15 NOV 2016 – 05:50
A NEW US$100 million fund has been unveiled for Series A-stage startups in Singapore.
Managed by new venture-capital player Jubilee Capital Management, it will target startups in consumer tech, enterprise software, fintech and the Internet of Things. The Singapore-based fund, which will also target startups in South-east Asia, China, Israel and the US, will make investments over the next five years, with each investment to be valued at between US$500,000 and US$2.5 million.
Notably, the fund will be positioned as a bridge between Israel and Asia, where investor interest and startup activity have been rapidly growing, Jubilee’s three co-founders told The Business Times on Monday.
Gan Fong Jek, a Singaporean and a co-founder of Jubilee, said: “We see more and more Chinese investors going to Israel to scout for new tech to invest in, or to procure for the China market.”
At the same time, Israeli entrepreneurs have become more willing to switch their market interest from America to Asia, particularly China and South-east Asia, he added.
“Being headquartered in Singapore, we see an opportunity to position ourselves as a bridge between outbound Israeli tech startups that are interested to enter Asian markets. With our capital and connections, we can help our portfolio companies grow in many ways.”
Since August, Jubilee has invested in one company – PPzuche, a Singapore- and Beijing-based peer-to-peer car-sharing platform; it is finalising investments in two other fintech startups, one based in Singapore, and the other, in Australasia.
Jubilee’s other co-founders are Chinese entrepreneurs Stanley Zhang and George Gong. In 1995, Mr Zhang founded HiChina, which went on to become one of the largest Internet service providers in China before it was acquired by the Alibaba Group in 2013.
Asked whether the fund will feature Alibaba participation, Mr Zhang said: “There will be no direct company involvement. But we do have personal connections with Alibaba executives, and expect high interest from multiple candidates in becoming investors of Jubilee.”
Mr Gong, who co-founded Beyondsoft, an enterprise software service provider listed in the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, said Singapore is a good base for the business because it connects not just the east and west, but also developing and developed countries.
And Singapore is located in South-east Asia, a high-growth region with many opportunities for Chinese investors and for Chinese Internet companies to export their business models and technologies, such as live streaming and mobile payment.
Jubilee’s three co-founders, who are alumni of Tsinghua University, noted that the venture-capital industry is saturated in Singapore and possibly primed for disruption. Mr Zhang said: “I believe we still have the chance to find good companies. We have our strengths.”
Mr Gan said the forms of venture capital are evolving, what with deal syndication platforms, blockchain and equity crowdfunding. But he said that “no amount of online investing will replace the physical contact between venture capitalists and entrepreneurs”.
Mr Gong added that change will come to every industry. “But one thing that doesn’t change is that smart people will continue to make good decisions. You cannot just push a button on a computer and expect to make money.”
FUll article: http://www.sgsme.sg/news/jubilee-unveils-us100m-kitty-series-startups