sc-largeThe Singapore government’s National Research Foundation (NRF) will pump in S$60 million (around $48 million) into 6 early stage venture capital funds under its ESVF (Early Stage Venture Fund). The 6 funds that will receive this capital are Jungle Ventures, Golden Gate Ventures, SBI Ven Capital, Walden International, New Asia Investments and Monk’s Hill Ventures.

Under the ESVF scheme, the NRF will invest S$10 million ($7.9 million) on a 1:1 matching basis making it a total capital pool of S$120 million (around $96 million). The scheme specifically targets seed stage venture capital funds that invest in Singapore based early stage high-tech companies. As an incentive, the venture capital firms have the option to buy out NRF’s share of the fund within five years by returning NRF’s capital with interest.

The investment scope for the six funds selected in this round covers info-communication technologies, medical technologies, clean technologies and industrial applications. The NRF’s call for proposal in November last year received 32 proposals of which 18 were shortlisted. A final evaluation by an eight-member panel comprising public and private sector representatives appointed by NRF selected the final 6 proposals.

“With a growing pipeline of exciting new tech startups in Singapore, founders will require funding, experienced mentorship and strong networks to build companies that can compete in worldwide markets. We want to help build an investor community based in Singapore but with connections around the world,” Steve Leonard, executive deputy chairman of Infocomm Development, who chaired the panel, said in a statement.

The ESVF scheme was instituted in 2008. In its first round of investment, it seeded five venture capital funds with a total of S$50 million on a dollar-to-dollar basis to invest in early stage companies. The first batch of five funds approved as ESVF partners in 2008 were Bioveda Capital, Extream Ventures, New Asia Investments, Raffles Venture Partners and Walden International. To date, these five venture capital funds have collectively invested S$38 million in 24 startups across  various technology sectors.

Out of the six funds that have received capital in the current round, Jungle Ventures has been frequently seen in India-related deals. In February, it invested in Crayon Data, a Singapore based Big Data startup that has operations in Bangalore. It is an investor in P2P lender Milaap, which lends to bottom-of-pyramid consumers in India. Bangalore based ZipDial, a mobile marketing solutions company, raised a round from Jungle last April.

The original post was published here

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