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Singapore’s Antler to deploy up to USD 500,000 for startups battling COVID-19

The initiative covers the areas of mitigation, medical equipment, remote health and digital tools.

Photo by Hush Naidoo on Unsplash

Antler, a Singapore-based early-stage venture capital firm, announced that it will invest a total of up to USD 500,000 in startups tackling the COVID-19 outbreak.

The company said it plans to invest in up to five teams.

Startups may propose solutions in the following areas:

  • Mitigation (e.g. masks, contact tracing, surveillance, data infrastructure)
  • Medical equipment (e.g. test kits, protective devices, ventilators)
  • Remote health (e.g. telehealth, remote patient monitoring, symptom checkers)
  • Digital tools (e.g. remote work, smart delivery, e-learning)

According to a statement, selected teams will be invited to a video pitch session. Finalists will then remotely present to the firm’s investment committee, who will evaluate startups based on the solutions’ relevance in mitigating the disease and how the startup could work after the outbreak.

“Great necessity inspires great innovation. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt human life around the world, now is a time when innovators need to come together for the greater good,” Magnus Grimeland, the founder and CEO of Antler, said.

Interested teams can apply via a website until April 15.

Separately, the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) has also announced an initiative for gig workers in Asia Pacific who are also affected by the uncertainties brought by the pandemic.

Through its Gig Economy Challenge, the organization is offering technical assistance worth USD 100,000 and seed funding of up to USD 30,000 to help pilot solutions that seek to improve the financial health of gig workers in Malaysia.

UNCDF is rolling out the initiative with MetLife Foundation, APEC 2020, Bank Negara Malaysia, and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation.

This article first appeared in Tech in Asia.