25 tech start-ups raise $216m with support from EDBI, Seeds Capital

SINGAPORE – A total of 25 promising technology start-ups have benefited from fund-raising support from the Economic Development Board (EDB) and Enterprise Singapore’s (ESG) venture arms.

EDB’s EDBI and ESG’s Seeds Capital have jointly facilitated and supported some $216 million in fund raising to date through the Special Situation Fund for Start-ups, they announced on Wednesday (July 28).

More than half of the total funds raised came from private investors.

The scheme was introduced in June last year to drive investments into high-potential start-ups to help sustain their growth as they may be facing cash flow or fund-raising difficulties in a challenging financing climate due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 25 start-ups are in the e-commerce, edtech, fintech and healthcare sectors, and collectively employ more than 1,200 people in roles related to software engineering, product development and data science, EDB and ESG said.

Biotech firm ImmunoScape and payment platform CardUp are among the start-ups that have received investment, which is expected to boost their market expansion and product development plans over the next three years.

Under the scheme, EDBI and Seeds Capital and private-sector investors can co-invest in selected start-ups with innovative and strategic capabilities that can contribute to Singapore’s national priorities.

The $285 million funding scheme was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat in his Budget speech in May last year.

Private investors that have co-invested through the scheme include sovereign wealth funds and global venture capital firms.

Ms Chu Swee Yeok, chief executive and president of EDBI, said that the co-investments have provided timely support during the pandemic, enabling high-growth home-grown firms to continue building key tech and innovation capabilities, while advancing their regional market expansion efforts.

Mr Ted Tan, Seeds Capital chairman and deputy chief executive of ESG, said the strong participation of co-investors attests to the vibrancy and resilience of Singapore’s start-up ecosystem amid the pandemic.

“Many of the founders we met are ambitious to grow and scale globally. We hope that our support can provide them the added boost to accelerate their development,” he added.

Funding support under the scheme will end when the funds are fully committed or by Oct 31 this year, whichever is earlier.

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