Singapore: FundedHere secures $1.29m seed funding from angel investors

Singapore-based crowdfunding platform FundedHere has raised S$1.74 million ($1.29 million) seed capital from three angel investors, two weeks after commencing operations as the first equity crowdfunding and crowd-lending platform in the city-state.

FundedHere intends to reach out to startups in Singapore, China, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, after the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) granted it a Capital Markets Services (CMS) License, which permits companies to deal in securities.

This capital injection has increased its post-money valuation to S$11 million ($8.17 million), with proceeds from the angel investors, based in Singapore, China and Switzerland. The investment will be used to acquire talent for the management team and grow the number of accredited investors (AIs) in Singapore.

According to a media release issued by FundedHere’s public relations agency WeR1, the three investors comprise a major shareholder of a Singapore mainboard-listed corporation investing in his personal capacity; an entrepreneur with business interests in China investing through her Singapore-based family office, AsiaWorld Assets; and a Swiss intellectual property specialist.

WeR1’s principal is Kwok Kin Lai, who also serves as the non-executive chairman of FundedHere, which has secured 33 advisors, mentors and lead investors. Notable members include Lei Ming, co-founder of Baidu; TK Wong, co-founder of Pacific Internet; Eddie Chau co-founder of Brandtology; Maneesh Tripathi, CEO of SGX-listed Si2i Ltd; and Professor Wong Poh Kam, the founder of NUS Enterprise.

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Investors registered with FundedHere can invest from a baseline of $3700, with the platform listing startups seeking seed funding or short-term borrowing. According to the MAS, only AIs with at least S$2 million in net personal assets, excluding their primary residence, or S$300,000 in annual income, are allowed to participate in crowdfunding projects in Singapore. Corporate AIs are required to have at least S$10 million ($7.5 million) in net assets.

FundedHere aims to register at least 1000 AIs and secure more than S$5 million in funding for between 20-25 startups by the end of 2016. With a long-term goal of registering up to 10 per cent of Singapore-based AIs, since commencing operations, FundedHere claims to have reviewed more than 100 startup ventures, mostly from Singapore. Of these, 10 ventures have been shortlisted for funding.

Speaking on the investment, FundedHere’s CEO Michael Tee, formerly a managing director at UBS AG and a former officer of Northern Trust Hong Kong, and Deutsche Bourse Clearstream, stated: “We are elated by the confidence that the new investors have in our platform, with the capital injection coming in so soon after we secured our license.”

Tee added, “It validates the hard work of the FundedHere team as well as interest and support of this disruptive form of fund-raising for startups. We will now move rapidly to strengthen our team and our marketing efforts so as to build up our base of investors. We intend to reach to startups locally and in the region to use a Singapore-based platform to spur innovation.”

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.