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Press Release

SGInnovate Adds Five Partners to Panel of Co-Investors for Deep Tech Startups

Apr 26, 2019

Panel of Co-Investors - SGInnovate

Concludes new investment into Merkle Science, led by LuneX Ventures

26 April 2019, Singapore: SGInnovate today announced that it has appointed five additional co-investors under the Startup SG Equity scheme1. Together, they would identify and co-invest with SGInnovate in early-stage deep tech startups in fields like Artificial Intelligence and MedTech. These are areas that have been prioritised under Singapore’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2020 Plan.

The newly appointed partners are Elev8.VC, Golden Gate Ventures (together with their dedicated blockchain fund, LuneX Ventures), GREE Ventures, ST Engineering Ventures and Verge Capital Management. They were selected through a stringent process based on their investment track record, financial strength, management team capabilities as well as adequacy of facilities and resources (Refer to Appendix A for partner quotes).

Steve Leonard, Founding CEO, SGInnovate said, “These new co-investors bring with them core competencies that further strengthen our ability to assess and invest in exciting deep tech startups at the earliest stage. Coming from the private sector, they add breadth and depth to our capabilities in areas such as MedTech, and help us better pursue our mission to work with scientist-entrepreneurs to build and scale high potential, early-stage deep tech startups founded in Singapore.”

New investment concluded

A seed investment into Merkle Science, led by LuneX Ventures, is the first deal to be completed with a newly-appointed co-investor. Merkle Science works with law enforcement agencies and blockchain companies to provide a risk-monitoring solution to detect and prevent the illegal use of digital currencies. The company combines both off-chain and on-chain data for better analysis, and is one of the first players to apply fraud sciences to analyse blockchain data.

This funding round was also joined by Kenetic, Digital Currency Group and Entrepreneur First.

Mriganka Pattnaik, Co-Founder and CEO, Merkle Science said, “We believe that the co-investment by LuneX and SGInnovate would be synergistic for our growth and development, as we look to build Merkle Science as a global brand from Singapore. SGInnovate's support would be instrumental as we establish the company as a layer of trust between banks, regulators and blockchain companies.”

“With digital assets moving more into the mainstream, KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) compliance is becoming increasingly important. Merkle Science will make it easier for all players in the ecosystem to be regulatory compliant and prevent any fraudulent activity from happening. We believe the team at Merkle Science is uniquely positioned to build out a technically advanced solution while still being easy to use,” said Kenrick Drijkoningen, Managing Partner, LuneX Ventures.

1The Startup SG Equity scheme, part of the Startup SG initiative by Enterprise Singapore, aims to stimulate and accelerate private investment into innovative, Singapore-based technology startups with intellectual property and global market potential. SGInnovate and SEEDS Capital Pte Ltd were appointed to manage the funds under this scheme.

More than S$52 million collectively invested under Startup SG Equity

The five new partners join 17 other SGInnovate co-investors that were first announced in December 2017 (Refer to Appendix B for the full list of co-investors). Apart from the injection of capital, SGInnovate and its partners also provide strategic and management guidance to help early-stage deep tech startups grow their business and expand into new markets.

To date, SGInnovate and its partners have completed 22 co-investment deals. These companies are primarily working on deep tech innovations that have applications across a wide range of industries. In total, more than S$52 million has been collectively invested by SGInnovate and its partners under this scheme. The total value of investments that would be made alongside these co-investors is estimated to reach up to S$80 million by 2022.

Some of the completed deals include:

  • Portcast, which uses machine learning models and AI to generate actionable insights for the logistics and maritime industry. The startup has completed paid trials with large shipping companies and is in talks with them for larger-scale implementation. Trials are currently on-going with global freight forwarders and shipping ports.
  • Qritive, which provides an AI-powered solution to help doctors analyse both microscopy images and text from patient data. The company has received commercial interest from several major public hospitals in Singapore and is in early discussions with hospitals across the region for product deployment, in countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, India and Thailand.
  • See-mode, which empowers doctors to predict recurring strokes by providing physiological information through analysing routinely collected ultrasound, CT, or MRI images without needing additional imaging or changing the existing workflow. To date, it has completed two pilot tests with a large healthcare group and diagnostic imaging centre in Singapore for its ultrasound reporting software. See-mode has also set up a subsidiary office in Australia to facilitate a multi-centre clinical trial with four hospitals there.

These co-investments are in line with the Investment Capital pillar of the SGInnovate Deep Tech Nexus Strategy, which represents the organisation’s commitment to add tangible value to Singapore’s deep tech ecosystem. Since its inception in November 2016, SGInnovate has invested in more than 50 deep tech startups, through a mix of direct investments and co-investments under Startup SG Equity.


About SGInnovate

At SGInnovate, we believe that Singapore has all the resources and capabilities needed to tackle ‘hard problems' that matter to people around the world. As part of our Deep Tech Nexus Strategy, we are focused on adding tangible value to the Singapore deep tech startup ecosystem in two key areas – development of Human Capital and deployment of Investment Capital. With the support of our partners and co-investors, we back deeply technical founders through equity-based investments, access to talent, and support in building customer traction. Our efforts are prioritised around transformational technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and MedTech, which represent impactful and scalable answers to global challenges.

SGInnovate is a private-limited company wholly owned by the Singapore Government. For more information, please visit www.sginnovate.com.

Media contacts

Grace Chiang
[email protected] 

Sylvia Lim
IN.FOM (Partnering agency of SGInnovate
[email protected] 


PDF: Appendix - Co-Investors Quotes and Co-Investors under Startup SG Equity