Social Enterprise Champion Elim Chew Joins SG Venture Capital Company

7 Oct 2020, by SEED Ventures

Prolific social entrepreneur, Elim Chew, has joined SEED Ventures (“SV”) as Venture Partner.  Her involvement in the SG-based venture capital company will hone its efforts to groom seed-stage startups in Singapore and the Southeast Asia region.

Do Good, Do More
The founder of SG's iconic street-fashion brand “77th Street” and Chairman of Kingdom Food Group, Elim believes in betting on change-makers.  Since 2003, she has launched multiple initiatives to teach them life skills, develop creativity and above all, cultivate entrepreneurial instinct.  Because Entrepreneurship equates livelihood.

Naturally, the next step is to partner with a professional setup to do things in a scalable, economically viable and sustainable way. 

Trust in the Team
As to why she agreed to accept Chief Executive Officer Ian Gan’s invitation to join SV, Elim boiled her decision down to two things.  Firstly, the shared vision of helping Students, Startups and Society (“Triple-S”).  Secondly, the chemistry and familiarity with the SV team.

“Elim has the heart and spends time.  She has attended every one of SV’s weekly pitching event 'Ask-a-VC Clinic' as VIP judge since it launched in March 2020". 

“We are certain her business experience and selfless personal goal to uplift the Triple-S will bring to the next level not only growth for SV's portfolio companies, but also attractive financial returns for investors.” said Ian.

Elim also personally invested into SV to become a shareholder. 


Do Good, Do More, Make Money
SV’s next fund of USD20,000,000/- is targeted at accredited and institutional investors.  It is expected to launch in mid 2021 with a mandate to invest into 100 startups, especially local startups that have already received validation from Institutes of Higher Learning (IHL) such as polytechnics and universities.

The targeted fund returns are 2X within 2 to 4 years.

About Elim Chew
Elim sits in over 20 committees and has chaired and co-chaired several public service, youth and community groups including the Programming Committee for *Scape, an iconic youth community space for free expressions supported by MCYS and National Youth Council of Singapore (NYC) and Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) of Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Amongst her long list of accolades, Elim is honoured as a Forbes Asia Hero of Philanthropy in 2010 and 2011.  She was bestowed the prestigious Singapore Public Service Medal (PBM), also in 2011.

About SEED VenturesTM
SV is a Singapore-based venture capital company licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). 

It bets on the Triple-S.  While it is sector-agnostic, it has a preference for service companies in the sectors of Professional Services and Edutech.  It is co-general partner to VDF1, a fund that offers interest-free loans to startups in exchange for equity.

For enquiries: 


VDF1 Invests Into Local Manicure Salons

23 Sept 2020, by SEED Ventures

Venture Debt Fund 1 (“VDF1”), a debt-based fund domiciled in Singapore, has invested into local manicure salons, FE the Nail Lounge Pte Ltd and FE Artistry Pte Ltd (“Companies”). 

The investment that values the Companies in the 7 digits was made in view of the latter’s stellar track records as well as expansion plans in the pipeline. 

Given the Covid19 pandemic climate, some may be skeptical about the timing of such an investment move to invest into brick-and-mortar businesses.  VDF1’s co-general partner, Ian Gan, is bullish about the prospects of the Companies in 2021 and beyond due to their established brand-name, loyal clientele around the Central Business District area and beaming financial track records that spanned 13 years. 


Co-general partner, Lynn Lin, took into consideration the salons’ resilience in riding through past crises, such as the Global Financial Crisis (“GFC”) in 2008/09 when most local companies were knee-capped when credit was tight. 

The Companies survived the GFC and eventually opened more branches over the next few years.  Group annual sales grew steadily and exceeded a million dollars every year from 2010, without resorting to bank loans.  While growth was impeded in the most part of early 2020, business remained viable and both the founders and investors are confident that business will turn a corner as soon as the crisis is over.

“This is the best time for investors to invest in businesses with sound fundamentals”, says Ian Gan.  Lynn Lin adds: “The Companies look forward to creating more jobs as they enter a growth phase in early 2021”.

The Future
The Companies have plans to garner more market share in 2021 and beyond.  There are also plans to expand product lines by way of providing mobile manicure services where customers can opt for home-manicure services for a fee top-up.  Test runs have been promising where it was found many customers, especially those working from home, are willing to pay more for services as it saves them traveling time to get to the physical outlets.  

Given the Companies’ established brand name and financial viability, franchising the business is another viable option.

About VDF1
VDF1 is a Singapore-based fund that offers interest-free loans to promising startups in exchange for equity.  Its General Partners are SEED Ventures and Reed Capital Partners.

For enquiries:

SEED Ventures  secures Capital Markets Services Licence to Provide Venture Capital Fund Management Services



10 Jan 2020, by SEED Ventures  

SEED Ventures     (“SV”), a venture capital ("VC") company headquartered in Singapore, is pleased to announce it has been granted a Capital Markets Services (“CMS”) licence by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”).

With the CMS licence, SV will be able to invest into startups on behalf of its investors via its Venture Capital Fund Management service.

The Team
Ian Gan, founder and Chief Executive Officer of SV, said: “This licence is a significant milestone for SV and further entrenches our role in Singapore as a leading seed-stage VC company.  We are delighted to be one of the few VCs to receive approval from the MAS, and we believe this attests to our track record working with startups, management expertise and strength of our business plans to back the region’s startup ecosystem.  The licence will enable us to expand our investor base by managing funds from accredited and institutional investors.

Nixon Ng, co-founder of SV, added: “Since 2013, SV has gotten involved with hundreds of startups and Small and Medium Enterprises (“SME”).  Accordingly, it is keenly aware of the challenges faced by them, such as garnering market-share and connecting to buyers. It is a lot more than just cutting them cheques.  Taking ownership in each investee and spending time with them is critical. The CMS license will enable us the resources to do even more for them”.

Ter Weizhi, Director of SV, sums it up:  The next few years ahead will be exciting as SV scales up its investment efforts.  Many more entrepreneurs will benefit with SV's involvement. We look forward to bringing them to the next level, and in doing so, generate extraordinary capital gains for our investors.

About SEED Ventures
SV is heavily involved in entrepreneurship activities in Statutory boards and Institutes of Higher Learning in Singapore such as National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore Management University (SMU) and Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).  It currently has representative offices in 4 regions outside Singapore: Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Bangkok (Thailand), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) and Manila (Philippines).


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