Daily Briefing: PM Lee says government ‘cannot completely prevent’ price hikes; VC fund Tin Men Capital raises US$100m

And VC firm Dymon Asia Ventures secures US$50m fintech funding.

The Singapore government “cannot completely prevent prices from increasing” despite doing its best approach to offset the burden from the citizens, prime minister Lee Hsien Loong said in his National Day Rally speech at the Institute of Technical Education Central in Ang Mo Kio.

Amidst rising water prices and fluctuating electricity tariffs, “the government has tried to keep inflation low and prices stable,” PM Lee noted. For instance, while water prices have gone up recently, the increase is the first time in nearly 20 years.

“We put off the increase for as long as we could,” said PM Lee. “But in the end, we had to do it, because the cost of producing clean water has increased significantly over the years.”

Describing the issue of electricity tariffs as “more complicated”, he noted that the current rate of 23.65 cents/kwh is more affordable than it was in the third quarter of 2008 at 25.07 cents/kwh.

Singapore venture firm fund Tin Men Capital secured $137.13 (US$100m) on its first close to solely focus on enterprise technology.

“We have already confirmed our first two investments, are in the late stages of evaluating two more candidates and are actively seeking additional opportunities.” Tin Men Capital co-founder Murli Ravi told Tech in Asia.

Tin Men has invested in two Singapore startups. There’s Overdrive IOT, which has developed a way for businesses to track their physical assets using Bluetooth, and Globaltix, a provider of e-ticketing solutions to online and offline travel agents.

Moving forward, the fund is on the lookout for “opportunities in smart industrial technologies and automation” in the areas of “smart cities, security, enterprise productivity, transport and logistics, omnichannel retail enablement, and travel and tourism,” according to its press release.

Singapore-based Dymon Asia Ventures raised $68.56 (US$50m) for its maiden fintech-focused fund two years after launching the fundraising process.

In March 2017, Digital Ventures, a financial technology-focused venture firm under Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), had made a significant investment in Dymon Asia Ventures, enabling the latter to hit the first close of its maiden fund at $20 million.

The Singapore VC, overseen by partners Jinesh Patel and Christiaan Kaptein, had also raised a part of its debut fund on Fundnel, a Singapore-based private investment and equity crowdfunding platform.

Dymon Asia Capital, co-founded in 2008 by Danny Yong and Keith Tan, currently oversees assets to the tune of over $5 billion.

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