H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (8 August 2018) – Gree-owned firm launches app aimed at boosting Japan’s booming world of ‘virtual YouTubers’ + 100 Philosophy Quotes That Will Inspire and Challenge You

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (8 August 2018) – Gree-owned firm launches app aimed at boosting Japan’s booming world of ‘virtual YouTubers’ + 100 Philosophy Quotes That Will Inspire and Challenge You


  • Gree-owned firm launches app aimed at boosting Japan’s booming world of ‘virtual YouTubers’ (Japan Times)
  • Bandai Namco sees flat first quarter with little help from game sales; Gaming saw 5.4% decline year over year while all other segments saw slight increases (GI)

BATTSS – Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, TSMC, Softbank, Samsung

  • Alipay adds Pinduoduo-like group buying feature (KRA)
  • Baidu’s Billionaire CEO Declares He Can Beat Google Again (Bloomberg)
  • SoftBank’s Ele.me Cash Will Act as Halon or Kerosene; This $3 billion-plus investment could fuel a Chinese online-to-offline war, or extinguish it. (Bloomberg)

FAANNMG – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Nvidia, Netflix, Microsoft, Google

  • New FANG Notes Let Investors Bet on Tech Optimism or Skepticism (Bloomberg); FAANGs Are More Solo Acts Than a Tech Supergroup; They have a lot less in common than many investors think. (Bloomberg)
  • Apple is the epitome of an “asset light” company: It owns very few hard assets and therefore needs almost zero outside capital to run its business. As of mid-2018, Apple has $105 billion of operating assets and $120 billion of operating liabilities. What does that mean? Miraculously, its operations rely on no capital from outside financiers. How does one achieve this apotheosis of the asset-light strategy? First, create a supply chain in Asia run by companies willing to invest in low-return projects that create your products. Second, hold those suppliers under your thumb. Idolizing asset-light strategies, however, can also lead to underinvestment, an excessive reliance on outsourcing and the artificial division of companies to avoid hard assets. The accomplishments of Apple’s model are substantial. But the financial strategy that has worked so well for Apple is a risky one for less capable companies with weaker strategic positions. For them, aping Apple can just as easily result in too much debt on their balance sheets, precarious supply chains and deferred opportunities for investments. The financial archetype defined by Apple — asset-light strategy, leveraged share buybacks and cash flow above all — is a high-wire act. Boards should guard against the temptation to follow Apple’s path blindly. Many of Apple’s imitators are more likely to mortgage the future than create it. (NYT)
  • Meet the YouTube Stars Turning Viewers Into Readers (NYT)
  • Alphabet: How a $175 Billion Waymo Could Boost the Shares (Barron’s)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Beijing Bytedance Technology Seeks to Raise $3 Billion Privately; Owner of China’s top news-aggregation app could be valued at $75 billion (WSJ)
  • Best Known For Portable Chargers, Shenzhen’s Anker Has Ambitious Expansion Plans (Forbes)
  • Chinese tech ‘wolf’ Huawei stalks Apple and Samsung (BT)
  • Hong Kong’s Fung Group injects US$35M into India’s B2B e-commerce startup ShopX; Currently, ShopX claims it covers 50,000 retailers across 300 towns and doing over US$72.7 million in annualised transaction volume (e27)
  • Chinese online lender delinquencies wipe out $4bn this year; Outrage mounts as government hastens to nip financial risks (Nikkei)
  • OnePlus Shows Apple How to Become India’s Top Smartphone Seller (Bloomberg)
  • Japan’s accounting software Freee raises $60M to grow its cloud accounting business (Techcrunch)
  • Taiwanese AI solutions provider Appier has purchased Bangalore-based content marketing startup Qgraph (TIA)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Etsy CEO: There’s a ‘Long Runway’ for Growth Ahead (Barron’s)
  • Snapchat Is Becoming Like the Internet It Disdains; It loses luster, though, as it discards the elements that set it apart. (Bloomberg); Snap’s strategy shifts win over advertisers more than users (Reuters)
  • Match boosts revenue forecast as Tinder lures more paying users (Reuters)


  • 100 Philosophy Quotes That Will Inspire and Challenge You (Medium)
  • How to Master Your Fear Like a Navy SEAL (Medium)
  • Sequestered capital is capital that is hidden or unseen by the market. R&D is often sequestered capitaI. Sequestered capital is special because it doesn’t inform price signals (MR)
  • What Peter Thiel taught Stanford University students about startup success (TIA)
  • Strategy vs. Tactics: What’s the Difference and Why Does it Matter? (Farnam Street)
  • Six Business Lessons from ‘Star Wars’ (Medium)
  • Causing a disruption, by definition, means a minority opinion or idea must rise to the top. It can be a lonely journey to get there, though, so Chad and Stephanie have a story to inspire and celebrate all the incredible minorities of one changing the world. (TMD)

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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