H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (7 December 2018) – Salesforce doubles down on Japan with dedicated $100M fund

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (7 December 2018) – Salesforce doubles down on Japan with dedicated $100M fund


  • Mogu’s long journey: From rejecting Alibaba’s advances to US IPO (Techcrunch)
  • Chinese gaming firm iDreamSky stumbles in its Hong Kong debut (Technode)
  • Australian cloud service provider eyes China potential with expanded presence in Hong Kong (SCMP)
  • IRESS shows 2018 will be ‘record-breaking year’ for protection (CM)
  • Info Edge India gains 2% on acquisition of 15.5% stake in Shopkirana (MC)

BATTS – Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, TSMC, Samsung

  • Online used vehicle marketplace Uxin to list cars on Taobao (Technode)
  • Alibaba’s Hema criticized by central bank officials for rejecting cash payment (Technode)

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

  • Amazon Alexa is beta testing crowdsourced answers; Customers in the invitation-only program can start contributing answers to Alexa today (Verge)
  • Alexa just got better at picking music for you; Amazon Music is leaning on Alexa to remember your listening habits and nail down the right playlist. But don’t expect perfection just yet. (FastCo)
  • Fed up with Facebook, U.S. fund managers look for alternatives (Reuters)
  • Facebook’s top AI scientist says it’s ‘dust’ without artificial intelligence (CNN)
  • Google’s self-driving spinoff launches ride-hailing service, with human aboard for now (Japan Times)
  • Microsoft Calls for Laws to Prevent Bias in Facial Recognition AI; The company, which sells this software itself, wants human review, greater openness (Bloomberg, WSJ)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Contacts management firm Sansan nets US$26.43M to drive expansion in Southeast Asia, Japan (e27)
  • Salesforce doubles down on Japan with dedicated $100M fund (Techcrunch)
  • Asian streaming startup M17, still recovering from a failed IPO, raises another $25M (Techcrunch)
  • Japanese Investors Look Towards India As The Land Of Rising Startups (Inc42)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • DeepMind in AI breakthrough with smarter version of AlphaGo; AlphaZero plays Go and chess at levels that defeat humans and the best existing programs (FT)
  • Business-app automation kingpin Zapier has its eye on consumers; With 3 million users and $50 million in annual revenues, the company is doing well at work. Now it wants to take automation mainstream. (FastCo)
  • Retailers Are Testing Facebook-Style Shopper Profiles to Battle Amazon; New software tracks every purchase you’ve made, product you’ve returned, ad you’ve clicked on and item you’ve tossed from your cart. (Bloomberg)
  • Qualcomm Redoubles Effort to Enter PC Market With New Chip (Bloomberg, Reuters)
  • Ride-hail firm Lyft races to leave Uber behind in IPO chase (Reuters)
  • Uber Is Headed for a Crash (NYmag)
  • Michael Dell plots his return to the public market; The largest private tech firm has an updated vision for computing’s future (Economist)
  • There Is Reason to Like Videogame Stocks, but Competition Is a Major Risk (Barron’s)


  • Ultimate Innovation Strategy: The Intersection Between 2 Industry Pain Points (EH)
  • Want To Be Happier? How to Take Charge of Your Thoughts (BHCM)
  • Noble relisting is off; assets found to be potentially inflated; Investors won’t be trading in New Noble’s shares on an informed basis, say MAS, SGX Regco (BT)
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