#Asia Train ‘em up: Byte Academy heads to Singapore with Series A from Tri5 Ventures


Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam helped convince Byte Academy that Singapore was the best place to set up shop

Tri5 (1)

As the Singapore government opens its fintech sandbox, and big data firms raise millions of dollars in funding, the city’s startup economy is going to need developers to fill talent gaps.

This is why, in an effort to cultivate home-grown talent, New York City-based Byte Academy will be opening a regional headquarters in Singapore and in late 2016 will launch 12-week programmes in Python programming, data science and fintech development.

The academy is doing so with the help of a S$3 million (US$2.67 million) Series A investment from Tri5 Ventures.

In an official statement, Christopher Quek, Managing Partner at Tri5 Ventures, highlighted the need to build a local workforce to support Singapore’s growing startup economy.

“Singapore needs 30,000 trained programmers by 2020 in the Info-Comm Technology (ICT) sector, with major focus on verticals like fintech and data science. We are proud to partner with Byte Academy to train and upskill Singaporeans to be specialised programmers so that they can participate in the Smart Nation goals,” he said.

Also Read: Singapore-based startup ProperHands raises US$177K in seed funding

The hope is that Byte Academy can train 2,000 programmers in Singapore over the next five years.

A neat incentive for potential students in Singapore is the courses will be highly connected with employers in the city and participants will be placed in relevant programming jobs according to the given course.

In the US, partner companies included Microsoft, Google, JP Morgan, Twilio, Morningstar and IBM.

Byte Academy also offers 4-week programmes for people looking to improve upon or add a coding to their skillset.

As implied by the ‘regional HQ’ tag, Byte Academy does not intend to stop at Singapore. Rather, it plans to open multiple locations across the ASEAN region, India and the United States.

One interesting character in Byte Academy’s decision to move to Singapore was Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who met with Co-founder Ray Chugh and presented the opportunities in Singapore’s Smart Nation and fintech initiatives.

“I was further convinced of this in my recent visit to Singapore, where there is a growing finance community of programmers and start-ups, similar to New York in its early stages. We believe we can be a great contributor to the growth of fintech and the finance community in Singapore and ASEAN, just as how we have been in New York,” said Chugh in an official statement.

Also Read: Entrepreneurs should have a builder mentality, not a trader mentality: Jefferson Chen of GSR Ventures

The investment into Byte Academy makes sense for Tri5 Ventures as its Fund II is called the Education Growth Fund and specifically targets “immersive programming schools that operate in Singapore”. For example, another relevant portfolio company is a mobile game for kids called Kungfu Math.

Byte Academy is a partner with the Monetary Authority of Singapore for the first-ever FinTech Festival happening from November 14 – 18.



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