While Uber has hit its toughest regulatory road block yet in Seoul, last-mile delivery service Naldo pushes forward with its plan to upend South Korea’s logistics industry. The company last week received an undisclosed series A round from Softbank Ventures Korea and Qualcomm Ventures. Tech in Asia soon after caught up with founder Ludolf Ebner to get the lowdown on his startup.
More and more money is pouring into funds specifically for Asia-based startups. Today San Diego-based mobile chip manufacturer Qualcomm announced it has established a US$150 million fund for startups based in China (hat-tip The Next Web). Despite being best known as a maker of chips and telecom equipment Qualcomm is no stranger to startup investments. In China, its been actively funding young companies for ten years, and currently boasts companies like phonemaker Xiaomi, mobile app makers Dolphin Browser, and Uber-esque limo-on-demand app Yongche among its roster of investments.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) should support MediaTek with its technology and production capacity to counter the alliance between Samsung Electronics and Qualcomm in order to prevail in the 14/16nm segment. TSMC chairman Morris Chang admitted recently that TSMC will lose out to competitors in the 14/16nm process segment in terms of market share in 2015 before regaining its leading market position in 2016-2017.
Qualcomm, a leading player in terms of LTE technologies, started supplying LTE solutions to markets worldwide including China in 2013. But because of regulations and issues over licensing issues, China’s LTE service started later than most of the developed countries. At the same time, restrictions from the China-dedveloped TD-SCDMA standard and policies over multi-mode support also limited the number of chipmakers who were able to enter China’s LTE chip supply chain initially.
Qualcomm plans to sell its first batch of smartphone chips customized for the Chinese market later this year. David Tokunaga, Qualcomm’s senior director for product management, said at Computex Taipei that Qualcomm’s three types of chip sets, which were launched in February 2014, will be first applied to Chinese mobile phones. Tokunaga also said that in the second half of 2014, the company will launch the first batch of products customized for the Chinese market.
Qualcomm reportedly plans to shift its 20nm process orders from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to Samsung Electronics or Globalfoundries, according to industry sources. Qualcomm’s move comes after TSMC began volume production of Apple’s A8 processors based on advanced 20nm process in the second quarter of 2014 and has thus allocated much technological resources to the production – a favor with Apple that has upset Qualcomm, currently TSMC’s largest client, the sources explained.