H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (20 December 2018) – Alibaba-backed Ofo’s blowout offers lesson to investors; Ofo has exemplified the Chinese start-up model of growing quickly by raising money and burning through cash

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (20 December 2018) – Alibaba-backed Ofo’s blowout offers lesson to investors; Ofo has exemplified the Chinese start-up model of growing quickly by raising money and burning through cash


  • Dual-listed travel software group Serko buys InterplX in first US acquisition (AFR)
  • Retailers face Afterpay hangover, says UBS (AFR)

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

  • WeChat Pay launches auto scan-and-pay for parking in China’s shopping malls (SCMP)
  • SoftBank Tech Fund Invests $500 Million in Drive Safety Startup (Bloomberg)

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

  • Microsoft Partners With Fintech Startup ZestFinance To Bring Transparency To AI-Powered Financial Models (Forbes)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Ofo’s blowout offers lesson to investors; Bike-sharing start-up expanded rapidly despite not knowing if idea was commercially viable (FT); Chinese bike-sharing start-up Ofo on verge of bankruptcy; Founder says Alibaba-backed Mobike rival is facing ‘immense cash flow pressure’; Ofo has exemplified the Chinese start-up model of growing quickly by raising money and burning through cash (FT); Ofo boss writes to the team: ‘I’m persevering despite the pain and seeming hopelessness’ (TIA); When Technology Dreams Run Into Finance, Ofo Ensues (Bloomberg); Nearly 12 million users are waiting for deposit refunds at China’s Ofo according to bike-sharer’s app (SCMP)
  • After the $1.4 Trillion Rout, Asia’s Tech Bulls Get Picky (Bloomberg)
  • TikTok parent ByteDance sues Chinese news site that exposed fake news problem; The $75B-valued media company says it is victim of “malicious slander.” (Techcrunch)
  • How Taiwan Will Vie With China And Asia To Develop Startups (Forbes)
  • An online battle for 900 million hearts and minds: India braces for election (Reuters)
  • Grab Is Looking Heavier by the Day. Thanks, Toyota; That huge investment from a carmaker appears to be influencing the company’s business model, which may not suit all shareholders. (Bloomberg)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Year in a Word: Techlash; The reputation of big tech faltered as scandals emerged over the past months with regularity; The growing public animosity towards large Silicon Valley platform technology companies and their Chinese equivalents (FT)
  • Pinterest Readies Itself for Early 2019 IPO; Online image-search company could choose bankers for the offering as early as January (WSJ)
  • WeWork Keeps Pushing. Now Landlords, Rivals Are Pushing Back (Bloomberg)
  • Uber Asks for Chinese Tariff Exclusion as It Cranks Out E-Bikes (Bloomberg)
  • The 2018 Stratechery Year in Review (Stratechery)
  • Dataiku raises $101 million for its collaborative data science platform (Techcrunch)
  • Should We Be Worried About Computerized Facial Recognition? The technology could revolutionize policing, medicine, even agriculture—but its applications can easily be weaponized. (New Yorker)
  • Tinder and Bumble Are Hungry for Your Love; The big online dating rebrand means the apps want you to fall in love with them now. (NYT)
  • The Coming Commodification of Life at Home: As internet-connected devices and appliances accumulate, one academic foresees “the monetization of every move you make.” (Atlantic)
  • Technology IPOs May Face Delays, Lower Values After Stock Rout (Bloomberg)


  • The Eternal Return: Nietzsche’s Brilliant Thought Experiment Illustrating the Key to Existential Contentment; “Owning up: to recollect, to regret, to be responsible, ultimately to forgive and love.” (BP)
  • Investing Ideas That Changed My Life (Morgan Housel)

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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