Singapore government VC fund to invest in Israel

The fund, with $150 million under management, will collaborate with Rosario Capital.

A Singapore investment firm is looking for investments in Israel. Rosario Capital recently proposed investments in Israeli high-tech companies looking to break into Asia Pacific markets, particularly Singapore, to several Singaporean investment entities. Rosario's model, as described by Uzi Breier, who manages technology investment, includes joint investment by government and private entities from Singapore, alongside investment by Israeli funds, institutions, and government bodies, led by Rosario. He says investment will focus on companies at the beginning of the sales stage in areas such as software, algorithm processing, Big Data, security, and biotechnology.

One of the Singapore funds participating in this model is Spring Seeds Capital pte Ltd. (Start-up Enterprise Development Scheme) project, a government investment body. The fund focuses on start-ups and manages some $150 million. According to Breier, it in talks with several Israeli companies. "The primary motivation of Spring Capital and other Singaporean funds is not necessarily the return on capital, but rather the contribution to Singapore's economy," he says. "Their investment will be conditional on part of the company's activity being transferred to Singapore. But they have no desire to control the company."

Spring Capital already knows Israel. In the past decade a large number of investment entities in Singapore have been exposed to Israeli high-tech. There, they understand the need to bring in high capabilities in technological development from outside. Most of the activity of the Singapore investors has been carried out via investment in local venture capital funds, such as Vertex. In some cases, Singapore funds, such as Infocomm Investments, tried direct investment in Israeli companies.

The attraction that Israeli high-tech holds for Singapore is not new. The two countries have similar demographic profiles, with populations of a few million each and economies with high dependence on technology companies. The high-tech industry in Singapore has a large electronic components and memory products production segment. Despite the potential for cooperation between the two countries, the only substantial deal has been the acquisition of Amobee by Singtel in March this year for $320 million. Breier: "Acquisitions by Singapore companies are not all that rare, but the value is not in the exit but rather in the investment itself or the access to the Singapore market."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on December 26, 2012

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012

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