[SINGAPORE] Golden Gate Ventures (GGV), an early-stage startup incubator with offices in Singapore and Silicon Valley, is looking to raise a $50 million venture capital (VC) fund for Singapore-based tech startups, a move that will address the Series A funding crunch here.

Vinnie Lauria, founding partner of GGV, broke the news to The Business Times yesterday, adding GGV has also applied to be a registered fund management company with the Monetary Authority of Singapore. If successful, GGV will be able to manage more funds and "issue larger cheque sizes to startups", while it continues to offer mentorship and incubation services, he said.

Insufficient Series A and post-Series A funding (Series B, C, etc), as well as corporate VC participation, were some of the challenges faced by entrepreneurs seeking to raise working capital in the past year, the Entrepreneurship Review Committee (EnRC) said in a report in January.

These led to what the EnRC termed the "Valley of Death", the period spanning the post-seed and growth stages where many startups wind up due to insufficient follow-on capital.

But Mr Lauria believes this trend is not all bad, and is in fact a function of Singapore's maturing startup ecosystem. "The Singapore government has long focused on the pre-seed and seed stages, offering various grants and funds to early stage startups. Today, startups that have benefited from those schemes have reached the post-seed stage, and are thus looking to raise Series A funding and beyond," he said.

Mr Lauria is also confident more corporate VC investors will enter the field, given the increased presence of startups and global VC firms here. Last year, VC investment in Singapore's tech sector soared to US$1.71 billion from US$27.9 million in 2011, according to the Asian Venture Capital Journal.

GGV, a partner incubator under the National Research Foundation's Technology Incubation Scheme since March 2012, has incubated 17 companies and created more than 338 new jobs in Asia.

Meanwhile, Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd, the investment arm of Infocomm Development Authority, and Joyful Frog Digital Incubator said yesterday they would jointly run accelerator programmes for tech startups based here.