Singapore venture capital fund Infocomm is setting up shop in the capital, bringing its $200m (£124m) fund to startups in London and the rest of Europe for the first time.
The move was spurred by the momentum in the capital's tech sector and the new outpost makes permanent an 18 month “commuter relationship” with the city, Infocomm chairman Steve Leonard told City A.M.
Tech firms in the capital have already attracted $1bn of investment this year, and Infocomm joins new funds from Google Ventures, Santander and Balderton Capital which launched in the city in 2014.
Infocomm will make its $200m evergreen investment fund available to European startups in the capital for the first time expanding its existing presence in Asia and the US.
The VC fund is looking to back startups across the region, typically co-investing $1m-$5m with other VC firms, with the potential of up to $10m depending on the startup.
Fintech accelerator Startupbootcamp is Infocomm's first investment in London as it seeks to connect financial startups in London and Singapore.
Leonard said the economic link between the two cities as the major financial hubs for each region offered significant opportunities in the Fintech sector.
Initial investments for the fund will be focused on partnering with accelerators in London and Europe to build a network between startups in Europe and Asia, with London and Singapore the major entry points into each region.
The fund will also look to startups, addressing shared “big challenges” facing the two cities, such as urban density, healthcare, energy and public safety, said Leonard.
For London and European startups, Leonard said the new fund would offer those seeking to enter the potentially huge Asian market access to its high growth and young demographics in addition to funding.
“London doesn’t need the money. The main value we can bring is access to high-value growth change markets, in addition to money. We’re not looking for the next Snapchat, but for investments with shared goals that are mutually beneficial,” said Leonard.
“London is a cool city with lots of hot startups. We know that by being in London, we can both learn from – and contribute to – the ecosystems in both places. Because Singapore is a strong startup hub in Asia, we want to bring our great startups to London. Singapore and London are natural partners, and we see London as our gateway into Europe, and we want London to see Singapore as the best gateway to the booming Asian markets.”
Infocomm is the investment arm of IDA, the Singapore government's tech development authority. Zach Tan, director of the firm’s new London office, added: “I am excited about this opportunity to bridge the tech building community and entrepreneurs in London and Singapore with the knowledge, capabilities and connections to access each other’s markets.”