MEDIACORP'S startup incubator, Mediapreneur, has partnered FundedHere, an equity and lending-based crowdfunding platform, to facilitate the raising of seed funding for its media-related portfolio startups.
This is believed to be the first announced partnership in Singapore between an incubator and crowdfunding platform - under which Mediapreneur-supported startups will be listed on FundedHere, giving them a wider platform to attract capital.
A FundedHere spokesman told The Business Times: "Investors on FundedHere's platform will be able to access the most promising startups incubated by Mediapreneur, which in turn can access a pool of almost 1,000 accredited investors."
Already, one Mediapreneur startup has benefited from this new collaboration. Spotted!, which assimilates marketing and gamification to help advertisers better engage their target audience, has raised S$375,000 through FundedHere.
BT understands that the campaign was S$50,000 overfunded. Guillaume Sachet, Mediacorp's head of strategic planning, said that FundedHere "works well for seed-stage companies seeking capital before Series A".
Mediapreneur - which puts seed-stage media companies through a year-long incubation programme, and offers them seed funding and working space - will also be connecting FundedHere to other startups.
When asked if there is a seed funding gap in the market, the FundedHere spokeswoman said yes, citing a "valley of death" in funding of between S$100,000 and S$1 million.
"Startups fresh out of incubators and government grants (offering S$50,000 to S$250,000) often find it challenging to raise money from institutions and venture capitalists, which typically do not favour small investments under S$1 million."
While this is slowly changing as more venture capitalists and institutions seek to invest in smaller rounds, FundedHere believes that crowdfunding via accredited angel investors is "the more suitable method of funding seed-stage startups", she added.
Under the partnership with Mediapreneur, FundedHere can help startups raise money via equity or debt. The spokeswoman said however that equity crowdfunding may be more apt for seed-stage startups.
To facilitate that, FundedHere has inked partnerships with other incubators, such as those run by local universities, Muru-D, Red Dot Ventures and TiE Singapore. While not all startups in these incubators will be funded on the platform, FundedHere will "give them priority" and work closely with the incubators to support them.
Since April, FundedHere has raised some S$3.73 million across eight campaigns, and now has three additional campaigns engaged in fund-raising. Recently, it helped public-listed, electronic-waste management company MeTech International raise S$2 million for its listco bonds.
Notably, the idea of using crowdfunding to support a network of startups is not new in Singapore. Hardware accelerator HaxAsia helps its startups run campaigns on rewards crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.