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NRF awards S$40m venture capital funds to CapitaLand, DeClout, Wilmar, YCH

THE National Research Foundation (NRF) of Singapore has committed S$40 million in venture capital funds to four large local enterprises (LLEs), in a first-of-its-kind partnership with industry players under its Early Stage Venture Fund scheme.

The new money, S$10 million to each LLE, will be invested on a matching basis by NRF and the LLE in innovative Singapore-based technology startups.

NRF said this will encourage LLEs to engage in corporate venturing to identify innovative technologies and business models. Startups, in return, will have opportunities to scale up by leveraging the LLE's networks, customer base, resources and mentorship.

The four LLEs and their focus areas are:

1. CapitaLand Limited; startups with innovations in design and construction, operations and maintenance, smart living etc.

2. DeClout Limited; startups in big data analytics, smart logistics, cybersecurity and financial technology.

3. Wilmar International; startups with technologies in food safety, industrial biotechnology etc.

4. YCH Group; startups in 3D printing, logistics, robotics etc.

NRF made the announcement on Tuesday at InnovFest unBound, a two-day conference that brings together startups, investors, technologies and corporations.