Angel investors in
Angel investors are private investors who typically
not only invest capital but also contribute their business expertise/skills in
early-stage businesses in exchange for a significant share in the company. They
can be individuals, or be part of an angel network that engage in investing in
businesses with high growth potential and in the industries that they are
familiar with. That said, there are some business angels playing active roles
in the business while others act as sleeping partners. Angel investors are
typically wealthy High Net Worth Individuals or successful businessmen with an
appetite for startup companies with higher risk (but that are promising enough
to yield higher returns). Therefore your startup should have a high growth
potential, in order to win the favour of business angels.
Venture capitalists in
Moving on to the venture capitalists, these are
typically professional investors who have a more hands-on role in your business
if they were to invest in your company, and they typically do so with the
vested interests of their own clients’ profitability.
Venture capitalists offer not only funding but also
advice on increasing your business profitability, and possibly in operational
matters as well, especially if your business requires input from different
areas of expertise in the team.
Popular startups for venture capital funds are those
in high growth potential sectors such as IT, biotechnology and nanotechnology
with a competitive edge in the market and longevity of profiteering. Startups
whose business involve scientific breakthroughs, Intellectual Property creation
and other similar large-scale impact businesses are often favoured by these
The venture capital industry in Singapore is
relatively new and small compared to the US and Europe. Nevertheless, there are
actually more than 100 venture capital firms in Singapore ranging from
independent limited partnership venture capital firms to corporate-backed
venture capital firms.
If you intend to start a company in Singapore and need
startup funding, read on for our list of the top 22 Venture Capitalist (VC)
firms and angel investors in Singapore.
1) B Capital Group
One prominent angel investor in Singapore is
Facebook’s co-founder Eduardo Saverin, and his venture capitalist firm B
Capital Group which he launched in 2014 with a $144 million venture fund
focused on India, South-east Asia and the US.
B Capital Group backs the next generation of
ground-breaking technology companies and has offices in Los Angeles, San
Francisco, and Singapore. It has partnered with the Boston Consulting Group,
and its incubation arm BCG Digital Ventures.
2) Golden Gate Ventures
With founding partners in Singapore and San Francisco,
this is an early-stage VC firm in Southeast Asia bridging Silicon Valley and
Asia through investment, experience, and relationship building, and has over 30
investments across seven countries.
One of the founding partners of the firm is Jeffrey
Paine who invests in consumer internet, social media, digital entertainment,
e-commerce and crowd-sourcing. Some of his latest investments are Aptoide,
Xfers and MyMusicTaste.
Another founder partner Vinnie Lauria who was based in
Silicon Valley before moving to Singapore has invested in Coda Payments,
Nitrous and Lenddo.
3) Jungle Ventures
A VC firm partners regional consumer internet category
leaders in retail, financial services, travel and hospitality, healthcare and
several other sectors. It aims to tap into ASEAN’s high-growth cities and their
rapid growth in online consumer behaviour in terms of online media, social
networks, mobile apps and aspirational consumption habits.
The firm, under its Managing Partner and founder of
Sony Entertainment Television Jayesh Parekh, has invested in 500 Startups,
PubNub, and Artiman Ventures.
Another founding partner Amit Anand has invested in
DocDoc, eBus, iMoney and Fastacash.
4) 500 Startups
500 Startups is a global venture capital seed fund
with a network of startup programs head-quartered in Silicon Valley with over
US$350 million committed capital across four main funds and 13 micro funds. It
has invested in +1,700 technology startups all over the world since its
inception in 2010 including Twilio, Credit Karma, Grab, Udemy, Talkdesk,
Intercom, and MakerBot.
The firm’s Managing Partner in Southeast Asia is
Khailee Ng, a notable angel investor in Singapore. Another of its partner in
Vietnam is Eddie Thai who has been listed in Forbes Vietnam’s 30 under 30.
5) Singtel Innov8
Singtel Innov8 is a US$250 million corporate venture
capital fund with its own set of decision-making, approval and funding
processes and owns presences in Singapore, Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv and
other markets. The fund focuses its investments on technologies and solutions
that lead to quantum changes in network capabilities, next-generation devices,
digital content services and enablers to enhance customer experience. It works
closely with the ecosystem of leading innovators, developers, government
agencies, R&D and capital providers to bring cutting-edge technologies and
solutions to the various markets the Singtel Group operates in.
6) Sequoia Capital
In aggregate, Sequoia-backed companies account for
more than 20 percent of NASDAQ’s total value. In the last 45 years, Sequoia has
worked with Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, John Morgridge, Jerry Yang, Elon Musk,
Larry Page, Jan Koum, Brian Chesky, Drew Houston, Adi Tatarko and Jack Dorsey,
among many others.
7) Monk’s Hill Ventures
Monk’s Hill Ventures is a partnership of seasoned
entrepreneurs who have built and backed global companies based both in Silicon
Valley and Asia. It’s a VC firm investing in post-seed stage tech startups that
will take advantage of the fast growing South-east Asian markets.
The firm’s co-founder Kuo-Yi Lim, hasinterests in
enterprise software, mobile consumer internet, and Big Data; and has invested
in DataXu, Gengo, Kalibrr and Reebonz.
Quest Ventures, based in China and Singapore, is a
leading venture fund for companies that have scalability, and are replicable in
large internet communities.
This is an international VC firm, headed by Slava
Solodkiy and established in 2012 in Singapore. It has already invested in more
than 20 FinTech companies around the world through its two funds Life.SREDA I
(US$40M) and Life.SREDA II Asia (US$100M).
10) Wavemaker Partners
As part of the Draper Venture Network, which has 10
funds across four continents, this VC firm can help startups gain access to
global insights and scale.
