Australian Financial Review published an article based on an interview with SGInnovate’s Founding CEO, Steve Leonard, who is in Australia this week meeting with Victorian state government officials and local Deep Tech startups, setting up networks down under to help support local scientists looking to commercialise research so they can do business with Singapore. While Steve doesn’t disclose the size of SGInnovate’s fund, the organisation has deployed AU$42 million in capital into about 65 investments since its launch, which has gone on to raise another AU$458 million. Because most of the companies SGInnovate backs are pre-revenue and usually don’t have a business plan, the team bases the investment decisions on the personalities and experience of the founders. “Talking far-edge, Deep Tech, it’s about as deep as you can get. We have no idea if it’s going to be successful or not, we can’t sit down and calculate the probabilities, but we believe in the founders… and if they’re right it will be something we’re sitting down chatting about in 10 years,” he said. Two Deep Tech startups with presence in the Australia market that SGInnovate has backed are computer vision company See-Mode, and non-chemical water purification company Hydroleap.
e27 reported that Singapore-based Blockchain infrastructure startup StakeWith.Us has announced a S$825,00 seed funding round led by SGInnovate and LuneX Ventures, Golden Gate Ventures’ dedicated fund for blockchain investments. The investment is the second lead investment that LuneX Ventures has concluded under the Startup SG Equity scheme. StakeWith.Us will be using the funds to scale its team across Asia and expand its offering. According to Pang Heng Soon, Head, Venture Building, SGInnovate, Proof-of-Stake protocols are likely to become a “dominant trend” in the Blockchain industry.
FinanceAsia published a feature piece on the rapid development of VC investment in Southeast Asia and India in the past four to five years. The growing ecosphere is also attracting more investors from within and outside the region. Southeast Asia and India are also benefitting from the current trade war between China and the US. Investors are seeking to protect their portfolio companies from being affected and opportunities outside China are looking more attractive, with Southeast Asia and India easily standing out due to their vibrant ecosystems. Tong Hsien-Hui, SGInnovate’s Head of Venture Investing notes that SEA and India companies are evolving, which is a change that is welcomed. While the high price for Chinese startups has deterred SGInnovate from investing in them, strong government support in SEA and India is attracting quality talents to set up companies in the region. He is also seeing more tech startups from Europe or the US increasingly moving to India and Singapore, due to India’s growing mobile population and Singapore’s value as an intellectual property centre, which forms an environment that benefits these tech startups.
AsiaOne published a press release from YellowBlocks’s announcement that it is hosting the first #Elite1010 Emerging Tech Cruise which will take place on July 19, 2019 on the Saigon Sensation Cruise. During the exclusive networking night, YellowBlocks will announce its list of 100 global partners, including SGInnovate and other global and local top names from the public sector, private sector, academic groups and tech startup community including European Blockchain Hub, Startup Vietnam Foundation, Viettel, Microsoft, Advantage Austria, Nhipcaudautu (The Business Review), Forbes, VnExpress, Topica, RMIT University, CIO Academy Asia, Saigon Innovation Hub and Schoolab.
The Billion Dollar Fund for Women (TBDF), a global consortium of venture funds tackling the gender funding gap, has reached its goal of mobilizing $1 billion in pledges, according to a statement.