SINGAPORE - Singapore Exchange (SGX) has joined hands with two firms as part of its drive to support and facilitate capital access for start-ups and early stage Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Two memorandums of understanding were inked separately with Crowdonomic Media and PwC's Venture Hub.
"As a market operator, we believe our established infrastructure and network can support and improve access to capital for early-stage companies," said Mohamed Nasser Ismail, SGX's head of equity capital market (SME) and capital market development. "Moving forward, we will continue to work with relevant like-minded stakeholders to facilitate better
access to expertise and growth capital for these early stage companies," he added.
Crowdo is a regional peer to peer lending and equity crowdfunding platform with operations in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. The platform is an online marketplace connecting pre-qualified SMEs issuing debt securities with Crowdo investor members who are seeking competitive interest rate return, the company said in a release.
It has obtained a full Securities Crowdfunding Licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, making it the first licensed P2P lending platform in Asean region.
As at end March 2017, Crowdo has financed a total of 2,000 projects.
PwC's Venture Hub is a unit within PwC that aims to provide a one-stop shop approach to providing solutions and services to motivated entrepreneurs, investors, corporate and accelerators within the venture ecosystem, helping them to accelerate their growth and expand into their key markets.
Areas of collaboration outlined by the MOU signed between SGX and Crowdo include raising awareness among the SMEs and the investing community about the various opportunities and channels available to raise capital in Singapore, information sharing to create efficient access to capital for SMEs, and mutually developing guidelines for the cross-referral of potential clients, SGX said in a release.
"This partnership creates a powerful combination of a regional early stage and pre-IPO financing platform via Crowdo, and a competitive public market solution via SGX. This is great for start-ups and SMEs who will benefit from broader financing options and a seamless financing journey," said Crowdo co-founder and chief executive Leo Shimada.
Areas of collaboration between SGX and PwC's Venture Hub will include jointly promoting Singapore as an attractive ecosystem for start-ups, fast growing innovative companies and the investing community; arranging regular dialogues to further develop thought leadership within the start-up community; and raising awareness about the various opportunities and channels to grow in the Asia Pacific region, using Singapore as a hub, the release added.
"Singapore is well positioned to become a global innovation hub, a belief that drove us to establish PwC's Venture Hub in Singapore," Mr Antony Eldridge, PwC Singapore's FinTech and financial services leader, said.
"Important collaborations such as this will go a long way to build up the necessary skills and capabilities in entrepreneurs, thus helping to accelerate the growth and expansion of Singapore's start-ups, both at home and across the region," he added.