop capabilities in key areas, conduct proof of concepts and eventually commercialize innovative technologies, products and services in the 26 countries where the SingTel Group operates.
The group’s move into Israel is part of its strategic plan to increase investments in research and development. It recently established L!feLabs as a global inoovation initiative. “Through this partnership, we are embedding ourselves in one of the leading innovation hubs of the world. Our financial investment in Israel will be determined according to the value of projects. In SingTel, we have a corporate venture fund of S$200 million. Part of this fund will also reach Israel,” Allen Lew, CEO of Group Digital L!fe, SingTel, said in a press release.
SingTel has had an indirect presence in the Israel market in the past through investments in startups there. Its investments there include mobile ad startup Amobee, Everything.me and Moment.me. In addition to the development center, SingTel will invest in three key areas in Israel. It will invest in young startup companies, either directly or through active cooperation aimed at advancing developments and technologies that match SingTel’s future plans. It will work with Israeli academic or research institutes by funding studies conducted by the country’s universities or working on ideas created in such institutions. It will collaborate with incubators and the angel community to look for interesting business and technology ideas from Israel. The focus will be on voice and facial recognition as well as technologies that enable mobile and Wi-fi networks to work more efficiently and seamlessly.