H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (Weekend Read 7-8 April 2018) – Hamamatsu Photonics (TSE: 6965) family mourns the passing of honorary chairman Teruo Hiruma + SenseTime, China’s largest facial-recognition AI unicorn at $3 billion

Companies

  • The Hamamatsu Photonics (TSE: 6965) family mourns the passing of our honorary chairman and past President, Mr. Teruo Hiruma. (PRN)

Hamamatsu Photonics which commands a 90% global market share in the sensor devices known as photomultipliers which play important roles in everything from X-ray machines to DNA sequencers and pollution monitors. A majority of revenue comes from medical and industrial applications. In X-ray machines, they check the exposure time or dose (eg emergence of digital technology for dental intraoral X-ray images to create demand). Pollution monitors employ them to observe the content of car exhaust fumes (Growing demand for analytical equipment going forward as environmental protection as regulations are introduced globally). Even baggage inspection equipment uses PMT.

  • Maker of World’s Top Video Game Sues Chinese Company NetEase of copying ideas behind Battlegrounds (Bloomberg)
  • Rakuten to shake up Japan’s mobile triopoly and trigger price war; E-commerce company starts service in October 2019 (Nikkei)
  • Nintendo Rethinks How We Play Video Games. Again; With its new cardboard LABO kits, the Japanese powerhouse has reimagined the videogame accessory for craft-minded, environmentally conscious people (WSJ)
  • Delta Electronics, a global leader in power and thermal management solutions, today announced the launch of its 30kW wireless battery charging system for the material handling industry, capable of charging a 600Ahr-48V battery in 60 minutes. Adding to the company’s growing portfolio of wireless solutions, this powerful charging system is ideal for large and complex vehicles associated with the burgeoning warehouse automation industry, such as scissor lifts, forklifts, trucks, golf carts, and Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs). (KoreaTimes)

BAT – Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent

  • Alibaba IoT Platform Partners with NXP for Automotive (EETImes)

Asian Tech & Innovation Trends

  • SenseTime, a standout in facial-recognition technology and, by virtue of an implied capitalisation it says exceeds $3 billion, China’s largest AI unicorn. (Forbes)
  • Chinese Online Lender Weidai Plans $400 Million IPO (Bloomberg)
  • Chatty robots in Japan begin to make all the right moves; Researchers create lifelike humanoids by enhancing verbal and nonverbal skills (Nikkei)
  • Infofed, a local developer of virtual reality and drones, is moving into the eSports arena to cash in on the segment’s booming popularity. The company has invested 50 million baht to open the Thailand eSport Arena, the country’s largest such venue, by June. (BPost)
  • ‘Big Brother’ in India Requires Fingerprint Scans for Food, Phones and Finances (NYT)

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

  • Alphabet, Facebook, Amazon: Too Big to Fail? (Barron’s)
  • Apple Could Hit $1 Trillion Valuation With Curved iPhone (Barron’s)
  • Amazon: Alexa Wants Your Person-To-Person Payments (Barron’s); Amazon’s Next Mission: Using Alexa to Help You Pay Friends; Firm looks to make voice commands the next wave of commerce, pushing it in direct rivalry with Venmo (WSJ)
  • Amazon Web Services can triple in size in five years’ time, to $60 billion, as the business “has become the gold standard for millions of customers” in cloud computing. (Barron’s)

The vast majority of companies we talk to are building on AWS in a big way – and today the company announced Shutterfly will be moving its 75+ PB image library to AWS and Cox Automotive will be closing 40+ data centers as part of its transition onto AWS. Last week, GoDaddy also announced its partnership with AWS in which the company will begin a multi-year transition onto AWS, while also bringing GDDY solutions (domains, GoCentral, ManagedWP) into the AWS marketplace. Next for Amazon is moving up the stack” in cloud: 1) Move up the stack – AWS is primarily focused on the infrastructure layer of software, but we see an opportunity for the company to move further up the stack and make a bigger push into the application layer; 2) Security remains top of mind for all parties – management has been clear that AWS should become more acquisitive, and we think security could provide a natural expansion opportunity; 3) Hybrid cloud – we continue to gather evidence around a hybrid cloud world for enterprise over the next several years. Amazon’s partnership with VMware has helped provide a bridge, but we think AWS needs broader access and a more complete hybrid solution, which could fill one of the only notable gaps in the AWS portfolio.

  • Amazon’s Great R&D Gift to the Nation; Whether Jeff Bezos can capitalize on his company’s massive technology investments or not, they’re likely to pay off for the country’s economy. (Bloomberg)
  • Google’s Parent Is a Bargain in Big Tech (Barron’s)
  • Microsoft’s next act: CEO Satya Nadella talks about innovation, disruption, and organizational change. (McKinsey)
  • Netflix offering more than $300 million for billboard company: sources (Reuters)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Can Big Tech Stocks Grow Without Limits? Traditionally, the bigger companies have gotten, the harder it has become for them to keep growing at the same rate. Has that changed? (WSJ)
  • AI: Coming to a Portfolio Near You (Barron’s)
  • Spotify Goes Public At $30 Billion; When Will Artists See Any Of That? While negotiating access to the rights needed to enter the U.S. market in 2011, Spotify gave away a large chunk of equity to record labels. (Forbes); Sony fast out the door at Spotify listing (FT)
  • Does Barry Diller’s IAC Deserve a “Buffett Premium?” (Barron’s)

  • NFC is the underdog tech set to explode in the next five years (TNW)

  • Can A.I. Bring Alpha, and Pizza? One Portfolio Manager Thinks So. Idex (IEX), the maker of medical devices, has a diagnostic system for veterinarians that can take in lots of images of urine samples and save time doing an animal’s urinalysis. (Barron’s)
  • Here’s how Deliveroo plans to just eat its competitors (TNW)
  • Fintech Could Flop Without Big Banks; An amazing product is nothing without access to money. (Bloomberg); Fintech, a Failure? (Medium)
  • The Future Of Fashion: From Design To Merchandising, How Tech Is Reshaping The Industry (CBI); Why A Potential $5B Valuation At IPO For Luxury Unicorn FarFetch May Not Be Crazy After All (CBI)

Life

  • The Early Pitch Decks Of 13 Startups Before They Became Billion-Dollar Companies (CBI)
  • Business Lessons from Mark Leonard (Constellation Software) (25iq)
  • The 45 Qualities Every True Leader Must Have (AOM)
  • Intelligent Fanatics Think Beyond Their Lifetime (IF)
  • Leading through emotion (Forbes)

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