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8 Surprising Homegrown Brands From Singapore

While Singapore might be small, when it comes to business, she sure is mighty. A major part of Singapore's success lies in the sheer entrepreneurial spirit of many of its people who have changed the shape and reputation of the Garden City for good.

Ninja Van

Bought something online recently? Chances are that the delivery was fulfilled by none other than Ninja Van, a Singaporean start-up. The brainchild of three Singaporeans, the delivery service was first launched in 2014 to cater to the local market and has expanded to six countries across SEA including Vietnam and Indonesia. 



The brainchild of Aaron Tan, Carro went from being a local Singaporean start-up to being the largest automobile marketplace in South East Asia, in part, thanks to the whopping $540 Million it has received in funding since it launched in 2015. Merging the words 'car' and 'hero' - Tan built a marketplace for people to buy and trade cars and to help with car servicing, insurance and everything that comes with car ownership. Turns out it was a 'hero' idea after all being recently valued at $1 Billion. 



When it comes to investments, there's no hotter topic than cryptocurrency and, if it's of interest, then you will most probably heard of Coinhako. Launched in 2014, simply put, it allows users to find the simplest ways to buy, sell and trade all forms of crypto cash and has become one of the world leaders in its field in recent years.



Ask any gamer or techie where to get the best gaming hardware and tech and they will undoubtedly say Razer. But while its name is known world over, not many people know that it was actually started by former National University of Singapore law student Min-Liang Tan.



If you have been inside any nice malls or walking down any more upper-end streets then you will have seen TWG Teashops, and, thanks to its gold and marble facade, you could have been fooled into thinking it was the brainchild of some English or French company. But, you couldn't be more wrong. TWG Tea is actually a Singaporean brand, started by The Wellness Group (hence TWG) in 2007, the brand is so successful that it now has outlets in South Korea, Hong Kong, Morocco, India and Russia. Oh, and the 1837 date you see on its logo actually has nothing to do with the brand, it refers to the year that the Chamber of Commerce was started in Singapore.


Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts

If you assumed that the Banyan Tree originated in Vietnamese or Thailand then you wouldn't be alone. Thanks to their natural and environmental aesthetic, the group not only won themselves hordes of devotees, but confused everyone as to its origin. Started in 1995, Banyan tree is owned by Singaporean Ho Kwon Ping and now operates in 28 countries with over 50 hotels and resorts.


Trek 2000

Now, this is one that you can be more than forgiven for not knowing even who they are but it's a nice piece of trivia to pull out when the time comes. While we cant be totally sure who actually invented the thumb drive first, Trek 2000 International holds the patent for it, meaning that they were responsible for getting it launched worldwide and for snagging a partnership with IBM. 

Spa Esprit Group

If there is something we like more than hearing a local success story, it's that that success story is that of a female entrepreneur. Founded in 1996 by Cynthia Chua, the portfolio now covers beauty, F&B and even spas. Browhaus, Tiong Bahru Bakery, Strip and Open Farm Community to name just a few famous brands. 













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