On Friday, Taiwan’s National Development Council announced plans to invest US$83 million in four different venture capital firms, in hopes of spurring growth for the island’s startups. The NDC will invest US$15 million in 500 Startups. It will also give US$12 million or match 30 percent of LP contributions to AppWorks‘ upcoming fund, and US$20 million or match 30 percent of Translink Capital III’s upcoming fund. In addition, the NDC will invest US$30 million in a joint venture fund run by the Battelle Memorial Institute’s360ip and Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Investment Corporation.
Plan X is arguably the largest startup accelerator in Pakistan. It was born out of Plan 9, which is the top startup incubator in the country. Plan X launched in September 2014. It has taken in a number of startups, most of which graduated from Plan 9 and have already gained momentum and attracted funding.
The JTC LaunchPad @ one-north, the official name for a well-known Singapore startup complex, will be expanding again. Affectionately called Block 71 by tenants, it will house about 750 startups by 2017, up from 500 now and 250 when it first began in 2011. The project is a collaboration between JTC Corporation and SPRING Singapore, government agencies in charge of industrial development and economic growth respectively.
China will be creating a government venture capital fund worth 40 billion yuan (US$6.5 billion) to support start-ups in emerging industries. “The establishment of the state venture capital investment guidance fund is a significant step for the combination of technology and the market, innovations and manufacturing,” reported Reuters citing China’s State Council’s (the cabinet) statement on 14 January 2015.
NEW DELHI: Social networking giant Twitter is in talks to acquire Indian startup ZipDial, as per a new report. ZipDial, a Bangalore-based mobile VAS company, came into prominence with its implementation of missed calls for user verification and other use cases. According to a report by TechCrunch, the deal has been already closed with the monetary value ranging between $30 to $40 million. The report cites sources as saying that the formal announcement could take place as soon as this week.
Singapore’s Block 71 is well-known globally as an example of how the government can foster and bring together a startup ecosystem under one roof. Housing about 250 startups – the new expansion will double its capacity to 500 companies – the model is now being transplanted halfway across the world to the mecca of tech startups, San Francisco.
BANGALORE/MUMBAI: Infosys, the second largest IT player in India, expanded its global innovation to fund to $500 million, from $100 million, as it looks to focus on new ideas and products, and has appointed its former head of M&A to lead its engagement with startups. “The company has expanded its innovation fund ….to support the creation of a global eco-system of strategic partners.
Internet security was one of the biggest stories of 2014. The year ended with a bang as hackers leaked an astonishing amount of confidential data from Sony Pictures, implicating executives and celebrities, and creating a media firestorm. It’s a stunning embarrassment for the company, and a wake-up call for other firms to shore up their defenses. With hackers on the prowl, internet security companies stand to benefit. That’s the case for Banff Cyber Technologies, a Singapore-based startup which focuses on mitigating the damage caused by cyberattacks.
BENGALURU: Xiaomi, which recently closed a $1-billion funding round, is keen to work with Indian startups in mobile technology, content aggregation and connected devices, a top company executive has told ET. For Xiaomi India, setting up its own startup ecosystem, like it has done in China, is one of its key priorities this year. “We may co-develop, invest or launch their products. We have discussed with a few startups so far,” said Manu Jain, Xiaomi’s India head, while declining to name the startups or the investment size.
BENGALURU: A mass exodus of tech startups is expected this year as an increasing number of young ventures shifts overseas in search of investors and a better regulatory environment and facilities unless the government takes steps to reverse the trend. A software product industry think tank estimates that as many as 75% of new technology startup firms, ranging from data analytics, mobility and security to cloud that intend to raise seed or venture capital will be domiciled outside the country.
Life of an entrepreneur in nascent but up-and-coming ecosystems is rough and tough – just ask these Burmese founders. Yes, Myanmar is indeed starting to embrace a level of openness which can only mean good things for businesses. But like in any other Asian country, taking note of nuances can help you prosper locally. For this reason, Harald Friedl, managing director of a local renewable energy company, has penned down a comprehensive 27-pages-long guide for first-timers who are thinking of starting up in Myanmar.
