H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (27 March 2019) – Coding will be mandatory in Japan’s primary schools from 2020

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (27 March 2019) – Coding will be mandatory in Japan’s primary schools from 2020


  • Meituan adds grocery delivery to its ‘everything’ app (Technode)
  • Livestream app Inke’s 2018 profits fall on lack of innovation as segment weakens (Technode)
  • China video-streaming firm iQIYI targets raising $1.1 billion in convertible bonds (Reuters)
  • Google charts its own course to the future in Japanese maps; Users gripe about quality as internet powerhouse pulls back from local partner Zenrin (Nikkei)
  • Global firm Hosokawa Micron launches state-of-the-art lab facility at Sci-Tech Daresbury (BMS)
  • Viva Republica finalizes consortium for internet-only Toss Bank which includes Korea Electronic Certification Authority (KH)
  • Sea’s e-commerce platform could turn profit ‘in couple of years’; Shopee has focused on building scale to face competition (FT)

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

  • Technology and big data analysis drive 80-time average growth in fund size at world’s most-used money market fund platform; Since its move to include funds from outside managers, Yu’e Bao has expanded into a cash management platform with 20 funds (SCMP)
  • Alibaba’s Tmall online supermarket aims to cover almost all Chinese households (KRA)
  • com and Alibaba export AI and robot logistics expertise; E-commerce giants expand delivery and warehouse solutions beyond China (Nikkei)
  • Huawei bets on high-end handsets to dethrone Samsung in Europe (Nikkei)
  • Move Over Warren Buffett–For This $200 Billion Man From Japan (Forbes)

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

  • Apple Stock Will Plunge Because There’s Not Much Profit in New Services, Goldman Sachs Says (Barron’s); All the Businesses Apple Wants to Disrupt — and Whether It Can (Barron’s); With iPhone sales slowing, Apple bets on video, gaming, news and a credit card (Economist); Apple’s new services could either be Netflix ‘poison’ or barely meaningful (MW); Apple Is Reinventing Itself as the Ultimate Middleman; The company just launched three new ways to take a cut of your paycheck-and one card to pay for it all. (Slate); Apple’s Services Event (Stratechery); Apple spotlights services with TV, gaming and credit card offerings (Reuters); Apple News+, at $10 a month, could deliver more content than multiple subscriptions (Reuters); Apple Card puts customer first, Goldman second (Reuters); Goldman’s Apple pairing furthers bank’s mass-market ambitions (Reuters); The real choice you make when you subscribe to Apple services (Wired)
  • As Amazon Leads Cashless Charge, States and Cities Push Back (Bloomberg)
  • Netflix pilots $4 mobile plan in India to woo users (Reuters)
  • Nvidia-Mellanox deal underestimates China anti-monopoly risk (Technode); Nvidia CEO says no plans for more acquisitions after Mellanox deal (Reuters)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Beijing gave its biggest electric-vehicle maker $1 billion in help toward a single year of sales (qz); China Scales Back Electric-Car Subsidies to Spur Innovation (Bloomberg)
  • Bytedance reportedly launches reading app (Technode); Douyin tests long videos to win new users (KRA)
  • Can China’s tech industry up its game and take the lead when it comes to innovation and research? (SCMP)
  • This 31-Year-Old Built A Billion-Dollar Business By Developing AI-Powered Facial Recognition Tech (Forbes)
  • Japan’s mom-and-pop shops gain global e-commerce platform (Nikkei)
  • Coding will be mandatory in Japan’s primary schools from 2020 (Nikkei)
  • D-WAVE’s “Leap”, which will lease approximately 1.7 billion yen of quantum computers for free, will finally be officially released in Japan (TC)
  • Indonesia to fix motorbike ride-hailing rates; may hurt Grab, Go-Jek (Reuters)
  • Indian Railways has earned $3 million in just parking charges from taxi aggregators (qz)
  • Coles turns to robots in grocery home-delivery overhaul (Age); Welcome to supermarkets 3.0: Robots, AI and dark stores (Age)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Spotify acquires true crime studio Parcast to expand its original podcast content (TC); Spotify to buy podcasting business Parcast for more than $100m; Music streaming group makes third podcasting acquisition in two months (FT)
  • Adobe and Salesforce announce Customer Data Platforms to pull data into single view (TC); Adobe announces two new analytics tools to help marketers fill in the customer picture (TC); Adobe launches its Commerce Cloud, based on its Magento acquisition (TC); Adobe announces deeper data sharing partnership with Microsoft around accounts (TC); Adobe, Microsoft to take on Salesforce’s marketing software, with LinkedIn as a weapon (Reuters)
  • Unicorns aren’t profitable, and Wall Street doesn’t care (TC)
  • Hello Alfred launches new platform to reach more buildings and improve accessibility (TC)
  • Lola.com raises $37M to take on SAP and others in the world of business travel (TC)
  • How the Internet of Things is making the world a safer haven (e27)
  • Vlocity nabs $60M Series C investment on $1B valuation (TC)
  • Travis Kalanick’s new venture buys UK ‘dark kitchens’ business; Ex-Uber chief looks to expand outside US through acquisitions; Travis Kalanick’s CloudKitchens would enable restaurants to share facilities and cut overheads (FT)
  • The PDF is dead: e-invoicing surge to speed up payment times (Age)
  • McDonald’s $300 Million Deal Is Another Feat for a Tech Dynasty (Bloomberg)
  • Oracle Trims Staff During Difficult Transition to Cloud Services (Bloomberg)
  • Online furniture retailer Wayfair Inc. will open a physical store in its home state this year, the latest e-commerce company looking to impress customers with showrooms and displays rather than just websites and Facebook posts. (Bloomberg)
  • Online mattress retailer Casper to hire IPO underwriters – sources (Reuters)
  • 3 New SaaS Venture Rounds And Their Supporting Growth Metrics (CB)
  • Depressed and Anxious? These Video Games Want to Help (NYT)


  • How to pursue your dream when everyone says it won’t work (FastCo)

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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