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CENTERED With H.E.R.O. Issue 2: Resilient Amidst Trade War – Japan’s AS ONE AI X RPA, Exponential Innovators Highly Impervious to Trade War Risks | 27 May

0% in OEM/ODM + 0% in component makers + 0% in semiconductor & related sector + 0% in capital equipment, tech hardware & big-ticket items + 100% singular focus in a portfolio of highly-profitable listed Asia SMID-cap tech-focused exponential innovators = Higher probability of resiliency in both fundamentals and investment returns that are highly impervious to the US-China trade war risk and market volatility which have escalated since 6 May 2019.

For instance, AS ONE (TSE: 7476), Japan’s #1 specialist B2B platform business model that carved out a profitable niche selling through catalogs and its ecommerce (EC) site AXEL a vast array of over 3 million items of laboratory & healthcare instruments and consumables & disposables, is up 7.6% since 6 May 2019 to a market value of over US$1.69 billion, extending its YTD gains to 23%. AS ONE had announced on 13 May 2019 a strong set of FY03/2019 results with earnings at a record high and 10 consecutive years of sales increase.

Contributing to EC sales were increased customers of the EC single-source purchasing system (158 companies compared with 135 at end–FY03/2018), where products and services are sold through an electronic catalog directly incorporated into the customer’s purchasing system, and increased sales to online retailers, such as MonotaRO, Misumi, Askul and Amazon, whose end users are small companies. Its new state-of-the-art automated Kanto Distribution Center (DC), more than twice as large as the current largest base, the Osaka DC, will start operation in May 2020, a strategic expansion that will lead to the achievement of their goal of 100bn yen in sales from the current 66.7bn yen.

AS ONE has also adopted artificial intelligence X robotic process automation (AI x RPA) to increase its efficiency and margins as it scales up. Medical institutions, hospitals and researchers “have various specialized needs, such as they want a tool and equipment that can make the experiment in a vacuum state or under zero gravity. Our strength is to deliver these products seamlessly and speedily”, commented CEO Takuji Iuchi, the third-generation business leader. Because the product is low volume-high-mix in nature, or small in quantity and many types, customer interface, inventory & logistics management and business process integration are the critical backbone systems of the company. The intelligent automation of this backbone through AI X RPA has given AS ONE an exponential edge to improve the quality and speed in responsiveness to their customers.

Including AS ONE, the portfolio of 40 H.E.R.O. innovators, which has an average market cap of US$1.41bn (median market cap of US$810m), delivered strong interim results growth amidst the US-China trade tensions: overall weighted sales rose 30.5% YoY and operating profit grew faster with increasing returns to scale at 58.7% YoY, supporting the portfolio returns.

An overwhelming majority (82.5%) of the 40 HERO portfolio stocks are highly profitable “SaaS (software-as-a-service), information & data analytics/AI” companies and “platform business models”, a group which we believe is highly impervious to trade war risks. 10% are indispensable medtech innovators with high recurring-revenue high-profitability business models. EC, cybersecurity and IoT highly-profitable companies account for the remainder 7.5%.

The recurring and predictability nature of the revenue model in growing monthly or annual paying subscribers have made SaaS companies a bedrock of investment resilience in a volatile market environment with growing regulatory and trade-war risks rattling across industries. SaaS recurring-revenue business model with high profitability, positive free cashflow and low customer churn rate account for 55% of portfolio stocks.

And unlike many of the SaaS companies in the US or China or most of everywhere else that are still loss-making and cash-burning, a selected group of Japan’s listed under-the-radar exponential innovators have quietly built highly profitable business models generating positive free cashflow.

John Somorjai, EVP of Corporate Development and Salesforce Venture at CRM giant Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) commented on 4 Dec 2018 that having investing in over 280 SaaS companies in 18 countries since 2009, “Our highest returns to date have been from the U.S. and Japan markets.” Long overlooked by investors, Japan is still regarded by the superficial macro investors as the land of the aging dinosaur-like companies such as Toshiba with weak population demographics. Farsighted investors are now seeing strong growth of Japan’s tech industry as Japan’s public cloud services market, the fourth biggest in the world, is projected to more than double from the 2017 level to $13 billion in 2022, according to IDC forecasts.

We are grateful to have the investment interest and positive feedback about the quality of our research ideas by farsighted professional investors. These include the super investor in Singapore who’s the former managing director at one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund and the founder of a successful billion-dollar boutique hedge fund in Asia ex-Japan equities, who commented that most Asian funds invest in the typical “old-tech” companies who are component makers or OEM/Apple-suppliers exposed to unpredictable capex spending cycles, and that he likes that no other funds are like us in having a pure and singular focus on exponential innovators with recurring-revenue business models who are forging their own categories of growth to solve high-value problems for their customers.

One of our focused portfolio stocks, a Korean-listed SMID-cap tech innovator with dominant 80% domestic market leadership in recurring information & big data services, remains resiliently positive since 6 May 2019. Since we highlighted this Korean firm about three months ago to one of our advisory clients, a business owner/CIO of an established Asia ex-Japan value fund management company in Singapore who manages sovereign wealth and pension/endowment money, the stock is up over 40% to a market value of over US$750m. We are grateful to be able to deliver our recently operationalized bespoke investment solution for family offices, UNHW, corporates and long-term institutional investors with satisfactory results to this wise business owner/CIO client whom we like and respect and care for.

Farsighted investors are experiencing first-hand and benefitting from the flight-to-quality effect in the market to quality listed innovators that are most relevant in this exponential world, because each time the market corrects, the stronger hands of longer-term farsighted investors will accumulate more and more of these quality innovators, while the weaker short-term opportunistic hands sell out, creating a resiliency effect in these stocks. Listed profitable SMID-cap tech innovators with non-linear exponential growth potential are the most relevant and mispriced multi-year investment trend and opportunity.

Inspiration for CENTERED With H.E.R.O.: Our clients, just like our H.E.R.O. innovators and business owners, understood the profoundness that it’s not about a Maslow-type pyramid that they need to scale upwards in profits and returns; the H.E.R.O. journey is not upwards, but a deeper journey inwards and towards the center, about the kind of person you want to become through the work you build and invest in to serve those you care about.