Last week, at a closed meeting in Tokyo, Sun Microsystems co-founder and Silicon Valley billionaire Scott McNealy offered advice to a group of Itochu Technology Ventures’ portfolio startups. The CEOs from Whill, Crowdworks, Raksul, Tokyo Otaku Mode, Uzabase, and Fringe81 were all in attendance. Tech in Asia was invited to listen in on the discussion and engage McNealy regarding his impressions of entrepreneurship in both Tokyo and Asia as a whole.
If you’re a successful Chinese mobile startup, I’ve got some good news: Tencent wants to help you. As part of a recent event celebrating the 5.0 release of its mobile app platform Yingyongbao, the company has announced what it calls its “double-hundred plan.” According to Tencent social media services group VP Lin Yongtao, the double-hundred plan stipulates that over the next three years, Tencent will direct 10 billion user visits to 100 Chinese startups via its open platform, although the startups in question must be valued at RMB 100 million (US$16 million) or more.
The Indian startup ecosystem has reached an inflection point, with 800 new tech startups sprouting in a year. This, taken in conjunction with rising investment flows, makes it the world’s fastest growing startup ecosystem, says the National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom). This was announced at the ongoing Nasscom Product Conclave in Bangalore. Nasscom conducted the study in collaboration with global research firm Zinnov, which benchmarked the Indian ecosystem with eight leading areas, in terms of both deal flow and emergence of new startups.
Intel Capital, the VC arm of chipmaker giant Intel, has just dished out a sizable chunk of its US$100 million China Smart Device Innovation Fund to invest in five Chinese startups. As the name of the fund suggests, they’re making smart gadgets or services either as wearables, mobile, or for the home. While they each might have their merits, they’re not the most exciting Chinese smart startups that we’ve seen. (For those, see our list of 12 of China’s hottest hardware startups.)
Nepal-based CloudFactory , which allows businesses and individuals to outsource web tasks to workers in emerging markets around the globe, today revealed that it has secured US$3 million in series A funding. It comes after US$700,000 in seed funding in September 2012. The series A funding is led by VRBO founder David Clouse, along with other angel investors. The money will go towards its US-based sales and marketing team.
A lot of people around the world are now taking notice of Chinese web giants like Alibaba and Tencent. But China’s startups are generally overlooked and have little chance of breaking out onto the world stage. China’s most active startup accelerator, dubbed Chinaccelerator , is trying to change that. “It’s a bridge, internationally,” says Chinaccelerator managing director William Bao Bean. “It’s the Silicon Valley experience in Shanghai.”
It’s an exciting time for Myanmar right now, which is just only coming out from under a 40-year old dictatorship regime. Just last year, only 0.16 percent of Myanmar’s population had access to the internet, and it is estimated that roughly 10 percent of their people own a mobile phone. The situation in Myanmar now is not too different from post-communist Vietnam, who only managed to pull away from the extreme poverty line in 2008. Since then, a combination of accelerators, events, and startups have sprouted in Vietnam in steadily growing numbers. The question is, can Myanmar pull it off as well?
NEW DELHI–Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged Thursday to slash red tape and harness the benefits of a huge young population as he launched a campaign to attract global business to manufacture in India. India’s business-friendly new leader wants to revive his country’s flagging economic fortunes by kick-starting a manufacturing sector long eclipsed by that of neighboring China. “We don’t need to invite the world to India, they are ready to come. We just need to give them our address,” Modi said at the launch of his “Make in India” campaign.
By now, you may have heard about Jakarta’s Ideabox accelerator letting all eight of its second batch startup finalists into the program last week. You may have also heard about the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank taking an interest in local tech ventures. But what you may not realize is that the two initiatives have a common denominator in local telco Indosat , one of the archipelago’s largest telecommunication companies. Right now, Indosat is calling itself one of the most aggressive players in Southeast Asia’s tech startup scene, particularly when it comes to forming new partnerships.