Technology

Co-working space launches $1m seed fund

Members of the investment team of the Hub Ventures Fund include (from left) Mr Michael Blakey, Ms Grace Sai, Ms Germaine Inez Tan and Ms Huang Shao-Ning. The Hub is the first co-working space here to launch such a fund.
Members of the investment team of the Hub Ventures Fund include (from left) Mr Michael Blakey, Ms Grace Sai, Ms Germaine Inez Tan and Ms Huang Shao-Ning. The Hub is the first co-working space here to launch such a fund.PHOTO: THE IMPACT HUB SINGAPORE

The money will be invested in early-stage start-ups, which will also get post-investment support

The Impact Hub Singapore - a pioneer in the co-working industry here - has started a fund with an initial value of $1 million to invest in early-stage start-ups.

The community and co-working space, more popularly known as The Hub, is the first co-working space here to launch such a fund.

Initial investors in the Hub Ventures Fund include family offices, high-net-worth individuals, as well as members of The Hub's community. The fund also counts a number of prominent venture capitalists among its advisers, including Monk's Hill Ventures managing director Ong Peng Tsin, Cocoon Capital managing partner Michael Blakey, NSI Ventures founding partner Hian Goh and KK Fund general partner Kuan Hsu.

Ms Grace Sai, the chief executive and co-founder of The Hub, said being part of a co-working community means the fund will be able to give start-ups closer post-investment support and monitoring than most venture capital funds or accelerator programmes.

The Hub has two co-working spaces, one at Cuppage Terrace in Orchard Road which opened last year, and the other in Prinsep Street.

"This is a main selling point to our investors - the belief that post-investment support could make or break an early-stage company," Ms Sai told The Straits Times. She added that entrepreneurs at The Hub have collectively raised $250 million over the past four years while working out of its premises.

"We imagined how much more of a valuable partner we could be if we could seed them and help them get follow-on funding."

Ms Sai said the fund also hopes to tap on The Hub's strong community. "Many entrepreneurs in The Hub's community have become successful and they want to seed the next generation of entrepreneurs," she noted.

"We believe in members who invest in other members, founders turned funders and also professional investors who believe in a founder-centric, post-investment support model.

"That's a true mark of a strong and vibrant community."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 10, 2017, with the headline 'Co-working space launches $1m seed fund'. Print Edition | Subscribe