CEO Takuji-san has a grander purpose to make AS ONE into “a company that employees can tell from your heart to your most important person, son, daughter, wife, husband, best friend that ‘It is such a nice company, there is no one else!’”

Deeper and inwards towards the center. As Einstein elucidates: “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value” – Amid all of life’s chaos and challenges, a restorative balm to all of us to be Centered in values with focus and purpose to be of value in serving an idea larger than ourselves and the people we care deeply for.

 

Thus far, of the 72 entrepreneurs and CEOs whom we had highlighted in our previous weekly research brief HeartWare, less than one-third are in our focused portfolio of 40 HERO Innovators, while the rest (50+) are in our broader watchlist of 200+ stocks.

If you are not moving forward in this exponential world, you are going backwards. If you want to join us at the leading edge of opportunity, if you identify yourself in the values and bigger sense of purpose in H.E.R.O., or you wish to tell from your heart to your most important person, son, daughter, wife, husband, or best friend that you are a farsighted and thoughtful explorer in the H.E.R.O.’s Journey participating in the long-term exponential growth of a selected group of outstanding entrepreneurs, standing up for the embracement of the human spirit, please contact us via email or WhatsApp at +65 9695 1860. Thank you very much for your patience and support and we look forward to growing exponentially with you as we explore the H.E.R.O.’s Journey together.


It started with rethinking a few questions. Question No. 1: Can the megacap tech elephants still dance? Or is this the better question: Is there an alternative and better way to capture long-term investment returns created by disruptive forces and innovation without chasing the highly popular megacap tech stocks, or falling for the “Next-Big-Thing” trap in overpaying for “growth”, or investing in the fads, me-too imitators, or even in seemingly cutting-edge technologies without the ability to monetize and generate recurring revenue with a sustainable and scalable business model? How can we distinguish between the true innovators and the swarming imitators?

Question No. 2: What if the “non-disruptive” group of reasonably decent quality companies with seemingly “cheap” valuations, a fertile hunting ground of value investors, all need to have their longer-term profitability and balance sheet asset value to be “reset” by deducting a substantial amount of deferred innovation-related expenses and investments every year, given that they are persistently behind the innovation cycle against the disruptors, just to stay “relevant” to survive and compete? Let’s say this invisible expense and deferred liability in the balance sheet that need to be charged amount to 20 to 30% of the revenue (or likely more), its inexactitude is hidden; its wildness lurks and lies in wait. Would you still think that they are still “cheap” in valuation?

Consider the déjà vu case of Kmart vs Walmart in 2000s and now Walmart vs Amazon. It is easy to forget that Kmart spent US$2 billion in 2000/01 in IT and uses the same supplier as Walmart – IBM. The tangible assets and investments are there in the balance sheet and valuations are “cheap”. Yet Kmart failed to replicate to compound value the way it did for Walmart. Now Walmart is investing billions to “catch up” and stay relevant. Key word is “relevancy” to garner valuation.

We now live in an exponential world, and as the Baupost chief and super value investor Seth Klarman warns, disruption is accelerating “exponentially” and value investing has evolved. The paradigm shift to avoid the cheap-gets-cheaper “value traps”, to keep staying curious & humble, and to keep learning & adapting, has never been more critical for value investors. We believe there is a structural break in data in the market’s multi-year appraisal (as opposed to “mean reversion” in valuation over a time period of 2-5 years) on the type of recurring-revenue profitable business models, the “exponential innovators”, that can survive, compete and thrive in this challenging exponential world we now live in. Tech-focused innovators with non-linear exponential growth potential are the most relevant multi-year investment trend and opportunity.  

During our value investing journey in the Asian capital jungles over the decade plus, we have observed that many entrepreneurs were successful at the beginning in growing their companies to a certain size, then growth seems to suddenly stall or even reverse, and they become misguided or even corrupted along the way in what they want out of their business and life, which led to a deteriorating tailspin, defeating the buy-and-hold strategy and giving currency to the practice of trading-in-and-out of stocks. On the other hand, there exists an exclusive, under-the-radar, group of innovators who are exceptional market leaders in their respective fields with unique scalable business models run by high-integrity, honorable and far-sighted entrepreneurs with a higher purpose in solving high-value problems for their customers and society whom we call H.E.R.O. – “Honorable. Exponential. Resilient. Organization.”

The H.E.R.O. are governed by a greater purpose in their pursuit to contribute to the welfare of people and guided by an inner compass in choosing and focusing on what they are willing to struggle for and what pains they are willing to endure, in continuing to do their quiet inner innovation work, persevering day in and day out. There’s a tendency for us to think that to be a disruptive innovator or to do anything grand, you have to have a special gift, be someone called for. We think ultimately what really matters is the resolve — to want to do it, bring the future forward by throwing yourself into it, to give your life to that which you consider important. We aim to penetrate into the deeper order that whispers beneath the surface of tech innovations and to stand on the firmer ground of experience hard won through hearing and distilling the essence of the stories of our H.E.R.O. in overcoming their struggles and in understanding the origin of their quiet life of purpose, who opened their hearts to us that resilience and innovation is an art that can be learned, which can embolden all of us with more emotional courage and wisdom to go about our own value investing journey and daily life.

Warm regards,
KB | kb@heroinnovator.com | WhatsApp +65 9695 1860
www.heroinnovator.com

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CENTERED With H.E.R.O. Issue 1: Resilient Amidst Trade War – Japan’s BrainPad +AI, Korea Data Leader, Oceania MedTech Disruptor | 20 May

Farsighted investors are cognizant that exponential innovators are resilient both in fundamentals and investment returns amidst the overall market volatility arising from the escalating US-China trade tensions since 6 May 2019.

For instance, BrainPad (TSE: 3655), Japan’s leading big data/artificial intelligence and data management platform SaaS (software-as-a-service) cloud innovator, is up 46% since 6 May 2019 to a market value of over US$550 million after it announced on 10 May 2019 a strong set of cumulative third-quarter results in which sales increased 30% YoY and operating profit jumped 2.1 times YoY on expanding margin from 18.2% to 26.5%, while revising upwards its full-year forecast by 25-50%.

