singtel-logoSingTel, the largest telco operator in SouthEast Asia, has announced a whopping US$150 million fund to drive innovation, invest in innovative technologies and solutions to create future growth engines for the SingTel group.

This news was announced at SingTel’s i.lluminate business conference, confirming the rumors of this fund we have been hearing for the past few months.

SingTel CEO Chua Sock Koong said that they have set up a wholly-owned company called Innov8 to “collaborate with leading innovators, developers, government agencies, R&D organisations as well as other equity providers around the region to promote innovation.”

In a statement released by SingTel, Yvonne Kwek, CEO of Innov8 said, “Innov8 will connect with the innovation hotspots of the world for new ideas, technology, products and services. We will invest in and incubate these innovations, and eventually bring them to market.”

“The investment arm will look specifically into technologies that lead to quantum changes in network capabilities, digital content services and next-generation devices, investments made by Innov8 will ensure that the SingTel Group continues to stay relevant to customers’ needs and capture growth opportunities.”

“The SingTel Innov8 venture fund is part of the company’s plan to transform itself from a traditional telecommunications supplier to a multimedia and information-technology services provider.”

SingTel’s press release didn’t give any more information about Yvonne Kwek. A quick Google turned up an Yvonne Kwek who was an executive director at a venture fund called Crimson Asia Capital and chief financial officer at VOIP firm Mediaring. Speculation was rife a few years ago about SingTel acquiring Mediaring.