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.
BANGALORE: Yahoo confirmed on Monday that it has purchased Bookpad, an Indian document viewing tech startup, in a bid to bolster its email service. The US internet giant didn’t disclose the purchase price, but two people with direct knowledge of the development said it paid around Rs 50 crore ($8.3 million) for Bookpad. “We have acquired Bookpad, the company behind the Docspad product,” said a Yahoo spokeswoman in response to a query from ET.
Just days after business intelligence provider Nielsen (NYSE:NLSN) acquired Indicus Analytics, another Indian startup got netted by a global company. Yahoo has bought one-year-old Bookpad, which built an end-to-end document handling technology for the cloud, for about US$15 million (INR 90 crore) The Times of India reported. It is the first Indian tech startup acquisition by the internet giant.
BANGALORE: Bangalore-based Bookpad has become the first Indian tech startup to be bought by Yahoo, going from creation to acquisition in just one year. The deal comes some eight months after Facebook snapped up Bangalore’s Little Eye Labs. The US internet giant, which is in line to reap about $9.5 billion (Rs57,000 crore) from Alibaba’s initial public offering, has bought the firm in a deal worth around Rs50 crore ($ 8.3 million), according two people with direct knowledge of the development.
Every cent counts for startups. Which makes the PayPal Startup Blueprint welcome news for entrepreneurs. The payment giant announced this week that it will extend the program, which gives startups free payment processing, to eight markets in Asia-Pacific. The program waives processing fees for transactions up to the US$1.5 million mark for PayPal and US$100,000 for Braintree. The latter is only available in Australia for now, but will be available for the rest of Asia soon, according to the press release.
BANGALORE: Accel Partners snatched an opportunity to impress cash-rich Infosys when the Silicon Valley-based venture capital fund pitched at least two portfolio companies to the Bangalore-based outsourcer, according to two people with direct knowledge of the development. Accel Partners, which counts Facebook and Flipkart among its portfolio firms, showcased six startups, including CrowdAnalytix and Paxata, before the senior management of Infosys,,,
Startup Asia has landed in the Land of the Rising Sun! Our inaugural event in Tokyo kicked off with a welcome address by Andrew Wang, Tech in Asia’s head of Japan. He expressed the team’s dedication to covering the domestic ecosystem and assured the audience that our first local event is definitely not the last. Namba-san opened her keynote speech by talking about DeNA’s roots – as an auction company. After Yahoo Japan entered the market, she was forced to change her game plan, which eventually landed on mobile gaming.
Chinese search giant Baidu has invested US$10M in IndoorAtlas , a Finnish startup that develops smartphone technology to track real-time movement indoors. The company will use the funds to improve its research and development, and it will also enter an exclusive agreement with Baidu that will bring its mapping technology to the Chinese market.
BANGALORE| MUMBAI:Vishal Sikka at the helm of Infosy and Rishad Premji as head of strategy at Wipro scouting to pick up stake in startups focused on disruptive technologies have made investment bankers optimistic that country’s moribund outsourcing sector could see more deals in the coming months. However, both foreign and domestic bankers believe that the small acquisitions and partnerships would not be enough and a big buy-out has to be done before the rainmak .
Startups in South Korea will soon have another ultra-hip hangout spot. Google announced today that it will open Campus Seoul, a space for entrepreneurs, developers, and other members of the startup community to mingle and hold events. According to a post on Google’s Asia Pacific blog, the space will hold programs including Campus for Moms , a startup school for women with babies, and Campus EDU , which offers workshops and office hours with Google employees.
BANGALORE, INDIA: Global software major Microsoft will incubate 10 early-stage technology startups in cloud computing, Internet and mobile using its Accelerator for Windows Azure programme to help them build businesses, a top official said on Wednesday. “The startups will have access to our resources such as BizSpark programme and $60,000 in Azure credit through BizSpark Plus programme to take advantage of the cloud,” Microsoft India (R&D) Managing Director Amit Chatterjee told reporters here unveiling the programme in the Indian sub-continent.