Business leaders who appreciate the profound impact of exponential H.E.R.O. innovators include one of the world’s most influential international management thinkers, author and German co-founder of one of the world’s most profitable and successful global management consulting group, who commented on 6 Nov 2018, “Dear KB, Many thanks for the article on BrainPad, really interesting. It’s a very good text. I showed the article on BrainPad to the head of our A.I. unit. I find BrainPad intriguing.” BrianPad is up 79% during a turbulent market since the prescient comments by this leading global business management thought leader and entrepreneur.

One of our focused portfolio stocks, a Korean-listed SMID-cap tech innovator with dominant 80% domestic market leadership in recurring information & big data services is up 5.5% since 6 May 2019. Since we highlighted this Korean firm about three months ago to one of our advisory clients, a business owner/CIO of an established boutique fund management company in Singapore who manages sovereign wealth and pension/endowment money, the stock is up over 40% to a market value of over US$750m. We are grateful to be able to deliver our recently operationalized bespoke investment solution for family offices, UNHW, corporates and long-term institutional investors with satisfactory results to this wise business owner/CIO client whom we like and respect and care for.

Rattled by trade war concerns, investors are getting out of major US tech stocks and funds are flowing into Australia and New Zealand SMID-cap tech stocks which are increasingly on the radar of fund managers, joining the local superannuation funds who have been increasing their allocation to local tech stocks in their portfolio. 30% of the focused portfolio of 40 H.E.R.O. innovators are Oceania-listed tech stocks with recurring-revenue business models which include SaaS (software-as-a-service) cloud and medtech innovators.

For a Southeast Asian UNHW/family office client who owns a hospital operator as a key asset in his business portfolio, we have advised a portfolio of Asian-listed SMID-cap medtech innovators to multiply his investment returns and business profit by becoming the distributor for both equipment and consumables with his hospital operator, while benefiting the society/health of his home country. These include an Australia-listed medtech innovator who developed a fully automated medical equipment with unique ultrasound technology that produces water-based super-oxidizer ultra-fine mist into the air to kill off super-bacteria, fungi, viruses (including the highly-resistant HPV virus) and cross-infection risks in the hospital environment, even in shadowed areas created by crevices, grooves and imperfections on the probe surface.

It’s a recurring-revenue low-risk business model: Recurring consumables >58% of revenue with replacement/upgrade of capital equipment after 5-7 years. It has a global installed base over 17,000 units (>15,000 in US, >700 in EMEA, >1,390 in Asia/ME). Penetration rate: US (39%), UK (12%), Europe/ME (2%), Asia (3%). It has a 10-year IP runway from now till 2029: Covered by 14 patent families, active to 2025, including patents relating to consumables to 2029. Governments around the world are also issuing guidelines to adopt this innovation: The French Ministry of Health recently issued in April 2019 a new guidance requiring high-level automated disinfection (bacteria, mycobacterial, virucidal and fungicidal) to protect patients and staff in hospitals/clinics, in line with international guidelines for high-level disinfection.

This medtech innovator has remained resiliently positive since 6 May 2019 with a market value of ~US$1bn, operating profit margin 27%, ROE (= OP/Equity) 21.6%, ROA 18.8%, and a healthy balance sheet with net cash as % market value at 4.9% (US$48.6m).

Including BrainPad, the Korean-listed data leader, and the Oceania-listed medtech innovator, the portfolio of 40 H.E.R.O. innovators, which has an average market cap of US$1.46bn, delivered strong interim results growth amidst the US-China trade tensions: overall weighted sales rose 29.9% YoY and operating profit grew faster at 58.3% YoY, supporting the portfolio returns.

Farsighted investors are experiencing first-hand and benefitting from the flight-to-quality effect in the market to quality listed innovators that are most relevant in this exponential world, because each time the market corrects, the stronger hands of longer-term farsighted investors will accumulate more and more of these quality innovators, while the weaker short-term opportunistic hands sell out, creating a resiliency effect in these stocks. Listed profitable SMID-cap tech-focused innovators with non-linear exponential growth potential are the most relevant and mispriced multi-year investment trend and opportunity.

Heartwarming conversations are energizing amidst the market volatility and I appreciate very much the personal dialogue on VALUE 3.0-era value investing with Arko Kadajane, who’s in charge of equities and external funds at the European family office of the Skype founders, when he was in Singapore visiting us this week. I have great respect for Arko’s 15-years-leadership in creating value at the family office, which speaks volume about both the firm’s culture and his values. One of our acid tests is “Are you proud and happy if your children were to work in the company that you are investing in” – to identify compounders with a greater sense of Purpose to create value and serve their customers/community.

Above all, we shared with Arko that our clients, just like our H.E.R.O. innovators and business owners, understood the profoundness that it’s not about a Maslow-type pyramid that they need to scale upwards in profits and returns; the H.E.R.O. journey is not upwards, but a deeper journey inwards and towards the center, about the kind of person you want to become through the work you build and invest in to serve those you care about.

Deeper and inwards towards the center. As Einstein elucidates: “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value” – Amid all of life’s chaos and challenges, a restorative balm to all of us to be Centered in values with focus and purpose to be of value in serving an idea larger than ourselves and the people we care deeply for.


Thus far, of the 72 entrepreneurs and CEOs whom we had highlighted in our previous weekly research brief HeartWare, less than one-third are in our focused portfolio of 40 HERO Innovators, while the rest (50+) are in our broader watchlist of 200+ stocks.

If you are not moving forward in this exponential world, you are going backwards. If you want to join us at the leading edge of opportunity, if you identify yourself in the values and bigger sense of purpose in H.E.R.O., or you wish to tell from your heart to your most important person, son, daughter, wife, husband, or best friend that you are a farsighted and thoughtful explorer in the H.E.R.O.’s Journey participating in the long-term exponential growth of a selected group of outstanding entrepreneurs, standing up for the embracement of the human spirit, please contact us via email or WhatsApp at +65 9695 1860. Thank you very much for your patience and support and we look forward to growing exponentially with you as we explore the H.E.R.O.’s Journey together.


It started with rethinking a few questions. Question No. 1: Can the megacap tech elephants still dance? Or is this the better question: Is there an alternative and better way to capture long-term investment returns created by disruptive forces and innovation without chasing the highly popular megacap tech stocks, or falling for the “Next-Big-Thing” trap in overpaying for “growth”, or investing in the fads, me-too imitators, or even in seemingly cutting-edge technologies without the ability to monetize and generate recurring revenue with a sustainable and scalable business model? How can we distinguish between the true innovators and the swarming imitators?

