SGInnovate appoints 17 co-investors to boost early-stage deep tech investment

Steve Leonard, Founding CEO of SGInnovate, speaking at a event. Credit: SGInnovate

SGInnovate today announced that it has appointed 17 co-investors under the Startup SG Equity scheme that will collectively identify and co-invest with it  in early-stage deep tech startups.

The criteria will see them invest in areas prioritised in Singapore’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 Plan or RIE2020, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain.

Ku Kay Mok, Partner at Gobi Management, one of the co-investors, said, “Gobi has been a pioneer investing in Singapore-based startups expanding to the ASEAN region and China since 2010. Over the past decade, China has made so many advances in technology that it has been transformed into a world-class deep tech creator as well as a capital exporter.”

“This fact was made clear by Alibaba’s recent move to set up DAMO Academy, which will invest $15 billion in R&D across 8 research bases globally, including Singapore. With our 15 years history of venture investment in China, we are looking to invest in Singapore-based startups that can complement these globalising Chinese tech companies.”

SGInnovate is managing a portion of the fund under this scheme, which is aimed at accelerating the growth of deep tech startups. The total value for investments that would be made alongside these co-investors could potentially reach up to S$80 million ($59.1 million) over the next four years.

Beyond the capital infusion, SGInnovate expects startup ventures under this scheme to “benefit from the strategic and management guidance provided by SGInnovate and the co-investors”

“Deep technology startups typically have a longer roadmap for development and commercialization, and this may discourage some private sector VCs whose LPs expect shorter-term returns,” said Steve Leonard, Founding CEO, SGInnovate.

SGInnovate, a government-owned organisation which is positioned as a platform for connecting institutional investors to deep technology opportunities, recently announced its ‘Deep Tech Nexus’ Strategy as part of a strategic shift will see it deepen its focus on AI, as well as concentrate on establishing the deep tech node of the city-state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem in the areas of human and investment capital.

It plans to make direct investments into at least 20 Singapore-based deep tech startups in 2018, as well as to co-invest into deep tech startups alongside private-sector VCs under the Startup SG Equity scheme.

Markus Gnirck, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, tryb Group, another co-investor in this initiative, adds, “tryb Group acquires and operates financial technology infrastructure for ASEAN financial services, and we look forward to working with SGInnovate to nurture and develop fast-growth deep tech companies in Singapore.”

Also Read:

Fundamentals of Singapore in place to drive startup ecosystem growth: SGInnovate

Singapore: Taiger closes $5.8m Series A from Tembusu, SGInnovate

Singapore: Katrina Group JV; SGInnovate-SC Angels partnership

Deep tech a substantial venture opportunity: Steve Leonard, SGInnovate

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.