New Singapore venture studio Acumino acquires Melbourne startup Speakeasy

Speakeasy’s live video events platform will accelerate development of Acumino’s growing portfolio.

SINGAPORE (PRWEB) AUGUST 19, 2021: Acumino, a recently launched Singapore venture studio focused on emerging technologies and disruptive innovation, today announced it had acquired the intellectual property assets of Melbourne-based startup Speakeasy. In its first foray into virtual communities and the metaverse, Acumino will continue Speakeasy’s mission of “Virtualising the Real World”.

Founded in March 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Speakeasy launched a social video streaming platform to deliver interactive live events to large-scale global audiences. The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering creates a virtual suite of corporate boxes or VIP rooms for shared consumption of live entertainment. Speakeasy has already hosted events for household brands including RMIT, Australian Venue Co., BHP, KPMG, Philips, CPA Australia, and Ingenico.

Speakeasy was supported by the City of Melbourne small business transformation grants in partnership with the Victorian Government. The company also received support from 25eight.

“The deal further cements Singapore’s position as the Silicon Valley of Asia, and reflects the vibrancy of Australia’s own startup ecosystem,” said Sam Johnston, CEO at Acumino. Sam transitioned to the Singapore Economic Development Board’s new Tech.Pass visa to create the company after building a global network of innovation centres researching drones, robotics, 3D printing, quantum computing, internet of things (IoT), blockchain/DeFi, artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML), computer vision & voice, digital humans, and other emerging technologies. “The software itself, developed by an ex-NASA/MIT engineer and fellow Google/YouTube alumni, will enable Acumino to securely deliver several video products at scale,” he added.

Speakeasy’s CEO John O’Sullivan said of the acquisition, “My co-founders and I embarked on this journey to tackle the Zoom fatigue we were all experiencing early in the pandemic, and are excited to see Acumino take our hard work to the global stage.”

Co-founder Kerry Tate added, “Speakeasy’s early success is a testament to the quality of Melbourne’s startup ecosystem, with the acquisition representing a prime example of a local business winning the eyes of investors on a global stage.”

Speakeasy’s other two co-founders are serial entrepreneur Jennifer Fein and software engineer Issac Trotts.

The platform was built on the Phoenix Framework which uses the Elixir functional programming language and Erlang virtual machine to build fast, concurrent, fault-tolerant apps for the web. It is hosted on Mux, Twilio, and Digital Ocean.

The deal is structured as an asset acquisition, with Acumino Pte Ltd purchasing all key assets of Speakeasy Technology Solutions Pty Ltd, and the co-founders continuing as advisors to Acumino.

For more about Acumino visit or Speakeasy visit


By Sam Johnston

Sam Johnston CMgr FCMI/FIML GAICD MACS Snr CP is an Australian technology executive and serial entrepreneur with over 20 years experience founding and advising startups, and in leadership roles at top global technology companies including Google, Equinix, Citrix, and DXC Technology.

Sam is currently chief entrepreneur officer (CEO) at Acumino, a Singapore venture studio focusing on emerging technologies and disruptive innovation. He is working with other founders to create the businesses of tomorrow by applying his research into emerging technologies including drones, robotics & humanoids, 3D printing, computer vision & voice, augmented & virtual reality, artificial intelligence & machine learning, blockchain, chatbots, and quantum computing.

Sam has a bachelor of computer science degree from the University of New South Wales, and is based in Singapore, having worked in Australia, Asia, Europe, and the USA.