Question No. 2: What if the “non-disruptive” group of reasonably decent quality companies with seemingly “cheap” valuations, a fertile hunting ground of value investors, all need to have their longer-term profitability and balance sheet asset value to be “reset” by deducting a substantial amount of deferred innovation-related expenses and investments every year, given that they are persistently behind the innovation cycle against the disruptors, just to stay “relevant” to survive and compete? Let’s say this invisible expense and deferred liability in the balance sheet that need to be charged amount to 20 to 30% of the revenue (or likely more), its inexactitude is hidden; its wildness lurks and lies in wait. Would you still think that they are still “cheap” in valuation?

Consider the déjà vu case of Kmart vs Walmart in 2000s and now Walmart vs Amazon. It is easy to forget that Kmart spent US$2 billion in 2000/01 in IT and uses the same supplier as Walmart – IBM. The tangible assets and investments are there in the balance sheet and valuations are “cheap”. Yet Kmart failed to replicate to compound value the way it did for Walmart. Now Walmart is investing billions to “catch up” and stay relevant. Key word is “relevancy” to garner valuation.

We now live in an exponential world, and as the Baupost chief and super value investor Seth Klarman warns, disruption is accelerating “exponentially” and value investing has evolved. The paradigm shift to avoid the cheap-gets-cheaper “value traps”, to keep staying curious & humble, and to keep learning & adapting, has never been more critical for value investors. We believe there is a structural break in data in the market’s multi-year appraisal (as opposed to “mean reversion” in valuation over a time period of 2-5 years) on the type of recurring-revenue profitable business models, the “exponential innovators”, that can survive, compete and thrive in this challenging exponential world we now live in. Tech-focused innovators with non-linear exponential growth potential are the most relevant multi-year investment trend and opportunity.  

During our value investing journey in the Asian capital jungles over the decade plus, we have observed that many entrepreneurs were successful at the beginning in growing their companies to a certain size, then growth seems to suddenly stall or even reverse, and they become misguided or even corrupted along the way in what they want out of their business and life, which led to a deteriorating tailspin, defeating the buy-and-hold strategy and giving currency to the practice of trading-in-and-out of stocks. On the other hand, there exists an exclusive, under-the-radar, group of innovators who are exceptional market leaders in their respective fields with unique scalable business models run by high-integrity, honorable and far-sighted entrepreneurs with a higher purpose in solving high-value problems for their customers and society whom we call H.E.R.O. – “Honorable. Exponential. Resilient. Organization.”

The H.E.R.O. are governed by a greater purpose in their pursuit to contribute to the welfare of people and guided by an inner compass in choosing and focusing on what they are willing to struggle for and what pains they are willing to endure, in continuing to do their quiet inner innovation work, persevering day in and day out. There’s a tendency for us to think that to be a disruptive innovator or to do anything grand, you have to have a special gift, be someone called for. We think ultimately what really matters is the resolve — to want to do it, bring the future forward by throwing yourself into it, to give your life to that which you consider important. We aim to penetrate into the deeper order that whispers beneath the surface of tech innovations and to stand on the firmer ground of experience hard won through hearing and distilling the essence of the stories of our H.E.R.O. in overcoming their struggles and in understanding the origin of their quiet life of purpose, who opened their hearts to us that resilience and innovation is an art that can be learned, which can embolden all of us with more emotional courage and wisdom to go about our own value investing journey and daily life.

Warm regards,
KB | kb@heroinnovator.com | WhatsApp +65 9695 1860
www.heroinnovator.com

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (15 May 2019) – The Spectacular Implosion of Dr. Cho’s ‘Nefarious Network’: Hong Kong’s markets are plagued by stock manipulation, share pledging, cross-ownership and margin lending. Regulators say they’re going to take action.

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (15 May 2019) – The Spectacular Implosion of Dr. Cho’s ‘Nefarious Network’: Hong Kong’s markets are plagued by stock manipulation, share pledging, cross-ownership and margin lending. Regulators say they’re going to take action.

Companies

  • Ctrip CEO says trade war is putting Chinese tourists off US, with many opting for ‘more welcoming’ nations (SCMP)
  • Cloud provider Xunlei discards dubious past, reveals partnership with Youku (TN)
  • Yunji raises $121 million in IPO-but is the company a pyramid scheme? (TN)
  • Bilibili Stock Tumbled Despite the Chinese Anime Site’s 1st-Quarter Revenue Growth (Barron’s)
  • Trend Micro Delivers the Industry’s Most Complete Security Across Cloud and Container Workloads (SB)
  • Toei Releases Impressive Dragon Ball Profits for 2019’s First Quarter (CB); ‘Dragon Ball’ anime powers Toei back to profit growth; Mobile game based on franchise also contributes to turnaround (Nikkei); Bandai Namco sales and profits up last year, led by gaming segment (GI)
  • SK Innovation to invest US$490 million to build a second assembly in China to supply batteries for electric vehicles (SCMP)
  • Key Apple suppliers suffer big profit drop as iPhone woes bite; Foxconn and Pegatron see major drop as tariff challenge looms (Nikkei)
  • Quanta warns shifting out of China may be ‘no cheaper’ than tariffs (Nikkei)
  • Investment platform operators such as Netwealth and HUB24 stand to reap a share in $35 billion in new fund flow as a direct result of the opposition’s plan to abolish franking credit refunds. (AFR)
  • Global investors eye ASX tech darlings as investors, rattled by trade war concerns, get out of the major US technology names (AFR)

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

  • Baidu’s education business shifts from consumer-facing to enterprise (TN)
  • After Jack: Alibaba searches for new growth in the post-Ma era; Challenge to Amazon and Microsoft in cloud services could bring conflict with Washington (Nikkei); When the guru steps down: tech companies face the succession question; Jack Ma has been gradually handing power to Daniel Zhang for years (Nikkei)
  • Alipay extends mobile payment services to 300,000 retailers in Japan; The number of merchants supporting Alipay in Japan has surged to more than 300,000 from about 50,000 in early 2018 (SCMP)
  • Tencent Music Stock Gets It Right the Second Time (MF)

