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MARKETS & INVESTING, RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Daily Briefing: Lease buyback scheme to include all 5-room and larger flats; VC firm Qualgro unveils new US$100m funding for startups

And fintech startup X Infinity raises US$20.5m from private sale.

From iCompareLoan:

The government’s Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS) will be extended to all HDB flats, including 5-room and larger flats, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong revealed.

Wong said: “The original thinking was that it would make more sense for those living in bigger flats to right-size. But there are seniors who prefer to age in place. Some also have grandchildren who come over to visit regularly, and would like a bigger space for the extended family.”

Adding: “After considering the matter carefully, I have decided to extend the LBS to all HDB flats, including 5-room and larger flats. This will enable many more Singaporeans to benefit from the scheme.”

Wong said his ministry is working with the central provident fund (CPF) Board to review and update rules to provide more flexibility for buyers of shorter-lease flats while safeguarding their retirement adequacy.

Read more here.

From Tech in Asia:

Venture capital firm Qualgro announced a new fund with a fundraising target of US$100m (1$36.92m) eyed to go towards B2B startups in the areas of artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, analytics, and software-as-a-service.

So far, 60% of the money has been committed by its investors.

The new fund will also target companies in the series A and B stages. A startup at these phases typically have some traction and needs capital to rapidly grow its user base.

Read more here.

From E27:

Singapore-based fintech firm secured US$20.5m ($27.44m) from private sales which was higher than its US$18m initial target.

Founder and CEO Eddie Chong said: “Investors are currently unable to use many of their cryptocurrencies for transactions largely due to long processing times. Bitcointakes around 78 minutes while Ethereum takes six minutes to process. Our platform allows all transactions to be carried out in around a second. This is an industry first that will enable cryptocurrencies to be used in retail shops.”

The startup is developing a unified cryptocurrency wallet that it claims will allow consumers and merchants to transact as easily using any blockchain asset as a currency. The transactions can be completed in approximately one second, which means users will be able to transact globally with virtually any cryptocurrencies as they would with regular fiat currencies, it claims.

Read more here

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