Who Are The Most Active Angel Investors in Singapore’s Fintech Scene?by Fintech News Singapore January 17, 2024
Over the past decade, Southeast Asia has emerged as one of the fastest-growing markets and attracted numerous talented entrepreneurs. Despite this growth, innovative ventures and startup founders are facing challenges in accessing sufficient financial support. Angel investors in Singapore play a crucial role in addressing this challenge, providing essential resources including capital and expertise to early-stage ventures for the local scene
Southeast Asia has seen rapid growth in angel investing activity, driven by a surge in entrepreneurial activity, advancements in technology and the development of startup ecosystems. This growth has led to structured establishment of angel investment networks, contributing to more coordinated efforts in angel investing.
Angel networks consist of angel investors joining together to evaluate and invest in entrepreneurial companies. These investors pool their capital to make larger investments, reducing individual investor risks and supporting enterprises in scaling up. Some characteristics of angel networks include regular meetings to review business proposals, deciding collectively whether to invest or not, and working together to conduct due diligence to validate the plans, statements and history of the companies founding team.
As angel investing picks up steam in Southeast Asia, we look today at some of the most prominent angel networks in the region. For this list, we’ve focused on angel investing groups supporting the Singaporean fintech landscape, using data from Tech in Asia and companies’ announcements to shortlist some of the most prolific groups in Singapore and showcasing their participations in the local fintech scene.
XA Network, established in 2018 as part of the Google alumni network, is an investment network comprising senior executives from leading global and regional technology companies. XA Network’s mission is to provide smart capital to early-stage companies across Asia-Pacific (APAC).
XA Network invests in technology companies in the region while actively assisting them in areas such as business strategy, product development, and fundraising. The network consists of 100 tech leaders from prominent companies like Alibaba, Gojek, Grab, Google, Amazon, Netflix, and YouTube. These investors offer an array of skills and counsel to their portfolio companies from engineering advice and product management, to marketing and partnership building experience.
XA Network has invested in a wide variety of promising companies including Tigerhall, Sampingan, Neuron, and Infradigital. Since 2018, the network has made more than 70 investments, according to its website, including 18 fintech startups. Eight of these fintech startups are headquartered in Singapore. These include Bueno, a business-to-business (B2B) buy now, pay later (BNPL) provider for global and local trade; iPiD, an international payments platform; Bluejay Finance, a stablecoin startup; and Jenfi, a company that provides growth capital to digitally-enabled businesses.
Epic Angels is a prominent female-only angel investor network in APAC investing in early-stage startups based in the region with at least one woman on the executive team. The core mission of the network is to democratize angel investing by providing access to deals, lowering the barrier to enter, and building confidence through education and peers, as well as addressing gender disparities in the investment landscape.
Epic Angels comprises over 200 female executives and operators with extensive experience in building and expanding companies worldwide. The network focuses its investment efforts on early-stage startups across diverse verticals, participating in pre-seed, seed, and Series A rounds. Its investment commitment extends up to US$200,000 per company.
In addition to financial support, Epic Angels also actively supports startup teams with knowledge, mentorship, and access to a global network. The network also takes board seats, showcasing their commitment to being hands-on executors in fostering further growth and scaling for their investments. It prioritizes investing in individuals and founders who demonstrate resilience and agility over ego, focusing on those who refuse to give up in the face of challenges.
Epic Angels has built a portfolio of over 20 startups, including seven fintech companies. Among these, two are headquartered in Singapore: CrediLinq, a global tech infrastructure company offering plug-and-play embedded finance solutions to businesses; and Boost Capital, a platform that enables loans and financial services through smartphones.
Incorporated in 2018, AngelCentral is an angel investment network of angel investors comprising passionate and enthusiastic angel investors dedicated to funding and supporting high-quality startups in the region. The network offers comprehensive support throughout the angel investing journey, curating startup investment opportunities, conducting angel investing workshops, providing syndication services, and more.
AngelCentral is recognized for its role as one of the fastest-growing angel investment communities in the region. The network regularly organizes angel investment workshops, curated startup pitch sessions, and offers syndication services to enhance collaboration among investors.
Since its inception, AngelCentral has achieved significant milestones, including training over 500 angel investors, featuring more than 800 startups, and facilitating investments totaling over S$30 million by its members into startups.
AngelCentral has led a number of syndicates, participating in rounds going towards startups including Bizhare, a securities and equity crowdfunding platform for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and franchise businesses in Indonesia; and PropertyScout, a real-time transaction platform for renting, buying and selling properties in Thailand.
Business Angel Network of Southeast Asia
Established in 2001 by a group of Singapore-based angel investors, the Business Angel Network of Southeast Asia (BANSEA) is an angel investment network based in Singapore dedicated to supporting and enhancing the early-stage investment ecosystem in Southeast Asia.
BANSEA’s membership comprises individuals with extensive investment experience across various sectors and a proven track record in building successful companies. The organization provides information to potential investors about newly established businesses, and organizes ten to twelve events annually, providing members with opportunities to meet and listen to short pitches from startups that have been shortlisted by the screening committee.
BANSEA supports startups at the seed, pre-Series A and Series A stages, focusing on startups located in Southeast Asia and investing between S$100,000 and S$1 million for each round.
Since its inception, BANSEA has supported thousands of entrepreneurs and companies, and has evolved into a dynamic network with connections to angel groups in China, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, as well as close links to groups in Europe and the US.
The organization currently has 42 companies in its portfolio including fintech startups Xfers, a Singaporean-based payment processing gateway; Spiking, an online stock trading AI platform from Singapore; and Otonomos, a company that provides an online service that allows users to form, fund and govern their company on the blockchain.
Featured image credit: edited from Unsplash