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

  • Facebook Takes Step to Police Content on Its Live Service (NYT)
  • Apple’s newest iPhone game-only the second the company has ever developed for its own App Store-appears to be targeted at a very small and specific demographic: Omaha-area billionaires aged 85 and up. (qz)
  • Amazon rolls out Alexa Guard, to help protect your home while you’re out (TC)
  • Attention, Amazon Shoppers: Google Wants Some of Your Spending Money (NYT)
  • Google’s latest app, Rivet, uses speech processing to help kids learn to read (TC)
  • Google Express becomes an all-new Google Shopping in big revamp (TC)
  • Google Makes New Push to Bolster Travel-Related Searches (Bloomberg)
  • Google Unveils Slew of New Digital Ad Formats in Amazon Battle (Bloomberg)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Content emerges as new driver of Chinese e-commerce (TN)
  • Huawei launches AI-backed database to target enterprise customers (TC)
  • Ant Financial-backed Hello Chuxing seeks hefty financing that would take valuation to USD 4 billion (KRA)
  • Chinese developers elbow into Japan’s mobile game market (Nikkei)
  • Ten-second menu app “Taberly” adds an online ordering function to buy ingredients with just a few taps, and announces procurement of 250 million yen (TC)
  • Taiwan Helping Tech Firms That Choose Southeast Asia Over China (Bloomberg)
  • In India election, a $14 software tool helps overcome WhatsApp controls (Reuters)
  • India’s largest mobile wallet company Paytm now offers a credit card (TC)
  • Big Upsurge In E-Commerce Drives Southeast Asia’s Online Economy (Forbes)
  • Ecommerce: What the past 10 years mean for the future; The past decade has seen the emergence of ecommerce unicorns, big-ticket acquisitions, and deep-pocketed global investors. The final draft of the ecommerce policy will determine who holds the edge in the next decade (Forbes)
  • Paytm CEO suddenly has no problem with “the most evil” company’s WhatsApp Pay (qz)
  • Uber’s IPO flop bodes ill for Grab and Go-Jek; Southeast Asian ‘decacorns’ must show path to profitability, say experts (Nikkei)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • AI at the Barbican: in the realm of mind games; A wide-ranging new exhibition in London explores developments in artificial intelligence (FT)
  • Driverless electric truck starts deliveries on Swedish public road (Reuters)
  • Adobe brings new Amazon and Google integrations to Magento (TC)
  • Disney to Buy Comcast’s Hulu Stake and Take Full Control of Streaming Service (NYT)
  • Match now offers dating coaches who help its members with profiles, dating challenges (TC)
  • Intel’s new boss wants to teach the chipmaker new tricks; When fear of missing out meets financial ruthlessness (Economist)
  • Questions Persist About Uber’s Profits-And Its Stock Falls Further (Forbes); Uber and Lyft Might Never Be Profitable. Investors Are Waking Up to That. (Barron’s); Uber Eats Needs to Deliver More Than Ever; Its explosive growth is crucial at a time when Uber’s largest business, ride hailing, is slowing. (Bloomberg); Uber’s IPO Debacle Raises Hairy Questions for WeWork (Bloomberg)
  • San Francisco just banned facial-recognition technology (CNN)
  • CrowdStrike IPO: 5 things to know about the cybersecurity unicorn (MW)
  • Ken Fisher: Subscription Advice a “Stupid Model” (Barron’s)
  • EDA Vendors Spread Wings as Market Softens (EET)

Life

  • The Spectacular Implosion of Dr. Cho’s ‘Nefarious Network’: Hong Kong’s markets are plagued by stock manipulation, share pledging, cross-ownership and margin lending. Regulators say they’re going to take action. (Bloomberg)

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (14 May 2019) – How to Increase Your Personal Agency

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (14 May 2019) – How to Increase Your Personal Agency

Companies

  • Tencent Music profit beats as paid subscribers grow (Reuters)
  • Zoom Video Analysts Like Its Growth But Caution on Valuation (Bloomberg)
  • Taiwan’s Foxconn readies chip boss to succeed Gou as chairman – sources (Reuters)
  • Greatech Technology Bhd, an industrial automation solutions provider, aims to raise RM73.05mil from its initial public offering (IPO (Star)

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

  • Alipay now serves over 300,000 merchants in Japan (KRA)

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

  • Microsoft’s Cloud Business Is Closing In on Amazon Web Services, Analyst Says (Barron’s)
  • Apple revamps its TV app ahead of streaming service launch (Reuters)
  • Netflix Bull Says ‘Bulletproof’ Service Can Handle Disney+ Challenge (Bloomberg)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • China AI cancer diagnosis start-ups face capital shortage; Stricter licensing regime makes it tougher to commercialise medical tech (FT)
  • China’s regulator urges brokerages to monitor investors’ funding needs to trade on Nasdaq-style market; Retail investors must meet minimum investment threshold of US$72,900 to trade stocks on the new board, which is likely to debut in the middle of this year (SCMP)
  • TikTok’s overseas issues (TN)
  • China’s Leshi on verge of delisting as debts pile up (Nikkei)
  • US reveals tariffs on $300bn of Chinese goods, including phones; Asian tech companies prepare to initiate contingency plans (Nikkei)
  • KDDI rolls out new ‘price down’ smartphone plans for Japan amid government push for lower rates (JT)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • ServiceNow acqui-hires mobile analytics startup Appsee (TC)
  • Mailchimp expands from email to full marketing platform, says it will make $700M in 2019 (TC)
  • Slack aims to be the most important software company in the world, says CEO (TC)
  • ADT Stock Tanks Because Google Is Helping People Manage Their Own Home Security (Barron’s)
  • The Web’s All-Seeing Eye: This Startup Is Getting In On Google’s Game By Searching A Trillion Facts (Forbes)
  • A senator wants to ban video games like Candy Crush from offering ‘loot boxes’ in-app purchases (CNN)
  • Shopify Stock Is Falling After an Analyst Said Bullish Targets Are Already Priced In (Barron’s)
  • Uber Is a Market Bellwether for All the Wrong Reasons; The point when investors start demanding profits from money-losing tech companies would mark the end of low inflation. (Bloomberg)
  • Pinterest’s Surge Triggers Cautious Reviews From Wall Street (Bloomberg)

Life

  • Podcast #507: How to Increase Your Personal Agency (AOM)
  • How I Built This with Guy Raz: Belkin International: Chet Pipkin (NPR)

