H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (11 March 2019) – Appen to Acquire Figure Eight to Create Industry-Leading Solution for High-Quality Machine Learning Training Data + The Wisdom of Tenderness

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (11 March 2019) – Appen to Acquire Figure Eight to Create Industry-Leading Solution for High-Quality Machine Learning Training Data + The Wisdom of Tenderness


  • Hedge Funds Used This Data Guru to Make Millions on Nintendo (Bloomberg)
  • Airtac sees strong growth as IA looks poised to pick up (TT)
  • Appen acquires Figure Eight for up to $300M, bringing two data annotation companies together (TC, AFR, CT)
  • China firm buys into Securemetric; Listed on Nov 13, 2018, Securemetric focuses on software licensing protection, two-factor authentication, advanced identity and access management, public key infrastructure and cryptography. (Star)

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

  • Alibaba to buy stake in parcel delivery firm STO Express for 4.6 billion yuan; Alibaba will pay US$693.3 million for a 49 per cent stake in a new unit that will control 29.9 per cent of STO (SCMP)
  • Tencent Live tests live-streaming in WeChat (KRA)
  • How Tencent is going from gaming to investing; Portfolio of Chinese tech company is approaching value of Softbank’s Vision Fund (FT)
  • China Is Strangling Its Private Champions; By taking over the deposits of platforms like Alipay and WeChat Pay, the PBOC is making a power grab. All in the name of protecting consumers. (Bloomberg)

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

  • Mark Zuckerberg says he should have listened to earlier advice about learning from WeChat (SCMP)
  • Nvidia nears deal to acquire Mellanox Technologies – source (Reuters)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • China’s fingerprint chip king says trade war hampering acquisitions (Nikkei)
  • General Atlantic, Tencent pump additional $11.4m into India’s edtech unicorn (TIA)
  • GrabFood is the most used food delivery service in Vietnam, but why? The platform was late to the game in Vietnam, but that hasn’t stopped it from zipping ahead. (KRA)
  • Thailand-based cashback platform RebateMango acquires competitor (KRA)
  • Edtech firms are filling crucial gaps in Southeast Asia (KRA)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • ‘I’m Addicted’; Why Food-Delivery Companies Want to Create Superusers; DoorDash, Instacart and others want to turn casual customers driven by discounts into repeat users who rely on their services regularly (WSJ)
  • Snapchat always proved critics wrong. Then Evan Spiegel pushed for a redesign (CNN)
  • Ginni Rometty is shaping IBM’s future with a $34 billion acquisition (CNN)
  • Recruitment veteran Andrew Banks backs AI start-up Shortlyster (AFR)
  • Apps step up to the plate with diet and DNA-tailored advice; New online services nudge users towards smarter shopping and eating choices (FT); ‘It has exploded’: Building a wellness app business (Age)
  • Tech helps small players break into healthcare market; Medical device start-ups must go far beyond proof of concept even before they have built a customer base (FT)
  • Start-up nation: Are there lessons to be learned from Israel’s tech success? (SCMP)


  • The Wisdom of Tenderness. A philosopher and Catholic social innovator, Jean Vanier is one of the great elders in our world today. The L’Arche movement, which he founded, centers around people with mental disabilities. The dozens of L’Arche communities around the world have become places of pilgrimage and are transformative for those involved and for the world around them. He has devoted his life to the practical application of Christianity’s most paradoxical teachings — that there’s power in humility, strength in weakness, and light in the darkness of human existence. (Krista Tippett)
  • The Key to Good Luck Is an Open Mind (GP)
  • What Sets the Most Effective Innovators Apart (HBR)
  • The platform play: How to operate like a tech company (McKinsey)

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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