H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (25 April 2019) – Scientists develop an AI that can turn brainwaves into speech + Why Bill and Melinda Gates wash dishes together every night

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (25 April 2019) – Scientists develop an AI that can turn brainwaves into speech + Why Bill and Melinda Gates wash dishes together every night


  • Salesforce nearly doubled its money in Zoom IPO, but company says it’s in for the long term (CNBC)
  • Tencent-backed real estate platform Beike announces ambitious growth plans amid legal row with rival; Can newcomer Beike dethrone Fang.com as China’s top online property portal? (KRA)
  • China’s digital music market expands with rising subscriptions; TME has a strong grip on the market, claiming 800 million users, three times more than Spotify, but less than four percent of those users pay for subscription compares with 45 percent (CGTN)
  • In Japan, busy singles are turning to apps to find love; Linkbal Inc., an operator of an e-commerce portal website for matchmaking events, has offered the CoupLink online dating app since July 2016. (JT)
  • Japanese team aims to test 3D-printed blood vessel transplants on kidney patients; 3D bioprinter developed by Shibuya Corp. (Mainichi)
  • Robot king Fanuc risks missing out on 5G boom; After forecasting 60% profit drop, company faces new challenges as clients ditch metal casing (Nikkei)
  • Pro Medicus share price hits an all-time high on seven-year contract with Duke Health worth $14 million (Yahoo)
  • VGI and iClick Interactive Announce Marketing Technology Joint Venture to Address Thailand’s Booming Digital Marketing Space and Connect Brands in Southeast Asia with China Opportunities (Yahoo); VGI links with iClick to smooth the way for SE Asia brands in China (Nation)

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

  • Tencent Trusted Doctors raises USD 250 million, bringing valuation past USD 1 billion (KRA)
  • Tencent eyes silver generation with investment in video app for dancing grannies (SCMP)
  • Alibaba Cloud takes 19.6% in Asia Pacific market, beats Amazon and Microsoft combined (KRA); Alibaba Pushes Its Cloud Unit Globally As It Trounces Amazon in Asia (Bloomberg)
  • Samsung Plans $116 Billion Splurge on Chips to Take On Intel (Bloomberg)

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

  • Facebook Says Settling FTC Probe Could Cost Up to $5 Billion (Bloomberg)
  • Instagram is becoming Facebook’s sugar daddy (Reuters)
  • Audible now offers live customer service through Alexa devices (TC); Amazon Launches Free Music Streaming to Juice Alexa-Device Sales (Bloomberg); Amazon’s Alexa Team Can Access Users’ Home Addresses (Bloomberg)
  • Apple Stock Will Gain Because iPhone Users Spend More on Apps, Analyst Says; iPhone owners spend 10 times more than Android users on mobile apps (Barron’s)
  • Amazon goes into luxury beauty (AFR)
  • Microsoft tops $1 trillion as it predicts more cloud growth (Reuters); Microsoft is closing in on becoming a $10 billion-a-quarter cloud company (qz)’ Tech Trio Races Toward $1 Trillion Valuation on Cusp of Earnings (Bloomberg); Microsoft Sales Top Estimates Amid Flurry of Cloud Wins; Software maker’s 73% Azure revenue gain ‘blew away’ Street (Bloomberg)
  • Will Netflix eventually monetize its user data? (Conversation); Here’s how new streaming services could really hurt Netflix; WarnerMedia, NBCUniversal, Disney shows make up 40% of Netflix’s viewing minutes (MW); Nobody Watches Netflix’s Original Shows, And That’s A Huge Problem (ZH)


Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Why China’s unicorns may not trot happily to market (FT); China tech groups delay IPOs as US tensions bite; Companies are also accepting lower valuations amid dwindling investor appetite (FT)
  • Chinese companies face surging write-offs; After a global investment spree, impairments weigh on tech and energy companies (Nikkei)
  • Didi reveals it is still making losses on many fares charged in China as it discloses costs breakdown (SCMP)
  • The Chinese state-owned tech company supplying signal-boosting laser amplifiers to the world’s largest financial centres; Report reveals that Wuhan-based Accelink’s gear has been used in West for a decade (SCMP)
  • Chinese regulator hints at better access for foreign cloud computing companies (SCMP)
  • Made in China, Exported to the World: The Surveillance State (NYT)
  • The Future of Shopping Is Already Happening in China; Traditional retail and e-commerce hold little interest for consumers who are wedded to smartphones and take their cues from influencers. (Bloomberg)
  • China’s unchecked expansion of data-powered AI raises civic concerns; Local industry is growing fast but there are signs of a pushback (FT)
  • Taiwan’s Top Stock Investor Sees Tech Frenzy Getting Extreme (Bloomberg)
  • Cashless payments in Fukuoka accelerate, and large-scale commercial facilities introduce Melpay and Origami Pay (TC)
  • Japan Has a New Emperor. Now It Needs a Software Update. (NYT)
  • Japan lays bare the limitations of robots in unpredictable work; Forerunner in automation worried about progress being too slow rather than too fast (FT)
  • AI becoming a viable way to bridge the gap in the doctor-patient ratio: mfine CEO Prasad Kompalli; mfine, which uses AI to enable users to link with doctors through live chat or video under a minute, has just bagged (e27)
  • Indonesian social commerce platform TokoTalk raises US$3.2M; TokoTalk is a chat-based e-commerce platform built specifically for online sellers on social media such as Instagram (e27)
  • AI-based visual training platform Chooch AI secures US$2.8M (e27)
  • ai raises $17M to equip online retailers with AI smarts (TC)
  • Go-Jek and Grab’s competing visions play out; Funding gap between the competitors reflects big philosophical differences between their investors; Go-Jek’s directors think too much capital is a drug; it enables founders to become profliga (FT)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Scientists develop an AI that can turn brainwaves into speech (Age)
  • Behind Airbnb’s bet on show business to hook travellers (Reuters)
  • MongoDB to acquire open-source mobile database Realm for $39 million (TC)
  • Securing the 5G future – what’s the issue? (Reuters)
  • SAP shares hit high on Elliott’s $1.3b investment; SAP reported an adjusted operating margin of 24 per cent for the first quarter as it grapples with a catch-up transition to cloud computing (AFR); SAP/cloud services: mist opportunity; German group needs to integrate its acquisitions flawlessly to remain in the race (FT)
  • iRobot Stock Takes a Hit Because There Are Too Many Robots (Barron’s)
  • Sirius XM profit dented by Pandora acquisition (MW)
  • This In-Ear Translator Can Interpret A Bilingual Conversation On The Fly (Forbes)
  • Start-up makes robots small manufacturers can afford; Collaborative robots market expected to snowball to $12.3bn by 2025 (FT)
  • PayPal’s Venmo Isn’t Enough to Drive Payment Volume Growth (Bloomberg)
  • Apollo, Cerberus Consider Shutterfly Bids, Lifting Stock (Bloomberg)
  • Explosions Threatening Lithium-Ion’s Edge in a Battery Race (Bloomberg)
  • Slack Finds New Ways to Fit In at the Office, Ahead of Stock Debut (Bloomberg, Reuters)
  • A $603 Million Deal Sheds Light on Cybersecurity Space (Bloomberg)


  • Why Bill and Melinda Gates wash dishes together every night (AFR)
  • This Question Will Change Your (Reading) Life; What should you read next? Whatever books shaped the people you most admire and respect. (RH)
  • How to train your brain to be resilient to failure (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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