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Startup Wire | Playtawin

Written by Startup Wire Published on   3 mins read

The latest startup briefs from across the Asia Pacific region.

Hi everyone. Taro here.

Singapore is currently experiencing very high increases in housing rental rates, with both private and public housing costs seeing very large jumps from last year. While this may benefit the economy for the time being, the reality is affecting startups. With rents going up 100% in some cases, people in the mid-tier salary range are feeling the pinch, it will be even more difficult for those with families due to the high schooling costs here (particularly for expats). Not surprisingly, there’s a number of founders looking to relocate to other cities in the region to ease the burden of living costs.

This continual rise in cost of living is not sustainable, especially when Singapore wants to be seen as an innovation hub. There is a shortage of tech talent already due to its population, and if foreigners are either leaving or deciding not to move here, then this plan is in major jeopardy. The brain drain can also affect locals as well — if they have skills that are in high global demand, then they have the ability to leave and not look back. It is only a matter of time before the teams based in Singapore are skeleton crews existing purely to have an entity registered here. It is a worrying scenario and one that will take a lot out of the luster of the ecosystem.

Open Run

This week, we look at five documentaries to expand your horizons.

  • Salt of the Earth – a look at the life of photographer Sebastião Salgado. After leaving his job as an economist, Salgado started a journey taking breathtaking photos across the world focusing on nature and the life of workers in developing countries.
  • Hoop Dreams – considered one of the greatest documentaries ever made, this follows two young basketball players in 90’s Chicago as they chase their dreams of playing in the NBA. We see the two boys’ trials and tribulations as they face a tough schooling administration system, family issues and unfortunate events.
  • Amy – Amy Winehouse was lauded as an incredibly talented singer but her life was a non-stop media frenzy fueled by tabloid headlines. We see her career journey from an unknown jazz lover to worldwide superstar.
  • O.J.: Made in America – Winner of the 2016 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. While the main focus is on OJ Simpson and the infamous trial, it explores racism, civil rights, celebrity worship, sports and crime in a highly interesting five-part miniseries.
  • HyperNormalisation – using archive footage and interesting soundtrack choices, filmmaker Adam Curtis explores the concept of power and the ability to make meaningful changes in a complex world.

Nothing But Net

Recent Startup Wins

  • Soy waste conversion startup SoiLabs sees a SGD 500k seed round led by Sanyo Chemical and Hafnium Ventures.
  • Carsharing platform GetGo raised SGD 20m from Treïs.
  • Transcelestial closed a USD 10m round led by Airbus Ventures.

Pick & Roll

Interesting Drops From the Week

  • The ChatGPT boom has seen an increase in books sold on Amazon written by the AI tool. [via Reuters]
  • Sticking with AI, the issue with artists having their work infringed by art generating tools is heating up. [via The New Yorker]
  • F10 is now Tenity, in a rebrand that sees it move into investing as well as accelerator programs.
  • Blockhead explored how NFT’s are helping artists expand their reach and enabling them to continue their projects. [via Blockhead]

If you are a startup that is raising funds, or have an interesting story or lead for us to feature in this newsletter, please fill out this form.


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