EDBI, Seeds Capital launches $205m fund for Singapore startups


Singapore government-linked EDBI and Seeds Capital announced a S$285 million (US$205 million) fund to support startups in the city-state and help them sustain their growth amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

With the Special Situation Fund for Startups (SSFS), EDBI and Seeds Capital will invest in selected startups with private sector co-investors on a one-to-one basis, according to a statement.

EDBI is the corporate investment arm of Singapore’s Economic Development Board, while Seeds Capital is Enterprise Singapore’s funding unit.

According to the announcement, the SSFS will support early- to late-stage companies that could contribute to the city-state’s national priorities. EDBI will focus on late-stage startups with larger funding needs and bigger teams, while Seeds Capital will focus on early-stage startups.

To be eligible for the special funding, a startup must be incorporated as a private limited company with headquarters and key value-added activities in Singapore. It should also possess strategic capabilities such as technology and innovation competencies or sustainable competitive advantages, according to the statement.

In addition, a startup should have substantial innovative or intellectual property content developed or owned in-house and a commercially viable business model. It must be able to articulate its scalability in its target customer segments and globally. A startup should also have a capable management team and strong corporate governance.

“We look forward to working with partner funds to support technology startups so they can continue to execute their growth plans [and] build strategic capabilities in Singapore, continue with their innovation activities and expansion plans to capture new market opportunities,” Swee Yeok Chu, CEO and president of EDBI, said.

The scheme was first announced by Deputy Prime Minister Swee Keat Heng in the budget speech last month. It will end once the funds are fully committed or by October 31, 2021, whichever is earlier.

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