Paul Santos who is the Managing Partner at the firm has made investments in
Ardent Capital, Luxola, and TradeGecko.
11) Crystal Horse Investments
Crystal Horse Investments was founded in Singapore and
is the official fund manager of Angel’s Gate, Asia’s first reality TV series
with a focus on business and entrepreneurship. It invests in companies in
Singapore and Malaysia where it thinks there is value in the long-term and also
where it can add value to the company.
12) Coent Venture Partners
COENT provides seed and venture-stage funding to
entrepreneurs and companies across all sectors in Asia, as well as support in
management, overseas business development and exposure to business networks.
13) East Ventures
East Ventures has offices in Jakarta, Tokyo, and San
Francisco, and has invested in over 150 companies across Asia and the US. Its
portfolio of companies focuses on commerce, social, game, SAAS, and mobile
The firm’s co-founder and Managing Partner is Willson
Cuaca, who is also the CEO of Apps Foundry. His investments include Tech in
Asia, Waygo, RedMart and Megafash.
14) Gobi Partners
Founded in 2002, Gobi Partners head-quartered in
Shanghai has an investment focus on early-stage, digital media, IT and TMT
companies. The firm has raised seven funds to date, and has invested in over
100 portfolio companies across China, Hong Kong and ASEAN over the past decade.
The firm’s founding partner Thomas Tsao participated
in the development of several leading companies such as Brite Semiconductor,
Camera360, CiB, CSDN, Line0, Madhouse, World Traveller and Yoyi Digital—often
serving on the company’s board of directors.
15) Spiral Ventures
Head-quartered in Singapore, this VC firm invests
typically in Seed to Series A companies, especially B2C and C2C platform
business in South-east Asia. Its parent company is IMJ Corporation, which is
the biggest digital agency in Japan.
16) Incubate Fund
Since the establishment of the Incubate Fund in 2010,
it has invested US$170million in seed startup businesses, including more than
120 companies through its related fund in the last five years.
17) Innosight Ventures
It is a Singapore-based early-stage venture investment
firm, investing in high-potential South-east Asian ventures. Aided by the
Innosight Consulting Team, it claims to have developed a proprietary
methodology that enables it to spot, shape and scale successful startup
The firm’s partner Piyush Chaplot, has invested in
MyVR, Anchanto, Chope and LuxeNomad.
18) KK Fund
This fund invests in seed stage internet and mobile
startups across South East Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Its founder and general
partner Koichi Saito, was previously a director at IMJ Investment Partners and
was responsible for investments in iMoney, Bukalapak, and Zipmatch.
19) Rakuten Ventures
This fund is part of the Rakuten Group, one of the
world’s leading internet service companies. Rakuten has built and invested in
innovative internet businesses in e-commerce, financial services, digital
content and advertising since 1997. The company is head-quartered in Tokyo.
The firm is headed by its Managing Partner Saemin Ahn,
who invests in diverse verticals such as advertising technology and artificial
intelligence. His investments include Carousell, Pocketmath and Algorithmia.
20) Tri5 Ventures
Based in Singapore, this focuses primarily on angel to
seed-stage investment in technology startups across South-east Asia. It
specialises in deep technologies, AI and data science tech startups in the
fields of Fintech, Energy Tech, Education Tech and Marketplaces. It has
supported 38 startups with US$5.3m in seed funding.
Tri5’s Managing Partner Christopher Quek is also the
director and incubator of Angels Gate Advisory (AGA), a community pro-bono
advisory service which supports entrepreneurs in grants and advisory.
21) UOB Venture Management
UOB Venture Management Private Limited is a wholly
owned subsidiary of United Overseas Bank (UOB) Limited, one of Asia’s leading
international banking and financial groups. Operational since 1992, the fund
has provided financing to more than 100 privately-held companies through direct
equity investment, mainly in Southeast Asia and Greater China.
DreamLabs is a $50 million fund established to invest
in disruptive, scalable, people-focused companies in the areas of Cleantech,
Fintech, eCommerce, Healthcare and Energy. Besides capital, the fund also
provides mentorship, networking and physical infrastructure at their incubator
in Singapore’s CBD.
23) Rikvin Capital
Apart from the above, entrepreneurs and companies can also access services of Rikvin Capital, which is Singapore’s alternative private funding specialists. In 2018, they funded various projects to accredited investors and corporates who needed short-term funding for investments against their secured assets. This is a non-traditional source of funding and is suitable for those that are affected by Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) or have no track record with financial institutes.
Business Angel Network
There are also networks for you to refer to in seeking
a business angel investor(s). An example is the Business Angel Network
Southeast Asia (BANSEA) that matches startups in the seed stage of enterprise
formation with business angels. BANSEA invests in companies that offer
exceptional opportunities for high returns on investment, which usually
involves early-stage ventures with a high growth potential, either in a
developing market (especially in emerging markets) or in an existing market
with international expansion capabilities, and that is sustainable in the
Private funds in
Finally, there is the option of private funds such as
banks, financial institutions, and investment companies. These sources of
funding are very rarely involved in an active role in managing the business.
This gives you the autonomy of conducting your own affairs in the manner you
deem best, as their main purpose is to receive an attractive return (usually in
the form of high interest from 7-12 percent) on their investment.
Thus, businesses that are already established, have a
good credit track record, are already generating revenue in high amounts, and
have a high growth potential would benefit from such sources.
In Singapore, however, there are micro loan programmes instituted by the Singapore government under the auspices of Spring Singapore and IE Singapore that facilitate your taking of small loans from participating financial institutions like UOB, OCBC, DBS, Standard Chartered Bank.
by Rikvin, subsidiary company of In.Corp Group, Singapore’s leading corporate solutions company with presences in multiple countries and thousands of clients around the world.