The Singapore Exchange (SGX) announced today that it will support the development of early-stage equity capital-raising platform CapBridge, through a S$1.5 million grant to Clearbridge Accelrator Pte Ltd over three years.
This follows a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by SGX and Clearbridge Accelerator in January this year to develop the equity crowdfunding platform targeted at for early-stage small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
CapBridge is expected to be operational by the second half of 2015, the statement from SGX said.
SGX head of SME development & listing Mohamed Nasser Ismail said: “There is a vibrant and sizeable start-up community in Singapore but challenges remain for them to secure financing especially in their early stages of development.
“SGX is well placed to support initiatives to improve access to equity for such enterprises as part of our efforts to provide efficient, cost-effective and sustainable access to capital for SMEs at every stage of their growth.”
SGX and CBA are also in discussions with several financial institutions as collaborators to develop demand by both enterprises and investors for the platform, the statement added.
In January, SGX signed the MOU with Clearbridge Accelerator, which proposed to form a joint venture (JV) company, aiming to address financing gaps SMEs and entrepreneurs face by providing transparency and more efficient access to the investing community.
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Clearbridge is one of Singapore’s leading venture capital and incubation firms specialising in early-stage investments.
The proposed JV will identify and form a strategic equity partnership with an experienced platform operator and industry stakeholders such as financial institutions to operate the new capital-raising platform, Clearbridge Accelerator’s statement from January noted.
It will also identify other partners and collaborators to create investor demand for the capital offerings on the platform. Enterprise development agency SPRING Singapore will play a supporting role in the formation of the JV, as part of its ongoing efforts to make the financing environment more conducive to SMEs and entrepreneurs.