DBS launches venture debt programme for tech start-ups to raise funds

DBS Bank has launched a programme to provide financing to technology start-ups and expand capital-raising options for technopreneurs. --- PHOTO: ST FILE
DBS Bank has launched a programme to provide financing to technology start-ups and expand capital-raising options for technopreneurs. --- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - DBS Bank has launched a programme to provide financing to technology start-ups and expand capital-raising options for technopreneurs.

Tech start-ups can tap the new DBS venture debt programme for working capital, buying fixed assets and even project financing.

To qualify, tech start-ups must be backed by DBS's partner venture capitalists, who include Vertex Venture, Monk's Hill Ventures and Golden Gate Ventures. They should have raised at least $1 million of Series A funding, been in operation for at least a year, been incorporated for at least two years and have demonstrated that their business model is commercially viable.

"Start-ups in Singapore primarily rely on venture capital to fund their operations," DBS said in a statement on Thursday.

"By offering a dedicated venture debt solution to tech start-ups which are at the growth stage of their business life cycles, DBS is making available an alternative source of capital for these firms to tap on, with little or no dilution to their equity."

Mr Samuel Lim, the chief executive of online retailer Reebonz, said: "We applaud this initiative as it provides a viable alternative for young firms like Reebonz to diversify our funding options. Using a combination of equity and debt capital, start-ups can optimise their capital structure and strengthen their balance sheet ahead of the next round of venture fund raising."

Last year, US$454 million worth of venture capital deals were done in Singapore and another US$918 million invested in the rest of Southeast Asia.