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TNB Aura to invest USD 2 million in each startup hit by COVID-19 crisis

The Special Situations Fund will be a sub-fund for its TNB Aura Fund II.

TNB Aura, a Singapore-based venture capital firm focused on Southeast Asian investments, launched a new fund to invest USD 2 million in each startup affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company said the Special Situations Fund can be considered as a “sub-fund” for its TNB Aura Fund II, which it’s targeting to close soon at USD 100 million. “With the current market sentiment, which we expect to persist for at least another six months and possibly till next year, we’ll be witnessing a continued flow of startups facing urgent cash flow issues,” the company told Tech in Asia.

TNB Aura said the investment will hopefully provide companies with 12 to 18 months of runway and help them focus on their targets.

The Special Situations Fund, which is open to a range of funding structures such as convertible notes or direct equity, focuses on startups in Series A and B stages backed by venture firms or institutional investors. The company said it aims to turn around the funding within one to two months.

TNB Aura typically invests USD 1 million to USD 5 million in tech companies in the region. In December 2018, it closed its first fund at USD 22.7 million. Some of its notable investments to date include Singapore-based dental startup Zenyum and Indonesian business-to-business marketplace Ralali, among others.

Last week, another Singapore VC firm launched a similar initiative. Early-stage investor Expara Ventures announced a new accelerator to back 30 companies and provide up to USD 50,000 in funding. The program will focus on solutions that can detect the COVID-19 virus, share information about pandemics, and slow down the spread of the virus.

This article first appeared in Tech in Asia.