Singapore VC fund to exclusively invest in SEA B2B tech companies | Digital Asia
- Invests in two Singapore startups, Overdrive IOT Pte Ltd and Globaltix Pte Ltd
- Will seek opportunities in “smart” industrial technologies and automation
Tin Men Fund I, with a target size of US$100 million, addresses gaps in the current venture capital market in Southeast Asia (SEA) by focusing on business-to-business (B2B) enterprise technology companies.
With monies from its first close, Tin Men has invested in two Singapore startups, Overdrive IOT Pte Ltd and Globaltix Pte Ltd.
Overdrive has developed software to seamlessly connect moving assets, people, sensors and devices, and provides a platform to manage the data and interactions generated by these connections.
Globaltix has created an e-ticketing platform serving the tourism industry by helping to connect tourist attractions with travel agents.
Tin Men started operations in March this year. Its co-founders are Singapore citizens Murli Ravi (formerly at Temasek Holdings and Jafco), Jeremy Tan (formerly at Morgan Stanley and Puma Energy) and Benjamin Tan (formerly at Microsoft, who also founded and sold three businesses).
Prominent individuals, family offices, and operating companies across Southeast Asia and Taiwan are among the first investors in Tin Men Fund I.
“We are really humbled by the positive validation given to us by founders, industry captains and investors, which have enabled us to get going in a really short time,” said Jeremy Tan.
“We really believe in our purpose and, as our name Tin Men suggests, we see value in what may not glitter. We are willing to mine for value alongside the venture founders so as to yield tremendous upside for all,” he added.
Tin Men’s advisory board spans industry, investing and entrepreneurship, and consists of Lakeshore Capital chairman Robert Binyon, Fullerton Financial advisor Lee Ah Boon, Autodesk Asia Pacific vice president Haresh Khoobchandani, Insead Professor of Entrepreneurship Bala Vissa and Trafigura Asia Pacific chief executive officer Tan Chin Hwee.
About Tin Men’s chosen focus in B2B tech companies, Murli who was formerly head of South Asia Investments at Jafco Investment (Asia Pacific) Ltd said, “The enterprise technology space in SEA is starting to mature in terms of both demand and offerings, but it remains under-served by venture.
“Tin Men’s strategy will help bring the sector together to the benefit of founders, operating businesses, and investors alike. This strategy will help promote entrepreneurship in Singapore and Singapore as a centre for technology and innovation.
“It leverages on Singapore’s position as a financial centre with robust legal underpinnings. While Singapore may have a relatively small consumer market, we have sizeable B2B reach with many regional and multinational companies selecting Singapore as their Asia-Pacific headquarters.’”
The fund will seek opportunities in “smart” industrial technologies and automation that are coming to the fore in segments such as smart cities, security, enterprise productivity, transport and logistics, omni-channel retail enablement, and travel and tourism.
“Our vision is not just limited to funding deserving enterprise technology teams. We will not stop there. We aim to create a thriving and sustainable ecosystem with Singapore as its heart where enterprise technology companies, customers and investors across Southeast Asia will be more actively engaged for growth, thereby creating intellectual property locally, unlocking efficiencies for established operating businesses and promoting job creation,” said Benjamin Tan who is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor.
The Tin Men team will have an active and direct role in ensuring their investee companies succeed. The team are hands-on investors, active promoters and matchers with other operating businesses and solution channels.
More importantly, Tin Men both lead all follow-on financing rounds until the point of exit for investee companies as well as manage the entire financing and exit process, for the mutual benefit of entrepreneurs and the fund.
“We want our talented entrepreneurs to focus on running and growing the business and not be distracted with fund-raising from one round to the next. We will take care of that,” said Benjamin Tan.
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