Singaporean Venture Capital Firm Infocomm Investments Extends its US$200 million Fund to European Tech Startups

Infocomm Investments seeks to co-invest in high growth, innovation-driven technology startups with plans to expand into the huge and growing Asian markets

London’s Tech City chosen as hub for UK and European activities as fund provides the bridge for Singapore-based and London-based tech startups to access each other’s markets

Infocomm Investments makes its first investment in Europe into the leading FinTech accelerator, Startupbootcamp FinTech

Singaporean venture capital firm Infocomm Investments celebrates its launch in London, extending its US$200 million fund to European tech startups. At a launch event held at Central London’s Southbank Centre, assembling more than 100 invited guests, including investors, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and members of the London and Singapore technology community, the Chairman of Infocomm Investments and Executive Deputy Chairman of Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, Steve Leonard, announced the fund’s first investment in Europe into the leading FinTech accelerator, Startupbootcamp FinTech

Steve Leonard said: “There are many Smart Cities around the world, but Singapore is building itself into a Smart Nation.  This means we want to use exciting new technologies to better serve citizens of all ages and companies of all sizes.  London is a cool city with lots of hot startups. We know that by being in London, we can both learn from – and contribute to – the ecosystems in both places.”

“Because Singapore is a strong startup hub in Asia, we want to bring our great startups to London.  Singapore and London are natural partners, and we see London as our gateway into Europe, and we want London to see Singapore as the best gateway to the booming Asian markets,” he concluded.

Infocomm Investments’ strategic investment into Startupbootcamp FinTech will give it the opportunity to land its successful FinTech London accelerator programme in Singapore. With a global pool of over 750 mentors who provide value through coaching and unique connections to customers, partners and investors, Startupbootcamp FinTech will play an integral role in building a strong pipeline of highly innovative and scalable FinTech startups in Singapore – the leading financial hub of Southeast Asia. Infocomm Investments will also offer Asian market-centric mentoring for London-based tech startups under Startupbootcamp FinTech’s extensive portfolio.  The partnership signifies the pivotal role that Infocomm Investments plays in the bridging of Singapore and London’s technology ecosystems. 

Carsten Kølbek, Co-Founder of Startupbootcamp FinTech, said: “We are very honoured to be the first investment of Infocomm Investments in Europe. We value the unique Asian market expertise that Infocomm Investments brings to our FinTech London programme. There is a clear upward trend in the quality and innovation level of FinTech startups across Asia over the past year, in tandem with the growing global demand for new financial services innovation. We look forward to riding this wave and bringing our success in building great Fintech startups to Asia.”

Active in supporting global tech startups in their expansion to the huge and growing markets in Asia for the past 15 years, Infocomm Investments offers to Europe’s technology sector a strong knowledge of the opportunities in the Asian market and direct connections to a wide network of investors, venture capitalists, entrepreneurial talents and potential partners across the private and public sectors in Singapore and Asia.

With its new presence in London, the firm is looking to partner with accelerators to grow its network within the UK and Europe, and to co-invest with other leading venture capitalists in high growth, innovation-driven tech startups. Plugging right in the centre of the London ecosystem will allow the firm to listen, learn and understand the needs of the London technology community and help provide access for London-based tech startups to Asia through Singapore.

Infocomm Investments’ European operations will be led by Zach Tan, Director, London Office. With strong background in tech entrepreneurship and investments and a good flavour of the European market, Zach’s role will be to work with partners like Startupbootcamp FinTech and London’s wider investor and technology community to identify collaboration opportunities and businesses viable for growth in Singapore and Asia.

Zach Tan, Director, London Office, said: “I am excited about this opportunity to   bridge the tech building community and entrepreneurs in London and Singapore with the knowledge, capabilities and connections to access each other’s markets. Our partnership with Startupbootcamp FinTech is the first step of the journey, and I look forward to working closely with all stakeholders in the London ecosystem to build startups that are able to scale in both Europe and Asia.”

