How can startups find investors in Singapore? At one of these match-making initiatives

3 min read
10 Mar 2020

f you’re a startup seeking to plug into Singapore’s investment scene, then look no further. We’ve rounded up a list of startup-investor matchmaking initiatives in the island-nation with the help of economic trade agency Enterprise Singapore.

For many entrepreneurs, finding investment is a crucial step to getting their company off the ground. However, this isn’t always an easy process: in addition to creating a good pitch deck that will make you stand out from the crowd, you also have to spend time tracking down investors who will support your vision. 

Fortunately, entrepreneurs in Singapore can get plugged into Singapore’s investor scene via Enterprise Singapore. This global innovation network oversees investments into early-stage, deep tech startups in sectors such as advanced manufacturing, urban solutions and sustainability, and healthcare and biomedical sciences.

photo by chuttersnap

According to a recent report by Enterprise Singapore, which uses data from Pitchbook, AVCJ and Crunchbase, these sectors received S$416.4 million across 76 deals from a wide pool of investors, including Enterprise Singapore, in the period from January to September 2019 alone. This marked a 25 percent increase from the same period in 2018.

What’s more, a total amount of S$13.4 billion was invested in startups across 437 deals from January to September 2019 – a 36 percent increase from the same period the previous year. 

In addition to investing in startups, Enterprise Singapore has launched a number of matchmaking initiatives to make the process of finding investors quick and easy for startups in the island-nation. We take a detailed look at three of these below. 

Deal Fridays

If you attended SFF x SWITCH, a technology festival in Singapore launched by Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF) and Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnology (SWITCH), last year, you might just be familiar with Deal Fridays

This series of curated startup-investor matchmaking sessions are held every Friday from June to November, as a lead up to SFF x SWITCH 2020 and are jointly piloted by Enterprise Singapore and the Monetary Authority of Singapore. 

Their aim? To help startups meet investors based on their industry and profile and facilitate Q&A sessions and mentoring. 

SFFxSwitch 2019

In addition, Deal Fridays were complemented by larger-scale sessions called Deal Mixers to get participants across various industries together to broaden networks and strengthen knowledge transfer.

In 2019, Deal Fridays were a hit: 21 sessions were organized and were attended by over 400 startups and 185 investors. Not only that, but the sessions facilitated 250 follow-on conversations between startups and investors. 

Deal Fridays also provides a good mix of investor types, including angel investors, family offices, private equity firms and venture capitalist firms. 

For startups thinking of attending SSF x SWITCH this year, keep your eyes peeled for the first Deal Friday sessions kicking off in June.

Startup SG

Launched in 2017, Startup Singapore aims to create a buzzing startup community in Singapore by helping entrepreneurs and ecosystem partners easily discover and access support.

An initiative of Enterprise Singapore, Startup SG is bolstered by a network of 100 industry partners, government agencies, and experts with sector-specific experience.

It offers a host of schemes and programs that provide mentorship, funding and networking for entrepreneurs at every stage of their startup journey – such as the Startup SG founder program that provides capital support and business guidance for first-time entrepreneurs and Startup SG Tech which funds deep tech startups.

In 2018, Startup SG programs supported the growth of over 1,000 startups across industries such as health, urban solutions, fintech and digital services and was at the forefront of helping Singaporean startups earn their place on the global startup stage.

SFFxSwitch 2019 - Startup SG Network

Startup SG Network

For startups and investors seeking to link up with key players in the local ecosystem, Startup SG Network is a one-stop platform that can help with that.

Since launching in September 2018, this virtual platform has connected over 3,000 startups, 200 multipliers across 30 sectors in agrifood tech, medtech and urban solutions.

Looking to expand your network? Try using the platform’s recommendation tool. Through machine learning, Startup SG’s recommendation engine considers who you think would be best to connect with and then matches you to potential business partners.

This platform is also a great way to seek funding opportunities: simply make yourself a profile, upload your pitch presentation and deal make with global investment firms via the platform.

Main photo: Aditya Chinchure