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (13 May 2019) – Gates’s Law: How Progress Compounds and Why It Matter

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (13 May 2019) – Gates’s Law: How Progress Compounds and Why It Matter

Companies

  • Pinduoduo wants you to buy a product together with 9,999 strangers; Pinduoduo is spending big bucks hoping to kickstart a new social shopping frenzy (KRA)
  • Chinese social apps Momo, Tantan and DingTalk suspend user posts amid government crackdown; Tantan is China’s biggest dating platform, with 90 million registered users and six million daily active users (SCMP)
  • So Young, More Beautiful – The Allure of China’s Plastic Surgery Market (PD)
  • Fanuc to build new plant to harness 5G and self-driving demand; Robot maker to invest $28m to mass-produce equipment for high-end lenses (Nikkei)
  • Delta to invest up to NT$13bn in Taiwan (TT)

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

  • Lazada extends e-commerce edge in Southeast Asia despite lull in overall visits to site; The Alibaba-backed e-commerce company scored the highest average monthly active users in Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Singapore (SCMP)
  • Tencent links up with the State Grid of China to build industrial internet infrastructure for the power sector (KRA)
  • Despite propaganda concerns, Tencent launches subscription-based video streaming app in Taiwan (KRA)
  • Masa’s $100 Billion Fund Plays a Game of Hot Potato; The trick in venture capital is finding someone to buy your stake for more than you paid. A listing would grant new sources of cash. (Bloomberg); SoftBank’s Market Value Slides $9 Billion as Uber IPO Flops (Bloomberg)
  • Apple Partner TSMC Starts Building Chips for the Next Generation of iPhones (Bloomberg)

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

  • Facebook files lawsuit against South Korea data analytics group; Social network says case against Rankwave relates to misuse of ad and marketing services (FT)
  • TV networks emerge as obstacles on YouTube’s hunt for ads (Reuters)
  • Amazon rolls out machines that pack orders and replace jobs (Reuters)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Douyin competitor Kuaishou targets USD 4 billion in revenue and profitability in 2019 (KRA)
  • Fashion platform Mogu connects livestreamers and brands (TN)
  • China’s ‘data doors’ scoop up information straight from your phone; The security screeners scan more than your face, picking up MAC addresses and IMEI numbers (SCMP)
  • METI and JETRO to boost e-commerce support for Japanese firms via Japan Mall websites (JT)
  • Hotstar, Disney’s Indian streaming service, sets new global record for live viewership (TC)
  • India’s most popular services are becoming super apps; Companies like Paytm and Amazon bundle other services to give users an all-in-one experience (TC)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Markets Are 10X Bigger Than Ever (EG)
  • Bosch goes for platinum-light fuel cells (Reuters)
  • What’s next for the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Avengers: Endgame is not really the end. Spider-Man, Black Panther, Guardians and more-here’s a comprehensive list-and possibilities-of what’s coming at you from the superhero stables (Forbes)
  • MuleSoft chases Aussie transformation mania (AFR)
  • The investor who turned down Uber at a $5m valuation; ‘Aargh’ says Mark Suster, who went to Open Angel Forum in 2010 (FT)
  • As TV Industry’s $20 Billion Week Starts, Signs That Streaming Isn’t King Yet; The so-called upfronts are traditional television’s annual hype-fest, and a way locking advertisers into lucrative deals. They’re also a reminder of the medium’s continuing relevance (NYT)
  • AI arms race risks rise of uncontrollable killer robots; US, China and Russia poised to field unmanned weapons before global rules take shape (Nikkei)
  • Uber Is Too Mature and Immature; It has the hallmarks of a slowing, established company and the unprofitable economics of an upstart, making it hard for investors to love. (Bloomberg); Morgan Stanley Got Rich Clients Into Uber. Then the IPO Stumbled (Bloomberg)
  • French start-up targets hi-tech anti-pollution mask at Asia’s health-conscious consumers; Founder says US$220 price tag should not deter consumers who value their health above all else. (SCMP)

Life

  • Gates’s Law: How Progress Compounds and Why It Matters (FS)
  • Police arrest Kangde Xin’s major shareholder in a show of force to support regulator’s crackdown on corporate malfeasance; Police arrested Zhong Yu, the major shareholder and former chairman of Kangde Xin, after its auditor refused to sign off on the listed company’s cash position (SCMP)
  • Best World confirms allegations that CEO’s brother-in-law owns main customer in China (ST)
  • Degrees of Confidence (MH)
  • What Does It Mean to Be Great? Not What You Think. (ZR)

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (11 May 2019) – Secret of sensor giant Keyence’s super-high margin + Japan’s Google-backed AI pioneer plots a quantum leap; Analyzing retail data only scratches the surface of Abeja’s ambitions

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (11 May 2019) – Secret of sensor giant Keyence’s super-high margin + Japan’s Google-backed AI pioneer plots a quantum leap; Analyzing retail data only scratches the surface of Abeja’s ambitions

Companies

  • Zoom and Its Profits Face Analyst Scrutiny After 121% Rally (Bloomberg)
  • Momo will temporarily suspend the ability of users to post social newsfeeds on its platform between May 11, 2019 and June 11, 2019 and undertake other self-inspection measures pursuant to directives of relevant government authority (PRNW)
  • Secret of sensor giant Keyence’s super-high margin (Nikkei)
  • Delta Electronics plans to hire 7,000 employees over next 3-5 years (FT)
  • Meet The Asian E-Commerce Head Who’s Expanding Globally, But Not In China (Forbes)
  • Life360 passes first day of ASX litmus test (AFR)

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

  • SoftBank hedges bet on mobile with Yahoo deal (Nikkei); SoftBank/Vision Fund: Uberoptimistic Group remains reliant on the mature and fiercely competitive telecoms industry (FT)

