THE Business Times is revving up its startup coverage with Garage, a portal that provides news and analysis about the region's booming startup ecosystem.
Located at bt.sg/garage, the new vertical brings BT's speciality - the investors' perspective - to coverage of startup news and issues aimed at existing readers and new ones interested in the startup space.
That means asking the right questions about startups' business models, about why investors make certain bets, and taking deep dives into industry trends and developments, said deputy news editor Kenneth Lim, who is editor-in-charge of Garage.
"We want to help readers to make sense of disruption, to identify value and opportunities, and to cut through the hype," Mr Lim noted.
"We bring BT's DNA of strong insights and analysis in the public markets to the startup space in Singapore and the region."
In addition to daily news and analysis, Garage will also feature three regular fixtures. "The Pitch" is a regular column that profiles promising early-stage startups that are still trying to make a name for themselves.
In "The Thesis", investors share the rationale behind recent investments in a question-and-answer format.
Finally, in "Starting Point", industry insiders give their takes on trends, opportunities and risks, or help to explain new technologies or developments.
Garage debuts at an opportune time where interest in private markets has been growing significantly, especially with the e-commerce boom in South-east Asia.
According to figures released by Enterprise Singapore (ESG), local startups closed 353 financing deals worth US$10.5 billion in 2018, an increase from the 160 deals worth US$0.8 billion in 2012.
In fact, startups raked in a lot more investor money in Singapore in 2018 than the S$0.7 billion raised by initial public offerings.
Amid the buzz and hype, insightful journalism is a valuable resource.
Claudia Chong, reporter for BT's Garage, said: "Our guiding belief is that we want to uncover important trends and news that are relevant to our readers, and put news in context so that they are meaningful."
The startup ecosystem also deserves more coverage on the companies' impact on jobs, economic growth and related issues like social equality and environmental sustainability, said Sharanya Pillai, also reporting for BT's Garage.
Garage aims to live up to its name by being the perceptive and discerning voice on the startups and venture scene.
"In Silicon Valley mythology, the garage is supposed to represent how someone starting off from scratch - perhaps just experimenting with an idea in a garage - could possibly build the next big thing in the tech world," Ms Pillai said.
Ms Chong added: "It represents what startups are about - building from the bottom, doing the legwork, tapping on limited resources at the beginning to make sure a vision comes to light."
The product has already caught the attention of big names in the startup ecosystem.
James Tan, managing partner at Quest Ventures, said: "Garage by The Business Times looks set to be the authoritative voice on the startups scene in Singapore. Whether venture or impact investments, large exits or angel cheques, its in-depth coverage of the stories that matter is why we look forward to the column every day."
Tan Yinglan, founding managing partner at Insignia Ventures, added: "Garage is a timely and informative resource for the startup ecosystem in the region. I applaud the insightful reporting by Garage on the state of the entrepreneurship and innovation landscape in Singapore and the region."