Spring Singapore's investment arm sets up $100m fund to co-invest in deep tech start-ups

SINGAPORE - Government agency Spring Singapore's investment arm will set aside up to $100 million to match private capital from co-investment partners for technology-based start-ups in three key sectors.

Spring Seeds Capital is committing the fund to groom Singapore-based deep tech start-ups working in the fields of advanced manufacturing and engineering, health and biomedical sciences and urban solutions and sustainability.

"Deep technology" refers to business models built critically around proprietary technology, research or hardware, often with high barriers to entry, high cost of bringing to market or a longer commercialisation period, thanks to the demands of design, prototyping or trials.

Spring Seeds Capital will sink up to $4 million in each deep tech start-up, at a 7:3 ratio for the first $500,000 and on a 1:1 basis thereafter.

This is twice as much as the investment cap of $2 million for general tech start-ups.

The three sectors of interest were chosen for their high growth potential as well as economic and social impact, Spring said.

Co-investment partners will be expected to help early-stage start-ups through the commercialisation process, especially by providing them with mentorship and putting them in touch with potential clients.

The call for partners is open from July 18 to Aug 25.

Spring is holding briefings for interested parties on July 19 and 21.