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

  • In the World of Dating, All-Powerful Facebook Is Now the Underdog (Barron’s)
  • Nest, the company, died at Google I/O 2019 (ARST)
  • Netflix Signs Deal With Alibaba to Add Chinese-Language TV Show (Bloomberg)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • China’s Electric-Car Mania Draws Parallels to the Dot-Com Bubble (Bloomberg)
  • TikTok Is the New Music Kingmaker, and Labels Want to Get Paid; They’re seeking a better deal after they missed the rise of the social video platform and sold music rights for a flat fee. (Bloomberg)
  • In China, Even Healthcare for All Isn’t Enough; As the country tries to expand private insurance, its tech companies should lead the way. (Bloomberg)
  • Social selling startup Beidian raises RMB 860 million, challenges Pinduoduo (TN)
  • Shakeout looms for China’s electric car market, as 80 per cent of start-ups predicted to go under; Only 20 to 30 electric vehicle makers may survive, says Beijing Electric Vehicle Co senior executive (SCMP)
  • Japan’s Google-backed AI pioneer plots a quantum leap; Analyzing retail data only scratches the surface of Abeja’s ambitions (Nikkei)
  • Japan’s ‘information banks’ to let users cash in on personal data (Nikkei)
  • Panasonic sets $9bn sales target at new China-focused segment; Electronics maker eyes innovation hub for connected appliances (Nikkei)
  • JG Summit to pump $50m into Southeast Asian startups (Nikkei)
  • Ovo, Grab’s mobile wallet in Indonesia, introduces ‘pay later’ feature (KRA)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Zillow’s future vision ramping up fast, and it’s good news for homebuyers & sellers (TBP)
  • Silicon Valley will soon get its own stock exchange (qz)
  • Lyft’s revenues double, losses quintuple-and prospects darken; The same is likely to be true of Uber when it lists. Only more so (Economist); Uber IPO: the long ride to profitability; The billions raised from the listing will help its strategy, but how much longer can it continue without making a profit? (FT); As Uber goes public, the fight against its broken business model continues (ET); Uber’s dull thud may startle unicorn herd (Reuters)
  • American pay-television is in decline; This will have far-reaching consequences for the industry (Economist)
  • How real-estate barons have ridden the tech boom; Digitisation has created unlikely winners: real-estate barons (Economist)
  • WeWork’s starry valuation dazzles landlords, reaffirms doubters (Reuters)
  • Jumia falls sharply after Citron claims fraud; Africa-focused ecommerce site targeted by short seller (FT); Wall Street’s Silence Is Deafening as Citron Takes Aim at the Amazon of Africa (Bloomberg)
  • Marvell Doubles Down on Automotive Ethernet (EET)
  • Artificial Intelligence Detects IEDs at Military X-Ray Checkpoints (EET)
  • After Delivering 5,000% Share Jump, Ambu CEO Makes a Sudden Exit (Bloomberg)
  • Game Development Platform Unity Raising Funding at $6 Billion Valuation (Bloomberg)

Life

  • ‘Relentless focus kept me going’: Achal Bakeri, Chairman and MD of Symphony (HBL)
  • The Empty Promise of Data Moats (a16z)

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (9-10 May 2019) – The Company Behind Gore-Tex Is Coming for Your Eyeballs; W.L. Gore, the classic American innovator, is building artificial corneas, and reinventing itself in the process.

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (9-10 May 2019) – The Company Behind Gore-Tex Is Coming for Your Eyeballs; W.L. Gore, the classic American innovator, is building artificial corneas, and reinventing itself in the process.

Companies

  • Online lesson platform GSX Techedu plans US IPO (KRA, Nikkei)
  • China’s CAR Rental raises USD 200m via bond sales to repay old debt (KRA)
  • Recruit invests in Indian AI chatbot platform Techbins (SI)
  • Daifuku’s visualisation and simulation approach to baggage handling (IAR)
  • Sony’s market value stays discounted even as profits pick up; Investors balk at array of businesses with capitalization at half of peak (Nikkei)
  • Trend Micro Reports Solid First Quarter 2019 Results (BW)
  • Recruit invests in Indian AI chatbot platform Techbins (SI)
  • Terry Gou’s right-hand woman tipped to become next Foxconn chief; ‘Money Mama’ Huang seen maintaining mogul’s ties to group (Nikkei); Foxconn to shift some output from Shenzhen to Taiwan (Nikkei)
  • Innodisk Displaying IoT-Ready Solutions and Resolution at IoT World 2019 (PRNW)
  • Shopee beats Lazada in terms of number of visits across Southeast Asia in Q1 2019 (KRA)
  • Afterpay forced to change name for UK launch by Dutch rival (Age)
  • Atlassian shares hit a record after Goldman analysts recommend buying the stock (CNBC)

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

  • How Garena became extremely important for Tencent’s future (e27)
  • Tencent and Ant Financial win Hong Kong virtual bank licenses; Xiaomi- and Ping An-backed ventures also gain approval from monetary authority (Nikkei)
  • Tencent, Alibaba, Xiaomi units win Hong Kong online banking license (Reuters)
  • WeChat users can now add songs to the videos they post (M(
  • Alipay’s mutual aid platform Xiang Hu Bao now covers senior citizens in China (KRA)
  • Masayoshi Son claims Vision Fund LPs are already up 45% – but that’s mostly paper gains (TC); SoftBank profit grows 36% relying heavily on investment stakes; Vision Fund generates returns but debt and thin cash flow cast shadow (Nikkei); SoftBank’s Son declares second $100bn tech fund will launch soon (Nikkei); Son’s $100 Billion Mammoth Can Still Move Fast; The SoftBank Vision Fund just had its busiest and most profitable quarter, and it still has the Uber IPO to come. (Bloomberg); SoftBank’s Big Bets Start to Pay Off With $3.8 Billion Uber Gain (Bloomberg); What Uber’s IPO Tells Us About SoftBank’s Big Ride-Hailing Bet (Bloomberg); Son’s $100 Billion Mammoth Can Still Move Fast; The SoftBank Vision Fund just had its busiest and most profitable quarter, and it still has the Uber IPO to come. (Bloomberg)
  • Samsung unveils world’s highest-resolution image sensor (Investor)

