Tech in Asia reported that Merkle Science has raised S$1.1 million in a seed funding round to build its technology and expand its sales team across Asia. Merkle Science’s tool analyses blockchain data for law enforcement agencies and blockchain companies to detect illegal use of cryptocurrencies. LuneX ventures, the blockchain-focused arm of VC firm Golden Gate Ventures, and SGInnovate led the funding round. Cryptocurrency trading firms Digital Currency Group and Kenetic Capital, along with Entrepreneur First, also participated in the round.
The Business Times Online reported that Singapore-based Adtech startup Pencil has raised S$1.5 million through a seed round led by early-stage VC firm Wavemaker Partners, together with SGInnovate and Entrepreneur First. The funds will be used to expand engineering and customer teams, grow proprietary datasets and extend patent-pending technology. The funding came as Pencil launched its first enterprise product, Studio, which relies on AI to help generate personalised advertising content at scale. The goal is to use machine learning and experimentation to create effective targeted ad content without being overly invasive.
The Business Times Online reported that Singapore’s National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (Namic) will work with an international network to identify parts suited to additive manufacturing (AM), also known as industrial 3D printing, in sectors such as medical, transportation and logistics, construction equipment, aviation, automotive, and shipping. Under an MoU with Berlin-based Mobility goes Additive (MgA), signed at the seventh Namic Summit in Singapore, the collaboration will facilitate tie-ups between AM players on both sides, including companies, institutions and research institutes. The week-long summit included talks and workshops, as well as Namic’s first startup innovation forum, where winning startups will receive expert guidance and mentorship, as well as grants and funding. The startup innovation forum is organised in partnership with ESG and SGInnovate, supported by NTUitive and the NRF.
The Business Times reported on the announcement from SGInnovate's appointment of five additional co-investors under the Startup SG Equity scheme. This scheme, part of the Startup SG initiative by Enterprise Singapore, aims to accelerate private investment into innovative, Singapore-based tech startups with intellectual property and global market potential. The newly appointed partners are ST Engineering Ventures, Elev8.VC, Golden Gate Ventures (together with its blockchain fund, LuneX Ventures), GREE Ventures and Verge Capital Management. Curated through a stringent process based on their investment track record, financial strength, management team capabilities, as well as adequacy of facilities and resources, they will co-invest with SGInnovate in early-stage deep tech startups in fields such as AI and MedTech, as well as providing strategic and management guidance to help early-stage deep tech startups grow their business and expand into new markets. These five new partners join 17 other SGInnovate co-investors that were first announced in December 2017. To date, SGInnovate and its partners have completed 22 co-investment deals, and collectively invested more than S$52 million under the scheme. A seed investment into Merkle Science, led by LuneX Ventures, was one of these deals, and the first to be completed with a newly-appointed co-investor.
The Straits Times Online reported that the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is investing $650,000 in seed funding for tech startups to develop innovative solutions to address key maritime challenges in Singapore. 13 out of the 17 tech startups from the Smart Port Challenge 2018 will each receive $50,000 in seed funding from MPA, as their solutions were close to reaching the market. The money will be used to support prototype development, test-bed solutions and further develop the prototype after gathering feedback from the industry. Separately, 12 startups were also given the opportunity to pitch their solutions to VCs at the inaugural Mixer and Pitch Session, held as part of the Singapore Maritime Technology Conference 2019. VCs which attended the session included EV Growth, SGInnovate and TNB Ventures.
Tech in Asia reported that Singapore-based AI and predictive analytics provider AIDA Technologies announced that it has raised an undisclosed sum in a Series A round from Mastercard, Kuok Ventures and SGInnovate. The investment will support AIDA’s deepening penetration into existing markets and expansion into North Asia, especially Hong Kong and Japan. Last June, SGInnovate had also made an undisclosed investment in AIDA Technologies.