Venture capital firm iGlobe Partners is raising a new US$200 million ($274.9 million) fund to back deep technology startups, betting that firms delving into cutting-edge science will fare well despite a global technology investment drought.
The Singapore-based firm, which is led by a team of mostly women, is targeting a fifth fund to add to its existing US$400 million-plus under management.
“I started out investing in semiconductor companies,” Founding Managing Partner Koh Soo Boon said in an interview on the sidelines of the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore. “Our strategy is all about intellectual property and knowledge, how to use the IP to build commercial revenue. I’m still sticking to it.”
Koh founded her firm in Silicon Valley in 1999 before relocating it to Singapore in 2009 to focus on cross-border investments between the US and Southeast Asia. Over the past two decades, her strategy has remained mostly constant: investing in startups with deep scientific backgrounds in fields such as synthetic biology, health tech, fintech and tools that aid digital transformation in smart cities.
Koh built her firm along with a cadre of female executives including managing partner Chong Yoke Sin, a former president of the Singapore Computer Society who helped integrate and automate Singapore’s public healthcare system.
Four of the firm’s portfolio companies went public in the US last year. They are Ginkgo Bioworks Holdings Inc., NerdWallet Inc., Hippo Holdings Inc. and Matterport Inc.