Equity crowdfunding platform raises $1.74m

Singapore-based start-up FundedHere has raised $1.74 million seed capital, two weeks after starting operations as the Republic's first equity crowdfunding and crowdlending platform.

The proceeds from three high-net-worth individuals based in Singapore, China and Switzerland will be used to strengthen the management of FundedHere, step up marketing and build a pool of accredited investors.

FundedHere intends to reach out to start-ups in Singapore, China, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

FundedHere commenced operations after the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) granted it a Capital Markets Services licence, which permits dealing in securities. Its application was approved last month.

The three investors comprise a major shareholder of a Singapore mainboard-listed company investing in his personal capacity; an entrepreneur with business interests in China investing through her Singapore-based family office, AsiaWorld Assets; and a Swiss intellectual property specialist.

Investors registered with FundedHere can invest from as low as $5,000 each. The platform lists start-ups seeking seed funding or short-term borrowing.

FundedHere has reviewed more than 100 start-ups, mostly from Singapore, and has short-listed about 10 which have potential to be crowdfunded.

FundedHere chief executive Michael Tee said: "We will now move rapidly to strengthen our team and our marketing efforts so as to build up our base of investors. We intend to reach out to start-ups locally and in the region to use a Singapore-based platform to spur innovation."

Under MAS guidelines, only accredited investors - investors with at least $2 million in net personal assets, excluding their primary residence, or $300,000 in annual income - are allowed to participate in equity crowdfunding in Singapore.

Corporate accredited investors are required to have at least $10 million in net assets.

FundedHere targets to register at least 1,000 accredited investors and secure more than $5 million in funding for between 20 and 25 start-ups by the end of this year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 11, 2016, with the headline 'Equity crowdfunding platform raises $1.74m'. Subscribe