National Research Foundation awards $40m to 4 large local firms to invest in tech start-ups

SINGAPORE - For the first time, the National Research Foundation's (NRF) Early Stage Venture Fund will be awarded to large local companies to invest in Singapore-based tech start-ups.

The four local companies are: CapitaLand Limited, DeClout Limited, Wilmar International Limited and YCH Group Pte Ltd.

The previous two instalments of the fund, which were awarded in 2008 and 2014, were given only to venture capital firms such as Golden Gate Ventures and Monk's Hill Ventures.

The value of the fund remains the same - up to $10 million per company, on a matching basis.

The announcement was made on Tuesday (May 17) by Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister-In-Charge of the Smart Nation initiative, at the launch of InnovFest unBound 2016, a week-long conference organised by the Infocomm Development Authority to look at the future impact of technology.

Professor Low Teck Seng, CEO of the NRF, said: "NRF is committed to helping Singapore enterprises nurture their research and development capabilities, deepen their innovative efforts through technology adoption and development, and meet our national needs."