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3 Things We Learned From An Interview With Trendlines Group Ltd’s Management

Earlier this month, The Motley Fool Singapore was invited to meet with Trendlines Group Ltd’s (SGX:42T) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Stephen “Steve” Rhodes.

Trendlines is a relatively new listed company in Singapore’s stock market, having floated its shares only in November 2015. The company is a venture capital investor based in Israel and it invests mainly in companies that deal with medical devices and agriculture technologies.

Here are three interesting things we learned from our exclusive interview with Steve Rhodes.

Shark Tank; Trendlines Style

When Steve Rhodes was describing his company’s business model during the meeting, I could not help but think of the similarity between Trendlines and the reality TV programme Shark Tank.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Shark Tank, it is a show featuring entrepreneurs who would pitch their companies or ideas to a panel of investors, in the hopes of obtaining an investment from the panel.

In a similar manner, Trendlines also has many entrepreneurs coming to them all the time to ask for capital. In fact, according to Steve, Trendlines evaluates about 500 proposals a year. The company has two permanent staff in Israel sourcing investment opportunities.

But, unlike Shark Tank, Trendlines goes through a thorough evaluation process before investing in any startup. It might take up to nine months of evaluation before the company makes an investment. The company is also very strict when it comes to selecting the startups that it wants to invest in. Within any given year, Trendlines might only invest in eight new startups out of the 500 or so proposals it receives.

It is so much more than just funding

According to management, Trendlines also has an advantage over other investors in the market due to the support it can provide to the entrepreneurs in its portfolio of investments.

Trendlines provides new startups with office space and some back-office support. The company has about 40 staff within the office to help new startups with services such as book-keeping, marketing, or even sourcing. With Trendlines, startups can receive a full range of support, while they develop their products or services.

The size of an investment

Trendlines currently has about 43 companies in its portfolio. The company has a standard investment size for the first round of funding, also known as the seed round. During the seed-funding round, the entrepreneur might only be pitching his or her idea without any actual product. At this stage, Trendlines typically invests about US$700,000 for a 50% stake in the entrepreneur’s venture.

Foolish Summary

Trendlines is a pretty unique company in Singapore’s market, given its business model of being a venture capitalist. The company has recently set up an office in Singapore after its IPO (initial public offering), so it would be interesting to see if it would be able to achieve success by investing in start ups here.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore writer Stanley Lim doesn't own shares in any companies mentioned.