Singapore’s National Research Foundation (NRF) – that part of the Prime Minister’s Office which looks at attracting and growing local and foreign technology incubator investors to set up in Singapore and spur the growth of early-stage, high-tech startups here – announced this week it has selected six venture capital firms to help inject S$120 million through a 1:1 investment matching scheme.
As part of the Early Stage Venture Funding Scheme (which was first announced in 2008), the selected venture capital firms – Golden Gate Ventures, Jungle Ventures, Monk’s Hill Ventures, Walden International, SBI Ven Capital and New Asia Investments – will assis the NRF in ivnesting S$10 million each into Singapore-based high-tech startups on a one-to-one matching basis in six different funds amounting up to a fund size of S$120 million for early stage investment.
The NRF has identified these six VC firms after evaluating 32 submissions of which 18 were initially shortlisted. “With a growing pipeline of exciting new tech start-ups in Singapore, founders will require funding, experienced mentorship and strong networks to build companies that can compete in worldwide markets. We want to help build an investor community based in Singapore but with connections around the world,” explains Steve Leonard, Executive Deputy Chairman of Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), who chaired the panel that helped select the six firms.
“The six venture capital funds and fund managers selected have an excellent reputation of helping build the companies that they fund, and their successes will further strengthen our tech-startup ecosystem.”
Golden Gate Ventures, which has incubated 18 companies across 6 countries in Asia, estimates that the number of companies across Southeast Asia to receive Series A financing will double in 2014. “In 2010 I traveled Asia, meeting over 80 startups from a dozen countries. All of them posed the same question, ‘How do I raise money?’”, says Vinnie Lauria, founding partner at Golden Gate Ventures, adding that he believes that this new investment tranche from the Singapore government will help foster and grow the local and regional startup ecosystem.
“Now in 2014 we’re looking to address the next funding crunch – Series A. I feel quite fortunate to be riding a wave that’s taking over the whole region.”