SPRING Singapore, a government agency that provides assistance to local small and medium-sized enterprises, is seeking co-investment partners for its newly launched US$72.8 million venture capital fund.
SPRING’s investment arm, Spring Seeds Capital, said in a statement today that the funds will be committed to investments in so-called “deep tech” startups. The agency defines such businesses as being built around proprietary technologies which require significant developmental and commercialization efforts – such as product design, prototyping, product testing, and clinical trials, among others – before they are ready for market.
Spring Seeds Capital will co-invest at a ratio favorable to partners of 7:3 for the first US$364,000 invested in a “deep tech” startup, and at a ratio of 1:1 thereafter up to a cap of close to US$2.9 million.
The agency defines such businesses as being built around proprietary technologies which require significant developmental and commercialization efforts
The amount set aside by Spring Seeds Capital will be matched by private capital raised by co-investment partners. The fund comes under the government’s Startup SG Equity initiative, which aims to encourage private sector co-investment in Singapore-based startups in return for equity.
The statement offers more specific criteria for eligible “deep tech” startups, such as building products around “unique, differentiated, often protected or hard to reproduce technological or scientific advances,” having high barriers to entry, and requiring a typical commercialization period of more than three years.
The fund will target investments in three industry sectors: advanced manufacturing and engineering, health and biomedical sciences, and urban solutions and sustainability.
This follows up on a similar scheme launched by Spring Seeds Capital in May last year, in which it partnered with a group of seven incubators and investors to assist emerging “deep tech” startups.
Spring Seeds Capital’s call for partners is open from July 18 to August 25 to both local and foreign entities that have a business presence in Singapore. In addition to funding, these co-investors will be expected to provide other forms of support to investee startups under the Spring program, such as mentoring and access to their business networks.
Converted from Singapore dollars. US$1 = S$1.37.
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