EDBI and SEEDS Capital facilitate and support fundraising of over S$200 million by 25 technology startups through the Special Situation Fund for Startups
Singapore, Wednesday, 28 July 2021
1. EDBI, the dedicated investment arm of Economic Development Board, and SEEDS Capital, the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore, have jointly facilitated and supported fundraising of S$216 million by 25 promising technology startups based in Singapore to date, through the Special Situation Fund for Startups (SSFS). Over half of the total funds raised came from private investors. The SSFS investment scheme was introduced in June last year to catalyse investments into high-potential startups to help them sustain their growth momentum, as startups doing well pre-COVID-19 may face cash flow or fundraising difficulties in a more challenging financing climate.
2. The 25 startups span sectors such as e-commerce, edtech, enterprise technology, fintech, healthcare and tourism, and account for over 1,200 jobs. These include roles related to software engineering, product development and data science. The investments are expected to boost market expansion and product development plans for these startups over the next three years.
3. Under this scheme, EDBI and SEEDS Capital may co-invest with private sector investors into selected startups. Partnering such co-investors helps to provide sufficient investment into these early to late-stage technology startups with innovative and strategic capabilities that can contribute to Singapore’s national priorities. Private investors that co-invested with EDBI and SEEDS Capital in the SSFS include global and regional venture capital firms, sovereign wealth funds and other institutional investors.
4. Ms Chu Swee Yeok, CEO and President of EDBI said, “The SSFS co-investments have provided timely support during the pandemic, enabling these high-growth homegrown companies to continue building key technology and innovation capabilities and advancing their regional market expansion efforts.”
5. Said Mr Ted Tan, Chairman of SEEDS Capital and Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Singapore, “I am very happy to see the strong participation of our co-investors in the SSFS, which attests to the vibrancy and resilience of Singapore’s startup ecosystem amid the pandemic. The startups we have invested in offer advanced technology and digital solutions in areas such as robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI), which are being applied across different sectors to resolve complex challenges. Many of the founders we met are ambitious to grow and scale globally. We hope that our support can provide them the added boost to accelerate their development.”
6. Some examples of the startups EDBI invested into include:
a. TAIGER, a company that provides enterprises with AI tools to automate complex cognitive tasks in end-to-end operations, has helped global banks and financial institutions, as well as various government agencies in Singapore accelerate digital transformation and maximise ROI. The investment from EDBI and other private investors including MS&AD Ventures will help it drive continued technology innovation and further market
expansion in Asia, Europe and Latin America.
b. ImmunoScape, a biotech company with an immunomics-based technology platform that provides novel insights into the human immune system to better understand immunotherapy safety and efficacy, and to identify drug targets. Its Deep Immunomics platform has been utilised across multiple therapeutic areas, especially in oncology and infectious diseases. The investment from EDBI and existing investors Anzu Partners and University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners (UTEC) will enable it to enlarge its Singapore-based team, further market expansion and continue advancing the capabilities of its Deep Immunomics platform.
7. Some examples of the startups SEEDS Capital invested into
a. impress.ai, which specialises in enterprise recruitment solutions that combines industrial organisational psychology and AI algorithms to localise and automate hiring processes. Its AI-powered chatbots can process applications at greater scale and efficiency, as well as reduce unconscious human bias by evaluating candidates via a series of objective assessments. With interviews and screening processes moving online in light of COVID-19, impress.ai is enabling workplace digitalisation, allowing enterprises to recruit and engage talent while working remotely. SEEDS Capital co-invested with Summit 29K, targeting to help the company expand into new markets such as Australia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, accelerate product development, increase marketing outreach and attract more expert talents to join the company.
b. CardUp, a payment platform that brings both payments and collections into one easy-to-use digital platform, helping business owners to improve processes such as cash flow management and unlocking of rewards on existing credit cards through automation. During the pandemic, CardUp helped businesses better manage cash flow and enabled them to set up digital payment collections from their customers. SEEDS Capital partnered with Sequoia India and Transcend Capital to invest into Cardup. The company plans to use the proceeds to strengthen its product development pipeline, grow its team, and scale up in newer markets such as Hong Kong and Malaysia.
8. The SSFS support will end when the funds are fully committed or by 31 October 2021, whichever is earlier. Interested early-stage startups can apply for the funding via [email protected] while late-stage startups can apply via [email protected]. Please provide more details of your company according to the list below:
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.
About EDBI Investing since 1991, EDBI is a Singapore-based global investor in select high growth technology sectors ranging from Information & Communication Technology (ICT), Emerging Technology (ET), Healthcare (HC) and promising Singapore SMEs in strategic industries. As a value-creating investor, EDBI assists companies achieve their ambitious goals by leveraging our broad network, resources and expertise. With our growth capital, EDBI supports companies seeking to grow in Asia and globally through Singapore.
About SEEDS Capital As the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore, SEEDS Capital catalyses smart investments into innovative Singapore-based early-stage startups with strong intellectual content and global market potential. We adopt a co-investment model, working hand in hand with institutional investors from around the world. Leveraging our collective expertise and networks, we help startups commercialise, realise their business development plans and expand globally. We focus our investments into emerging and strategic sectors aligned with national priorities, including Manufacturing, Trade & Connectivity, Human Health & Potential, Urban Solutions & Sustainability, and Smart Nation & Digital Economy.