Six venture capital firms have been selected to partner up with Singapore’s National Research Foundation (NRF) through a 1:1 Limited Partner (LP) investment matching scheme. The selected partners are Golden Gate Ventures, Jungle Ventures, Monk’s Hill Ventures, Walden International, SBI Ven Capital, and New Asia Investments.
Under the Early Stage Venture Fund scheme, as announced in July 2008, these six venture capital firms will be injecting S$120 million (US$95.5 million) into various startups incubated over the next few years, which means that NRF will be investing S$10 million (US$7.9 million) per fund. At TechVenture 2013, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Teo Chee Hean also added that the government will be rolling in another S$50 million (US$39.8 million) to encourage venture capital firms to invest in early-stage technology companies based in the city-state.
Today’s announcement will also mark the second batch of venture capital funds approved by the ESVF scheme; the first five were: Bioveda Capital, Extream Ventures, NanoStart Asia (now known as New Asia Investments), Raffles Ventures Partners, and Walden International. Collectively, these five funds have invested in more than 20 companies from various technology spaces, noted the official document.
One of the partners, Golden Gate Ventures, wrote in an official statement that it has incubated 18 companies across six countries in Asia. Its portfolio includes Singapore-based online grocer RedMart, which made headlines with its most recent funding announcement in January 2014.
With increasingly more startups looking to raise Series A funding in Singapore, Golden Gate Ventures reckons that at least 48 companies across Southeast Asia would have or will be announcing Series A financing this year — a good double of last year’s numbers.
Steve Leonard, Executive Deputy Chairman, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), said in a panel to evaluate venture capital funds:
“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. 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.”
UPDATE: Vincent Lauria, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Golden Gate Ventures, told e27, “There have been many benefits of working with the NRF that run much deeper than a pure financial relationship.” Four, to be precise. Firstly, working with the government will open doors to a wider network; secondly, it has sped up deal flow, which is the rate at which investment firms receive proposals or offers; thirdly, this allows them to be a part of a “solid network of co-investment partners”, and lastly, it gives them a stamp of approval useful when talking to foreign investors.