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

  • Break up Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg is too strong, says company’s co-founder (JT)
  • Amazon upgrades its Blink outdoor security camera with better battery, two-way talk (TC)
  • Amazon Hit by Extensive Fraud With Hackers Siphoning Merchant Funds (Bloomberg)
  • Google and Qualcomm launch a dev kit for building Assistant-enabled headphones (TC)
  • Google Maps’ AR navigation makes walking directions foolproof (Age); Assistant thinks on the fly, and other Android updates coming soon (Age)
  • Google Fights Back (BT)
  • Waymo at 1,000 Riders: The Self-Driving Frontrunner Inches Forward (Bloomberg)
  • Microsoft is building a virtual assistant for work. Google is building one for everything else (qz)
  • The $1 trillion miracle of Microsoft; Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has a completely different style to that of his predecessors, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. It’s helped turn the tech giant from a market laggard into the world’s most valuable company (AFR)
  • Netflix acquires kids’ educational content co. StoryBots (TC)
  • Services are the new battleground for Apple (AFR)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • WeChat challenger Toilet pivots to e-commerce, rebrands as Haoji (TN)
  • Chinese mom-focused social commerce platform Beidian raises USD 126 million; Anyone can open a shop on Beidian to sell and share products, and receive commissions from sales. (KRA)
  • Co-chiefs of China’s top chipmaker SMIC fighting over strategy; Pair battle over whether to pursue profits or state demands for cutting-edge technology (FT)
  • Chinese fintech firms cosy up to banks as collaborators instead of disrupters they shift towards retail banking (SCMP)
  • Slump in China Stocks Threatens to Spoil Tech Board Plan (Bloomberg)
  • China’s Robocars Are Being Lapped By Their U.S. Competitors (Bloomberg)
  • Chinese AI unicorn Megvii raises US$750 million ahead of planned IPO (SCMP)
  • China now has 202 unicorns, says report (KRA)
  • Three shifts in Chinese clean tech recast climate villain as savior; Solar is finally cheaper than fossil fuels; wind and EVs are not far behind (Nikkei)
  • Douyin set to add “Products” category to its search bar (KRA)
  • China’s Microsoft challenger Kingsoft files for Shanghai tech board listing (TN)
  • Toyota, Panasonic to set up company for ‘connected’ homes (Reuters)
  • Taiwanese solid-state battery maker ProLogium seeing adoption in electric vehicles (TN)
  • Seoul to spend W240b for next-generation chip tech (Investor)
  • How HaloDoc aims to open greater access to healthcare for all Indonesians; Medical facilities in Indonesia are not evenly distributed. HaloDoc wants to help tackle this challenge (e27)
  • RIP Indian Handsets: Micromax, Intex, Lava and Karbonn hold only 3 percent market share (Forbes)
  • BigBasket gets funds from Alibaba, Mirae as investors bet on Indian startups; Online grocery retailer receives $150 million (Nikkei)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • How Artificial Intelligence could help with early detection of breast cancer (MW)
  • SaaS startups are changing the founder/investor dynamic (TNW)
  • com to bolster caregivers’ screening checks (MW)
  • Uber’s global ‘alliances’ create frenemies that cloud long-term prospects (TN); Data and delivery: how Uber aims to move things around the world (Age); Uber Is Going Public: How Today’s Tech; I.P.O.s Differ From the Dot-Com Boom (NYT); The answer to Uber’s profit challenge? It may lie in its trove of data (Reuters); Uber has recipes to avoid delivery indigestion (Reuters); Uber’s losses are nothing like young Amazon’s (Reuters)
  • Lyft stops providing key data after IPO, then insults investors’ intelligence (MW); How Lyft disguises its losses (qz); Lyft takes some gas out of Uber’s IPO (Reuters)
  • Square teams up with Postmates for delivery partnership (MW)
  • Roku stock surge adds another $100 million to short sellers’ paper losses this year (MW)
  • IBM Could Struggle in the Cloud, Analyst Says – and Watch Out for Activist Investors (Barron’s)
  • Citron Research’s Andrew Left slams Jumia as a ‘fraud’ and ‘worthless’ (MW)
  • With new Fit technology, Nike calls itself a tech company (TC); Sick of Getting Returned Sneakers, Nike Tries a New Sizing App (Bloomberg)
  • Symantec CEO to step down in abrupt departure as company warns on profit (Reuters)
  • Rent the Runway just opened its largest brick-and-mortar store yet (TC)
  • Pandora expands its music-and-podcasts product Pandora Stories with help from SiriusXM’s guests (TC)
  • Pearl, the healthcare spinout from LA-based AI startup, GumGum, raises $11 million (TC)
  • Robotics startups won’t win without also incorporating AI, as Karakuri’s fundraise shows (TC)
  • Printify raises $3M to expand its marketplace for custom printing (TC)
  • Slack: Why your company needs to find its hedgehog (TNW)
  • How 5G will transform the way we use computers (Age)
  • Live music streaming pioneer Boiler Room touches down in China (KRA)
  • Disruptions of the last decade: How technology has changed the way we live, work and socialise (Forbes)
  • TripAdvisor Stock Tumbles Because Investors Don’t Like the Look of the Road Ahead (Barron’s)
  • “ServiceNow’s differentiated technology in automation and process management positions them well to build a strong ecosystem connecting all major portions of the company’s IT and business operations” (Barron’s)
  • WeWork: leaser of last resort (FT)
  • How Intel found itself ‘in a little bit of a bathtub’; Chief Bob Swan cautions chipmaker faces anaemic revenue growth and slipping margins; Intel’s stock is down almost 20 per cent in the past two weeks alone (FT)
  • BrainBox AI has announced the launch of a new product that combines deep learning, cloud-based computing and algorithms to support a self-sustaining commercial building (BK)
  • Managing data as an asset: An interview with the CEO of Informatica (MK)
  • Disney Writes Off Its Vice Stake in Latest Sign of Trouble (Bloomberg)
  • New York Times Company Continues to Add Online Subscribers as Digital Advertising Grows (NYT)
  • Real Estate’s Latest Bid: Zillow Wants to Buy Your House (NYT)

Life

  • The Company Behind Gore-Tex Is Coming for Your Eyeballs; W.L. Gore, the classic American innovator, is building artificial corneas, and reinventing itself in the process. (Bloomberg)
  • Asia is home to 50% of world’s fastest growing companies; Tencent leads 1,679 ‘ten baggers’ and India emerges as top incubator, data show (Nikkei)
  • How toxic company culture is derailing billion-dollar M&As (TNW)
  • SGX to Best World: Is main customer in China a related party? Firm had declared Changsha Best an independent party in offensive against short-seller; separate report says Dora Hoan’s brother-in-law is behind it (BT)
  • Berkshire Takes Tax Hit as Victim of ‘Ponzi-Type’ Solar Scheme (Bloomberg)
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