Singapore is building itself as a Smart Nation, powered by the use of data and analytics and supported by a vibrant tech ecosystem with a strong pool of globally competitive tech talents and highly connected tech infrastructure.  This vision will support the growth of an innovation-driven tech ecosystem across Singapore and provide great opportunities for tech startups to build businesses that solve local and global challenges, ranging from urban density to healthcare to public safety and city planning.

About Infocomm Investments

Managing more than US$200 million, Infocomm Investments builds and invests in startup companies in Singapore and globally. We accelerate the development of these young companies in their formative phase, and invest further as they move towards growth and expansion. Partnering leading startup accelerators globally, we scale up accelerator programmes in Singapore to build a strong pipeline of high quality startups ready to go for global expansion. Our interests: Technology, Software, Internet and everything in between.

About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore

The mission of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is to develop information technology and telecommunications within Singapore with a view to serve citizens of all ages and companies of all sizes. IDA does this by actively supporting the growth of innovative technology companies and start-ups in Singapore, working with leading global IT companies as well as developing excellent information technology and telecommunications infrastructure, policies and capabilities for Singapore. For more news and information, visit www.ida.gov.sg.

About Startupbootcamp FinTech

Launched in 2014, Startupbootcamp FinTech is Europe’s leading FinTech accelerator, and the only programme of its kind to attract such wide industry support. Based in London, its partners include Lloyds Banking Group, MasterCard, Rabobank, SBT Venture Capital, arvato Financial Services, Route 66 Ventures and Intesa Sanpaolo, as well as an extensive mentor and alumni network from more than 30 countries across the globe. The award-winning accelerator offers FinTech startups access to world class industry expertise during an intensive three month programme. At the end of the programme, startups pitch at Demo Day to more than 150 investors.

Other Startupbootcamp programmes are currently active in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, Eindhoven, Israel, Istanbul and London with other cities and vertical programs to be announced soon.

Key Facts

Infocomm Investments is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, and is headquartered in Singapore, with presence in Silicon Valley and now in London.

Infocomm Investments is led by Dr Alex Lin, with teams looking after Investments, Accelerator programmes, Technology & Talent, Marketing & Outreach, and a shared co-working space at Singapore’s Launchpad @ One-North.

Investment decisions are supported by a 5-strong non-executive investment committee. The board comprises of senior executives and advisors drawn from leading technology businesses across Singapore.

Infocomm Investments current portfolio includes DataXu, Gengo, Just Commodity, Mobilewalla, Quid, Reebonz and Twilio.

Southeast Asia is the consumer market of the future. The 10 ‘ASEAN’ territories combined comprise an economic area comparable in size to the world’s seventh largest economy, between the UK and Brazil.  With US$2.4 trillion GDP, high rates of growth, low debt-to-GDP ratios, low inflation and 67 million ‘consuming’ households, Southeast Asia is a huge, diverse and booming economic market for European businesses. European businesses planning to hub in Singapore for global expansion has access to more than 600 million people in Southeast Asia within 3-4 hours’ flight radius, and more than 4.2 billion people in Asia Pacific within 6-7 hours’ flight radius.

Singapore is known for its stable, trusted, pro-business environment, top financial hub status in Southeast Asia and strong magnet for best global talents. It enjoys strong economic ties with the UK. Singapore is the fifth biggest investment destination for UK businesses, while Singapore invests more in the UK than anywhere else in the world outside the US.

A vibrant domestic startup ecosystem with high levels of financial capital (US$24 billion VC funding pool, Source: Asian Venture Capital Journal) and investment, Singapore has a growing track record of tech success stories. Recent high profile Singaporean exits include video streaming platform Viki (Rakuten, US$200 million) and mobile gaming studio, Nonstop Games (King, US$84 million). About 40 per cent of all startup acquisitions in the Southeast Asian region happen in Singapore (Source: Singapore Venture Capital Association). Singaporean businesses attracted a total of US$1.7 billion of total VC tech investments in 2013 (Source: Asian Venture Capital Journal).