In a bid to invest more in early stage technology based startups, Singapore government has issued a sum of USD 48 million to six venture capitalists. This includes Jungle Ventures, Golden Gate Ventures, SBI Ven Capital, Walden International, New Asia Investments and Monk’s Hill Ventures.
The funds will be allotted under the Early Stage Venture Fund (ESVF) scheme, administered by the National Research Foundation (NRF), Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore. It will utilize a fund size of S$120 million (USD 96 million) for early stage investment in only Singapore-based tech startups.
According to Professor Low Teck Seng, Chief Executive Officer of NRF, it is very competitive for high-tech start-ups to secure follow-on financing as they have to fight with the best in the region to get VCs’ attention.
“Through this investment, the government is addressing the gap in Series A funding, which is critical in sustaining the rapid growth of start-ups beyond the seed stage. With their expertise and savvy investments, VCs will help commercialize promising technologies into innovative products.”
The Early Stage Venture Fund (ESVF) was implemented in July 2008 and aims to encourage universities and polytechnics to translate their research into commercial products for the market and assist entrepreneurs to grow technology-based companies. Under the ESVF, NRF invests on a 1:1 matching basis to seed venture capital funds investing in local early stage high-tech companies.
The first round of investment took place in 2008 with a total of S$50 million on a dollar-to-dollar basis. The VC’s included in the batch were Bioveda Capital, Extream Ventures, New Asia Investments, Raffles Venture Partners and Walden International. To-date, these 5 venture funds have collectively invested S$38 million in 24 start-ups from various technology sectors.
Image Credit: TechInAsia
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