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SGX, VC firm to launch equity crowdfunding platform for SMEs, entrepreneurs

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SINGAPORE Exchange (SGX) on Monday said it is partnering venture capital (VC) and incubation firm Clearbridge Accelerator (CBA) to develop an equity crowdfunding (ECF) platform for entrepreneurs and SMEs to raise capital.

SINGAPORE Exchange (SGX) on Monday said it is partnering venture capital (VC) and incubation firm Clearbridge Accelerator (CBA) to develop an equity crowdfunding (ECF) platform for entrepreneurs and SMEs to raise capital.

"The ECF platform is a new channel for growth-stage firms in Asia to raise Series A and B money - a funding crunch that is real and immediate - and for traditional investors to explore fresh business ideas and investment options," Mohamed Nasser Ismail, head of SME Developments and Listings at SGX, told BT.

The joint venture, said CBA managing partner Johnson Chen, signals the next step in CBA's role of supporting startups to help them raise the necessary capital to grow their companies. "CBA is built by entrepreneurs, and has since 2010 guided companies from inception to capital markets. Our medtech background notwithstanding, we support this all-inclusive, non-sector-specific platform."

For now, the platform will be open only to accredited investors: individuals with net personal assets of over S$2 million or annual incomes of above S$300,000, or corporations with net assets exceeding S$10 million.

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Meanwhile, other mechanics of the platform are still evolving. SGX and CBA are in the midst of identifying and forming a strategic equity partnership with an "experienced platform operator" and industry stakeholders to operate the new set-up. They will also partner other collaborators to create investor demand for the platform's capital offerings.

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