Myanmar Times — The young people, who are between 20 and 35 years old, have adopted the name Myanmar Online Family and started a website. The founders are from six cities – Mandalay, Yangon, Mogok, Myingyan, Kyaukse and Nyaung Oo. Ko Phyo Nyi Nyi, a founder, said the association would like to position itself as an arbitrating voice between consumers and mobile companies. He pointed to improving coverage and a range of companies entering the country, including Huawei, Samsung, Oppo and Vivo.
Digital News Asia — THE Hub Singapore has officially moved into its new premises at 128 Prinsep Street, saying that it would also be introducing “tailored innovation and impact lab” programmes for corporations looking to innovate through collaborations with startups and entrepreneurs. Companies currently involved in the programme include JP Morgan, DBS Bank and Procter & Gamble, The Hub said in a statement.
Global Risk Insights — As Singapore seeks new sources of growth, the micro-nation is positioning itself to become Asia’s start-up hub. By promoting outside-of-the-box thinking, Singapore could see political spillover as the government loosens control over the commanding heights of the 21st century information economy.
Financial Times — As he scoured Europe to find parts last year, German entrepreneur Florian Simmendinger was only able to locate a handful of motors small enough for the wearable, smartphone-controlled metronome he was building to help musicians keep the beat — and even they were too weak. But a move to Hong Kong in November jump-started the development of his product, as he was soon able to find everything he needed in the sprawling Chinese manufacturing hub of Shenzhen, just across the border.
Tech In Asia — Japan’s consumer electronics giants are struggling. Today’s Sony, for example, bears little resemblance to the industry leader it was in the eighties and nineties. Since February 2014, it’s spun off its television, audio, and video divisions – and sold its PC segment outright. Increased foreign competition is just one reason for the sector’s rapid decline. Japan’s tech titans have also been accused of moving too slow – with red tape, bureaucracy, and an emphasis on seniority over ability hampering innovation.
Digital News Asia — SINGAPORE, known as an Asian launchpad for multinational companies in the 1990s, is quickly becoming one for startups in the 2010s – at least, according to the Singapore Startup Ecosystem and Entrepreneurial Toolbox prepared by one Arnaud Bonzom. Bonzom is director of special projects at Silicon Valley-based accelerator 500 Startups and a former INSEAD entrepreneur-in-residence, as well as an angel investor in a number of startups including Helint, Krak and Garuda Robotics.
Deal Street Asia — Bubu.com, homegrown web development and digital advertising firm, will hold the third IDByte conference from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 in Jakarta, in hunt for Indonesia’s next rising star in the local start-up scene. Shinta Dhanuwardoyo, founder of Bubu.com, during a luncheon with reporters in Jakarta, said the IDByte conference with the theme “Connected e-Conomy,” is aims to place Indonesia on the global digital map. The 2015 IDByte will discuss a wide range of topics, ranging from the IoT to digital marketing.
HBR — Fifteen years ago, Fort Bonifacio in the Philippines was a former military base still dotted with barracks built in World War II. Thanks to an aggressive privatization and conversion program, Bonifacio Global City — as the base is known today — is a modern, bustling financial district lined with blocks of skyscrapers, shopping malls, and luxury condos. The Southeast Asia city’s rapid growth echoes the story of the so-called “unicorns” — technology start-ups that rapidly grew to a billion-dollar valuation and beyond. So far, 2015 has produced 30 unicorns.
Tech in Asia — ChinaNetCloud, a China-based that provides cloud server solutions, announced Monday that it has raised a US$9 million series A. The round was led by Juren Capital with participation from Jolly Capital – both Chinese investment firms in the Shanghai area. ChinaNetCloud says the funding will be used to accelerate the company’s growth and further tech development.
Nation Multimedia — Thailand is a hot spot for the Asian boom in tech start-ups, having grown continuously for several years. A lot of these start-ups are finding success through a supportive ecosystem, especially investments, acceleration programmes, conferences and other events. One key event is the “Start It Up Conference”.
