Singapore, Friday, 5 June 2020
EDBI, the corporate investment arm of Economic Development Board, and SEEDS Capital, the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore, will administer the S$285 million Special Situation Fund for Startups (SSFS) to provide financing support for promising startups based in Singapore. Under this scheme, EDBI and SEEDS Capital will invest in selected startups with private sector co-investors on a 1:1 basis. The scheme, announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat in the Fortitude Budget speech on 26 May 2020, will provide time-limited funding support to help high-potential startups sustain their growth momentum despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The scheme will end when the funds are fully committed or by 31 October 2021, whichever is earlier.
The SSFS will support early- to late-stage innovative startups with strategic capabilities that can contribute to Singapore’s national priorities. EDBI will focus on late-stage startups with larger funding needs and wider employment base while SEEDS Capital will focus on early-stage startups.
EDBI and SEEDS Capital will assess startups on a case-by-case basis. The startups should be incorporated as a Private Limited company with headquarters and key value-added activities in Singapore and possess strategic capabilities such as technology and innovation competencies and/or sustainable competitive advantages. In addition, the startups should have the following key business attributes:
a. Substantial innovative and/or intellectual property content developed or owned in-house;
b. Able to demonstrate a commercially-viable business model from its products and/or services;
c. Able to articulate clearly its value proposition and potential for scalability in their target customer segment(s) and across international markets;
d. Have a committed and capable management team with relevant experience and business acumen skills (e.g. business, industry, technical capability) for the sector they are in, and are receptive to guidance from investors; and
e. Able to demonstrate strong corporate governance.
Ms Chu Swee Yeok, CEO and President of EDBI said, “In this difficult financing climate, even startups that were doing well pre-COVID-19 can have cash flow difficulties, with many facing financing challenges given the more cautious funding approach that most VCs and PEs are adopting. SSFS will allow Singapore to build on the momentum of our thriving start up innovation ecosystem. We look forward to working with partner funds to support technology startups so that they can continue to execute on their growth plans to build strategic capabilities in Singapore, continue with their innovation activities and expansion plans to capture new market opportunities.”
Mr Ted Tan, Chairman of SEEDS Capital and Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Singapore said, ““The SSFS was developed to support promising startups who needed to continue their business development and fund raising in these difficult times. While we do this, we want to ensure that the funds are directed at viable startups. Involving private sector co-investors will double the deployable capital, and ensure that only startups with strong growth potential are supported. Collectively, the SSFS will enable these companies to continue their early product development and innovations to build a strong foundation for growth.”
a. Business plan setting out the startup’s technology and innovation competencies and/or sustainable competitive advantages
b. Latest financial statements and cashflow projections for the next 24 months
c. Preliminary company information including name, date of incorporation, list of directors, management team and shareholding details.
d. Information on manpower showing the breakdown of Singaporeans / permanent residents and foreign talent employed by the startup, and manpower plans for the next 24 months. e. Details of current interest from potential co-investor(s), if available.