Which telecommunications startups are there in Singapore

Start-ups: Why Infineon supports start-ups from Singapore

For the first time ever, the company brought young companies to its offices in the city-state in 2018. “We want to understand what tomorrow's requirements will look like,” CEO Reinhard Ploss justified the commitment. The native of Franconia considered the entrepreneurs from the up-and-coming Southeast Asia ideal for this.

The first cohort stayed for a year. This included Ampotech, a start-up from Singapore that builds Munich-based security chips into its wireless electricity meters. Supermarkets and petrol stations are already using the devices on the humid island to detect failures in refrigerators or freezers from a distance.

The devices are also suitable for air conditioning and thus for a billion dollar market in large parts of Asia, believes founder William Temple. His system is now in operation at 150 locations. Users could reduce energy consumption by up to 20 percent.

The first major order from the state?

Temple expects to receive its first major order from the Singapore government in the next few months. The state wants to equip thousands of public apartments with the latest technology. It would be a reference project that the company could use to attract customers around the world. If Ampotech got into business with the administration of the metropolis, the commitment would slowly begin to pay off for Infineon as well.

The Munich-based company has left 250 square meters free in its regional headquarters to create space for founders like Temple. Four start-ups are on site at the same time. Side by side with the engineers of the semiconductor manufacturer, the founders are working on pioneering solutions for the future and - so the hope - new possible uses for the components from Infineon.

Such a commitment is new to Infineon. Industry leader Intel, on the other hand, has been looking after tech start-ups for decades. The world market leader from Silicon Valley is investing heavily in young companies. However, Intel is many times larger than the German group - and also much more profitable. Infineon supports the start-ups, but does not take over any shares.

Xnergy was one of the first start-ups under the wing of Infineon in Singapore. The company has developed a system that allows robots to be charged wirelessly. Infineon is already using the technology at its plant in the Asian metropolis. "After four to five hours of use, the robots usually have to go to the charging station for two or three hours," says founder Chin Foong Tong. With Xnergy, on the other hand, the machines could be charged every time they have nothing to do. This makes them much more productive.

Infineon now wants to use the technology in other plants as well. The chip manufacturer also establishes contact with potential customers through its sales partners in Asia. Infineon in turn sells its components to Xnergy. Although still on a small scale, the start-up does not currently install more than 20 systems per month. But by the end of the year Tong wants to be at 60 pieces. "This is a win-win situation," emphasizes the founder, who plans to collect up to $ 20 million from investors over the next few months.

Infineon CEO Ploss has very ambitious goals

It's not just the technical support that the startups benefit from. "A little of our reputation rubs off on the start-ups when they cooperate with us," says Infineon manager Girdhar.

Ambitious new customers can definitely use Bayern. CEO Ploss has promised investors strong growth. In the long term, Infineon aims to achieve an average annual increase in sales of nine percent. That is significantly more than experts for the entire industry expect. In addition, he promises an operating margin of 19 percent in the future. That is more than the group has achieved in recent years.

In addition: Infineon was not spared the effects of the corona pandemic either. In the spring, Ploss had to lower the forecast twice. The CEO raised the forecast slightly in August.

Investors have viewed the group with goodwill for months: In the past six months, the share price has shot up by almost 80 percent. Due to unexpectedly good quarterly figures from some competitors, Warburg analyst Malte Schaumann said at the end of last week that he has increased his sales and earnings forecasts for the semiconductor company for the financial years 2019/20 to 2021/22. Infineon will present the results for the fiscal year ended September 30th in mid-November.

However, the pandemic has affected Infineon's company incubator in recent months. The personal exchange between the young companies and the experts of the group was difficult. Xnergy founder Tong would like to travel to the Infineon headquarters in Munich if it could. The young entrepreneur is planning to open an office in Germany. He wants to use his technology in a car factory in Germany soon.

Infineon's relationships could help, after all, the chip manufacturer generates around 40 percent of its sales with the automotive industry. "We open the doors to our customers for them, not only in the Asia-Pacific region, but also in Europe and China," says Infineon manager Girdhar.

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