Over the last decade, Singapore has moved up the global ladder to become one of South East Asia’s hotbeds for new business incorporations. The country has been crowned as a tech mecca and startup paradise, even outshining global tech and startup hub Silicon Valley.
Some of the biggest reasons why the country attracts entrepreneurs from all corners of the world thanks to its tax incentives, government subsidies, innovative policies, and ease of doing business. In fact, for more than 10 years, Singapore has been ranking in the top 3 spots among 190 countries in a survey by the World Bank for its business-friendly environment. Besides these factors, incorporating a new business or startup in Singapore hugely benefits from its thriving tech community, an expanding pool of individuals with investable wealth and a boom in government and private sources of funding.
According to Enterprise Singapore, there are more than 150 Venture Capital firms present nationwide and the number of angel investors is on steady rise, while the rate of venture funding has increased by more than 10 times over the past six years to S$14.3 billion in 2018.
The focus of this blog post is to shine the spotlight on some of the best and most active venture capital firms and angel investors in Singapore to look for fundraising if you’re wanting to start a new business or startup in the country. But before we dive in, let’s address one of the most common questions that often arises on the subject of venture funding.
Venture Capital Firms vs. Angel Investors in Singapore: What is the Difference?
If you have always wondered “how Venture Capital are firms different from Angel Investors,” read on, else you can hop over to the next section where we talk about the top Angel Investors and Venture Capital firms in Singapore.
Some of the key differences between the two are —
- Angel investors are typically high-net worth individuals, while Venture Capitalists (VCs) are professional firms dealing with fund management.
- An angel investor, being a person rather than an enterprise, usually invests small amounts whereas VC firms have much deeper pockets.
- The dollars in the VC ecosystem comes from large corporations and institutions. This includes pension funds, college endowments, grants and donations of hospitals and charitable foundations, insurance companies, and so on. Angel investors put in their own money.
- Angels, most commonly, invest at very early stages of business formation and take on a fair bit of risk (considering the startup is promising and shows high growth potential), while VCs prefer to fund more developed companies or get involved at a later stage when there is proven track record attached to a startup.
- Angel investors mostly offer financial assistance (often for a significant share in the company), however, the role of VCs goes beyond that to help build successful and profitable companies.
Now that the differences between VCs and Angel investors are out of the way, let’s look at which are the best ones in Singapore.
Top Venture Capital Firms in Singapore
B Capital Group
Launched by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin (who has himself invested in early-stage startups such as Qwiki and Jumio) in 2014, this US$144 million venture fund firm zooms in on India, Southeast Asia and the United States with a special focus on companies that are driving technological breakthroughs. Besides Singapore, they also have offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Powering more than 150 tech startups in the region, it has been ranked as the most active venture firms globally in terms of deal count and exits. The company invests in the range of US$ 50,000 to US$ 300,000 and backs founders who are either based in or have an eye on the Southeast Asian market. They are headquartered in Silicon Valley.
Golden Gate Ventures
With 30+ investments across more than 7 countries under their belt, this VC firm operates in Singapore and San Francisco. Their focus is on investments in digital entertainment, consumer internet, e-commerce, crowdsourcing, and social media.
EDBI is a Singapore-based global investor with exceptional international reach. They fund high growth technology sectors including information & communication technology, emerging technology, healthcare, and various knowledge and innovation-intensive sectors.
This venture capital firm invests $500,000 to S$1 million in early-stage companies, while its parent company, Jungle Ventures focuses on Series A and B startups.
With a history of over 4 decades and a star-studded portfolio that includes names like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Larry Page, Brian Chesky, among others, this venture capital and private equity firm covers a wide arc with financial, healthcare, energy, mobile and internet startups. Along with investing, the company is also known for its growth accelerating incubation programmes.
Top Angel Investors in Singapore
He is the founding partner of the aforementioned Golden Gate Ventures and an active Business Angel who is a well-known figure in Southeast Asia’s startup scene.
Koh Boon Hwee
This Singapore-based businessman and investor with primary focus on automotive, consumer tech, business software, and media services has had two extremely distinguished exits in the form of Pie, a popular web based application in Singapore, and CombineSell, Singapore’s #1 e-commerce solution provider.
The co-founder of Zopim, a Live Chat software company and ex-VP and GM of messaging at Zendesk, a leading cloud-based customer service platform, Tay is an active angel investor and a prominent startup mentor in the Asia Pacific region.
He is the senior VP of the Omnicom Group, Inc, a global leader in marketing communications, and an active investor with investments in hugely successful startups such as AirBnB.
So those were some of the leading Venture Capitalists firms and Angel Investors for entrepreneurs in Singapore who are looking to raise funds for their ventures.
If you want to grab the opportunities that Singapore’s bustling business scene offers, we can help you get started and set up through our company incorporation services.