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Finance

Singapore bourse to launch equity crowdfunding platform

SINGAPORE -- Singapore Exchange plans to launch an online capital-raising platform for Asian entrepreneurs and small to midsize enterprises (SMEs).

     The bourse announced on Monday that it will form a joint venture with Clearbridge Accelerator, a Singapore-based venture capital and incubation firm. The joint venture will create a platform that will serve as a matchmaker between investors and small companies.

     The platform will focus on equity investments. Unlike other crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter, which can be used by individuals as well as companies, SGX's platform will likely allow only accredited investors and companies that meet certain criteria to join. Those who are experienced in startup investments and mentoring young companies will be on the platform to assist entrepreneurs in expanding their businesses.

     Traditionally, company owners search for potential investors through networking. SGX's new platform aims to create a faster and more efficient financing platform to match company owners with investors. "The fundraising platform ... aims to address financing gaps that SMEs and entrepreneurs face by providing transparency and more efficient access among investing community," said SGX in a statement.

     SGX's new venture is in line with the bourse's strategy to attract more investors and firms from Southeast Asia and beyond and to strengthen Singapore's position as a regional hub for investment activities. "We are excited about this opportunity ... to help companies access capital more easily and become a pan-Asian platform to support equity crowdfunding," said Mohamed Nasser Ismail, head of SME development & listings at SGX.

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