Miss Cheryl Chan Wei Ling: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) what is the investment mandate for EDBi; (b) what has been the number of investments made to date; (c) at what stages are these investments currently in; and (d) what is the value that the portfolio companies have contributed to Singapore.
Miss Cheryl Chan Wei Ling: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) apart from EDB and ESG forming their own investment funds, whether there are any other statutory boards that have plans to launch their own venture capital offshoots; and (b) what is the rationale for launching the funds if there are plans to do so.
Written Answer by Minister for Trade & Industry Mr Chan Chun Sing
1. The Ministry of Trade and Industry aims to build a vibrant economy in Singapore, with globally competitive companies and exciting jobs. To do this, the Government employs a variety of tools including venture capital-type investment funds. Each fund supports different economic objectives and invests in companies at different stages of their development.
2. Enterprise Singapore (ESG) administers the Startup SG Equity scheme, through which the government co-invests with third party investors in Singapore-based, tech startups. The funds are managed by SEEDS Capital, the investment arm of ESG, and SGInnovate, a private organisation wholly-owned by the government.
3. The National Research Foundation (NRF) administers the Early Stage Venture Fund (ESVF) that seeds funds with selected venture capital firms to invest in Singapore-based early-stage technology startups, as well as startups whose business models are underpinned by intellectual property generated from publicly-funded research.
4. EDBI invests mainly in globally competitive startups and high-growth small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which have the potential to compete globally and through Singapore, participate in our economic transformation or deepen our capabilities. EDBI’s portfolio comprises about a hundred investments, the majority of which are in the growth stage.
5. Many of these companies eventually established their regional headquarters, R&D operations, innovation labs and other operations. These activities in turn create good jobs, strengthen our capabilities, develop our industries and grow our economy.
6. There are currently no plans to set up new venture capital-type investment funds. Nonetheless, the government will continue to monitor our evolving industry landscape, investment opportunities, and assess if there is a need to do more.