H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (29 January 2019) – AI loan screening for Japan regional banks to take only seconds + Getting Ahead By Being Inefficient

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (29 January 2019) – AI loan screening for Japan regional banks to take only seconds + Getting Ahead By Being Inefficient


  • 111 Inc plans to help China’s generic drug makers better compete by slashing marketing and distribution costs; China’s largest online pharmacy has also signed a deal with Eli Lilly, giving the US pharmaceutical giant access to its cloud computing solution (SCMP)
  • Tencent-backed Maoyan prices Hong Kong IPO at lower end, raises $250 million (Reuters)
  • Xiaomi’s Rout Throws a Spotlight on Hong Kong’s Expiring Lockups (Bloomberg)
  • ARQIS has advised Hamamatsu Photonics Deutschland on the acquisition of a minority interest in Menlo Systems, a leading developer and worldwide supplier of instruments for precision metrology (PEW)
  • Restaurants in Japan boost delivery services ahead of tax windfall; Relief measure cooks up demand for Uber Eats and local services; Demae-can, the food delivery platform operated by Yume no Machi Souzou Iinkai, is already seeing increased business (Nikkei)
  • Kids contents creating company CarrieSoft is planning to get listed on the second-tier KOSDAQ market in 2019. The company’s unique business model of making revenue by creating YouTube videos for kids, selling intellectual property rights and producing toys and goods with the characters used in its contents, will be evaluated as its potential technology that can grow the company. Established in 2014, CarrieSoft’s sales in 2017 reached 6.3 billion won (US$5.65 million), while posting 400 million won operating profit. Industry insiders estimate that it sales last year surged to around 10 billion won (Investor)
  • ASMedia lands mainstream PCIe chip design orders from AMD (Digitimes)
  • Automotive-centric semiconductor players to drive tech sector (Edge)
  • DBS suspends coverage of Y Ventures after restatement of 1H18 results on admin errors; Group now expects FY18 loss (Edge)

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

  • Can WeChat defend its social media predominance by blocking its competitors? (SCMP)
  • Alibaba Shows Signs of Strain as China’s Economy Shudders (Bloomberg)
  • TSMC chip output for Nvidia and Huawei hit by defective chemical (Nikkei)

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

  • Facebook Watch Isn’t Living Up to Its Name; The company’s lackluster video tab still has a lot to prove to both viewers and advertisers. (Bloomberg)
  • Google, Amazon seek foothold in electricity as home automation grows (Fox)
  • Why a tiny screw caused big problems for Apple (Age)
  • An Apple Videogame Subscription Service Makes Sense. Will It Happen? (Barron’s)
  • Chipmakers Slide as Nvidia’s Outlook Underlines Growth Fears (Bloomberg); Nvidia Short-Sellers Reap $457 Million in Monday’s Rout, S3 Says (Bloomberg)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • China’s work ethic stretches beyond ‘996’ as tech companies feel the impact of slowdown (SCMP)
  • AI loan screening for Japan regional banks to take only seconds (Nikkei)
  • Japanese officials will target millions of IoT devices to help secure the Olympics (TNW)
  • Taiwan firms gearing up for OLED market boom (Digitimes)
  • Grab moves into video content with Hooq (TIA)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • The four types of music subscription models in 2019 (MBWW)
  • Kite raises $17M for its AI-driven code completion tool (TC)
  • Scout24’s market value fell sharply last year after lawmakers suggested that property vendors should pay real estate agents’ commissions instead of passing them on to buyers (Bloomberg)
  • The BuzzFeed Lesson (Stratechery)
  • Eureka Park: Startup teams present wide-ranging AI engines targeting diverse applications (Digitimes)
  • Humans Question Their AI-Based Future; Smart machines are now being applied to activities requiring intelligence and cognitive capabilities (WSJ)
  • Wayfair Stock Can Rise Another 30%, Says Analyst (Barron’s)
  • This Analyst Sees Grubhub Stock Rising 60% (Barron’s)
  • Dropbox to Acquire E-Signature Software Company HelloSign; Deal is worth $230 million, expected to close this quarter (Bloomberg); Dropbox Drops $230M To Get Into The Digital Signature Game (CB)
  • Snapchat weighs what was once unthinkable – permanent snaps (Reuters)


  • Getting Ahead By Being Inefficient (FS)
  • What Charles Darwin can teach us about beating creative block (qz)

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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