Digital Economy

Singapore’s digital economy is on the forefront of a major growth surge with increased national expenditure on artificial intelligence, thereby making it the second most digitally competitive country (2019). The nation’s investments in the digital realm indicate that Singapore aims to capitalize on this era of digitalization.

Internet Penetration Rate – Singapore has a high internet penetration rate of 88%, which is not only higher than its regional peers, it is also similar to that of the country with the largest digital economy. Though 88% is not the highest figure, it is rather suggestive of the potential growth on account of the unsaturated market.

Internet Economy Size – In 2019, the internet economy of Singapore had a Gross Market Value (GMV) of US$ 12.4 billion. The four segments to the internet economy are as follows –

  • E-Commerce
  • Online Travel
  • Online Media
  • Ride Hailing

Despite being a small nation, Singapore has a relatively larger internet economy than most of its regional peers. The chart below depicts the 2019 GMV of a few ASEAN nations, with the bubble size based on population density / with its predicted value in 2025.

Growth – The internet economy in Singapore has grown at a relatively stable rate, i.e., by 77% from 2015 to 2019. This growth is projected to be further accelerated with increased public and private sector investments in the internet economy of Singapore.

The graph below indicates the distribution of the digital economy based on the aforementioned segments. It is notable that though the e-commerce sector has shown little growth in the past, it along with the online travel industry are projected to grow the most in the upcoming years.

Major players in the digital space – Singapore is leading in Southeast Asia in online start-up success stories, thereby providing testament to the open market, education and the entrepreneurial drive in this region. Some of the major internet companies in Singapore are as follows –

  • Total Funding: US$ 6.8 billion
  • Latest Valuation: $US 14 billion
  • Business Outline: After dominating the ride-hailing platform, Grab has moved onto private car services, food delivery and online payment services.
  • Total Funding: US$ 1.3 billion
  • Latest Valuation: US$ 13.8 billion
  • Business Outline: Provide a quality platform for digital entertainment, e-commerce and digital financial services in Southeast Asia
  • Total Funding: US$ 272 million
  • Latest Valuation: US$ 2.1 billion
  • Business Outline: Mobile application that allows people to live stream online entertainment, especially in the gaming community.
  • Total Funding: US$321 million
  • Latest Valuation: Undisclosed (assumed over US$ 1 billion)
  • Business Outline: Manage an online portal for renting and sale of property throughout Southeast Asia.
  • Total Funding: US$940 million
  • Latest Valuation: US$ 2.1 billion
  • Business Outline: Provide regional insights to businesses for efficiency through its hyperscale data centers.


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