TRIVE Ventures, a Singapore-based early-stage VC firm investing in data-driven tech startups in Southeast Asia, announced today it has partnered with an undisclosed family foundation to co-launch a US$2 million venture philanthropy fund.
Termed ‘Tenacious Founders Venture Philanthropy Fund‘, it aims to seek out Singapore-based entrepreneurs who have shown “tenacity” in running their businesses but are struggling to build a successful business due to a shortage of financial resources.
The fund will issue financial support of up to S$100,000 (US$75,000) to each successful applicant, in the form of a redeemable SAFE (simple agreement for future equity) note. It seeks to support up to 10 founders in the next 12 months, with plans to support more should demand increase.
As per a press note, TRIVE will not take equity in the business. Rather, recipients of the fund are encouraged to repay the sum upon being financially positive, with returned funds used to fund the next successful applicant. Recipients also do not need to guarantee the SAFE Note.
The VC firm is looking for founders with “proof of passion, tenacity and integrity” with plans to scale a profitable business. Applicants are required to nominate a known credible person in the business or startup ecosystem who can vouch for the above values. Besides, startups have to be based in Singapore with at least 2 years of operations.
“Through our past incubator, we understand tenacity is what drives an entrepreneur to success. The fund aims to be the short-term bridge for these founders who are tenacious and have a ‘never-say-die’ attitude. We hope to support such local entrepreneurs to succeed and for them to create a positive economic impact for Singapore,” said Christopher Quek, Managing Partner of TRIVE.
Launched in 2015, TRIVE has invested in 18 startups thus far. Among its notable investees are Agrimax, a Singaporean agritech startup focusing on increasing farm productivity; Park N Parcel, a Singapore-based logistics firm; and Coderschool, a Vietnam-based coding education company.