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SGInnovate adds 5 partners to panel of co-investors for deep tech startups

SGINNOVATE has appointed five additional co-investors under the Startup SG Equity scheme, the government-owned deep-tech development firm announced on Friday. 

The Startup SG Equity scheme, which is part of the Startup SG initiative by Enterprise Singapore, aims to accelerate private investment into innovative, Singapore-based tech startups with intellectual property and global market potential. 

The newly appointed partners are ST Engineering Ventures, Elev8.VC, Golden Gate Ventures (together with its blockchain fund, LuneX Ventures), GREE Ventures and Verge Capital Management.

These partners were selected through a stringent process based on their investment track record, financial strength, management team capabilities, as well as adequacy of facilities and resources, SGInnovate said. 

Together, they will co-invest with SGInnovate in early-stage deep tech startups in fields such as artificial intelligence and medtech, as these are areas prioritised under Singapore’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2020 Plan. 

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Steve Leonard, founding CEO of SGInnovate, noted: "These new co-investors bring with them core competencies that further strengthen our ability to assess and invest in exciting deep tech startups at the earliest stage.

"Coming from the private sector, they add breadth and depth to our capabilities in areas such as medtech, and help us better pursue our mission to work with scientist-entrepreneurs to build and scale high potential, early-stage deep tech startups founded in Singapore."

Aditya Mathur, managing director of Elev8.VC, said: "Singapore is a thriving ecosystem for technology as South-east Asia enters its second phase of building startups that use innovative engineering to solve big problems. As a B2B deep tech focused fund, Elev8.VC is thrilled to partner with SGInnovate to be part of this exciting phase of disruptive companies."

Added Low Ka Hoe, chief strategy officer of ST Engineering: "As the corporate venture capital unit of a global technology, defence and engineering group, ST Engineering Ventures is uniquely placed to offer start-ups access to our global business ecosystems, networks and distribution channels as well as tech expertise and resources.

"We believe there’s much untapped talent and potential in Singapore, and are delighted to partner SGInnovate to build and scale homegrown deep tech startups for the world."

Separately, SGInnovate on Friday also noted that a seed investment into Merkle Science, led by LuneX Ventures, is the first deal to be completed with a newly-appointed co-investor. The funding round was also joined by other investors including Kenetic, Digital Currency Group and Entrepreneur First.

Merkle Science works with law enforcement agencies and blockchain companies to provide a risk-monitoring solution to detect and prevent the illegal use of digital currencies. The company combines both off-chain and on-chain data for better analysis, and is one of the first players to apply fraud sciences to analyse blockchain data, SG Innovate said. 

Taken together, the five new partners join 17 other SGInnovate co-investors that were first announced in December 2017. Apart from the injection of capital, SGInnovate and its partners also provide strategic and management guidance to help early-stage deep tech startups grow their business and expand into new markets.

To date, SGInnovate and its partners have completed 22 co-investment deals, and collectively invested more than S$52 million under the scheme. 

SGInnovate estimates that the total value of investments that would be made alongside these co-investors could reach up to S$80 million by 2022.

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