29 November 2022

Circles Global launches Circles-X R&D Centre in Singapore to enhance deep telco tech and accelerate global telco industry transformation


New telco tech R&D centre to fuel growth of Circles-X as the world’s premier SaaS platform for telcos
Establishing another pillar of deep-tech in Singapore for a global industry
Creates 120 locally-based ICT jobs in software engineering, cybersecurity, AI and more

Circles (, the fastest growing tech firm in the telco industry, today announced the launch of its Circles-X R&D Centre in Singapore. With continued support from the Ministry of Communications and Information and Digital Industry Singapore, a joint office by EDB, ESG, and IMDA, this one-of-a-kind telco tech R&D centre — the most advanced in the world — will help drive Circles’ ambition to become the first trillion-dollar global SaaS company, right here in Singapore.

Rameez Ansar, Co-Founder of Circles, said, “As we build the future of telco right here at our Circles-X R&D Centre, we envision this as the cornerstone of the first global Singaporean SaaS company leading an entire industry. In some ways it is our duty to extend the work of the last generation of Singaporean champions.”

Bringing the power of Singapore deep tech to the world stage

The Circles-X R&D Centre will blend three aspects — cutting-edge made-in-Singapore tech, a core of top local talent nurtured by the best leadership team in Asia, and real-life market experience gleaned from Circles’ owned and partner operations in Asia-Pacific.

The centre will further build on the strengths of the company’s proprietary cloud native, full stack telco operating system (Circles-X OS: CXOS) and enhance its position as the world’s leading telco SaaS platform.

These three aspects are critical to overcoming what Kearney terms the “trillion-dollar” problem plaguing the global telco industry. In a nutshell, traditional telcos worldwide are losing market share and revenue to internet companies and need to catch up on the right tech and capabilities for the future of connectivity. In fact, despite the rapid digitalisation of global economies, traditional telcos have been struggling to keep up with their digital-native competitors for years, according to McKinsey.

As the first 100% digital telco in Singapore launched in 2016, Circles — powered by CXOS — was able to address this changing customer need for agile telco offerings and always-on customer support, leading it to achieve market-leading ARPU and growth, consistently achieving NPS of 50+ and 4.8+ app rating score. Having pioneered this successful blueprint for disrupting the telco space through tech and innovation, Circles has since replicated its model and created game-changing experiences for digital natives in Taiwan and Australia by launching its own consumer operations and digital telco Circles.Life there. In addition, Circles has extended its SaaS offering to enable well-recognised telcos like KDDI in Japan and XL Axiata in Indonesia to launch digital brands using the CXOS platform.

The key to Circles’ success is its CXOS platform, an end-to-end, fully-SaaS stack that enables legacy telcos to leapfrog their digital limitations. The platform empowers telcos to deliver superior customer experiences and digital services (such as insurance, payments and lifestyle offerings) — at a fraction of the time and the cost it would normally take — and achieve full control over the entire customer lifecycle. The successful rollout of povo2.0 with KDDI in Japan last year and launch of Live.On for XL Axiata in 2020 demonstrate the strength of CXOS and the company’s telco SaaS offering. This year, Circles has set its sights on expanding into additional global markets including Asia and Europe, while deepening its success in its existing markets.

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Building a robust Singapore core of telco tech talent

The Circles-X R&D centre is expected to create 120 new ICT jobs in Singapore this year, specifically in the areas of front- and back-end engineering and cyber security. These roles include placements in Circles Labs — the company’s skunkworks team — to develop the next generation of telco digital services involving IoT, AI, fintech, gaming and other areas.

Circles currently has 265 staff housed in the R&D centre, some of whom were nurtured through Circles Academy, the company’s in-house development programme for software engineers, and the TechSkills Accelerator programme in partnership with IMDA.

As one of Asia’s leading tech firms, Circles has attracted many of the world’s best tech and startup leaders to its ranks. The company recently strengthened its leadership team to further fuel its global expansion. Recent hires include international telco executive Lawrence Corbett; B2B enterprise tech expert Thomas Lee, previously from Oracle and Hewlett Packard Enterprise; Fortune 500 HR leader Stephanie Nash, previously from Microsoft, BHP and Allergan; Silicon Valley veteran Dhanush Hetti, ex-CTO at Venmo/PayPal; and Mak Chee Kiong, ex-CFO at Singtel Group Digital Life.

Powered by its tech, talent, and growing network of strategic partners and investors including Warburg Pincus, Sequoia, EDBI and Founders Fund, the Circles-X R&D Centre promises to extend Circles’ head-start in the global telco SaaS industry, and set Singapore squarely in the centre of the future of connectivity for the 5G era and beyond.

About Circles

Circles is the fastest growing technology firm in the telco industry with operations across eight countries globally. Circles is leading the transformation of the telco industry with a technology first, SaaS based approach.

Circles’ proprietary Circles-X Operating System (CXOS) is the world’s first cloud native, full stack telco operating system. This telco SaaS offering currently supports multi million subscribers across our own and partner markets, enabling significant improvement in economics and customer experience.

CXOS powers Circles’ own consumer operations (under Circles.Life) across Singapore, Australia and Taiwan, where it directly operates digital telcos and is the region’s fastest growing telco offering multiple digital services.

Global telcos in markets such as Japan and Indonesia have leveraged CXOS to provide a best in class experience and an ecosystem of digital services to its customers. In all markets, CXOS has demonstrated game changing outcomes such as sizable improvements in NPS, ARPU, operating cost and agility for telcos.

Circles is backed by global investors such as Sequoia, Warburg Pincus, EDBI and Founders Fund – renowned institutions with a track record of backing industry-shaking innovators. To learn more, visit

Circles Global today announced the launch of its Circles-X R&D Centre in Singapore. From left to right: Rameez Ansar, Co-Founder of Circles; Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Communications and Information, Singapore; and Adeel Najam, Co-Founder of Circles

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