MIS Asia — How big is the Internet of Things? It’s a bit of a how-long-is-a-piece-of-string question but it’s a fair starting assumption that this piece of string will be very long indeed and any company that can act as an IoT platform stands a good chance of being very significant indeed. One company wanting in on the action is Kii Corporation, a Tokyo-headquartered startup led by Masanari Arai, a one-time IBM ThinkPad, IntelliSync and Nokia executive.
Want China Times — Baichuan, a mobile open platform launched by Chinese internet giant Alibaba Group last October, announced on July 16 that it plans to provide 1 billion yuan (US$161 million) in funds and 1 billion yuan in short-term loans for start-ups in China to develop mobile apps on the platform, reports West China City News.
Myanmar Times — The placement values MySQUAR – the developer of local-language messenger app MyChat – at about £18.5 million. “MySQUAR is now at the forefront of the country’s technological revolution and the success of the AIM flotation will send a powerful, positive signal to the country’s entrepreneurs and to inward-investors alike,” said MySQUAR CEO Eric Schaer in a statement on the AIM admission.
Korea Times — U.S.-based mobile chip giant Qualcomm will invest up to 100 billion won ($90 million) in Korean startups to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in the economy. The decision comes after its executive chairman, Paul E. Jacobs, visited Korea to celebrate Qualcomm’s 30th anniversary and 25 years of relations with Korea.
Digital News Asia — IF there is one thing that isn’t a problem for startups under the care of Microsoft Ventures’ accelerator programme in Beijing, it’s funding. Or so says Frances Du, director of the software giant’s startup investment and accelerator arm in the Greater China Region, speaking to the media during a recent familiarisation tour hosted at the company’s office in Beijing.
KUALA Lumpur-based Offpeak Hub Sdn Bhd, a 10-month old startup that is positioning itself as the Agoda (a hotel accommodation booking site) of the food and beverage (F&B) industry, has just raised US$800,000 from Chinese venture capital firm Gobi Partners. The investment comes out of Gobi’s South-East Asia-focused fund based in Singapore, and will help Offpeak accelerate its regional rollout to at least three more countries by the end of 2015, starting with Bangkok in Thailand within the next few weeks.
I’ve been covering the Vietnamese startup scene for the last three years, and I can tell you, it’s been through hell and back. When I first arrived in December 2012, my first article was on the fall of Nhom Mua, a very controversial daily deals site that was rumored to be pulling in $2 million in revenue per month (it was acquired last year by a local competitor). In the aftermath, Vietnam’s startup scene reeled. But it remained resilient.
NEW DELHI: Taiwanese electronics maker Foxconn Technology Group is scouting for the best deals in the Indian startup market — with help from two of India’s top entrepreneurs Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal — joining a growing list of global corporations looking for a share of the action in one of the world’s most dynamic startup hubs. Over a dozen Indian startups met Wen-Hsin (Vincent) Tong, chairman and director of investments at FIH Mobile Limited, an investment arm of Foxconn, at the New Delhi office of Snapdeal last weekend, according to two people with direct knowledge of the initiative.
Startup activity in France around Internet of Things continues to heat up. Following yesterday’s news that Samsung had taken an investment in Sigfox, today another IoT startup, Actility, announced that it has raised €22.5 million ($25 million), led by Ginko Ventures, the European investment arm of Foxconn. Others in the round include the carriers Orange (which has disclosed a €3 million stake), Swisscom and KPN, as well as Fonds Ecotechnologies managed by Bpifrance Investissement, Idinvest Partners, and Truffle Capital.
Aliyun, the largest cloud computing services provider in mainland China, is looking to burnish its credentials in Hong Kong through an initiative that supports the business expansion of local start-ups. A subsidiary of e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba Group, Aliyun has formed partnerships with Hong Kong public utility Towngas as well as telecommunications and information technology giant PCCW to help provide local start-ups with a range of cloud computing services.