H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (27 April 2018) – Nintendo doubles revenue thanks to hot-selling Switch; CyberAgent Soars on Partnership With Nintendo for Mobile Games + The Top 5 VC Bets Of All Time

Companies

  • CyberAgent Soars on Partnership With Nintendo for Mobile Games (Bloomberg)
  • Nidec to start Chinese production to ride electric car boom; Japanese motor maker will invest $274m for new plant (Nikkei)
  • Nintendo doubles revenue thanks to hot-selling Switch; Company foresees sales of 20m consoles, 100m software units in coming year (Nikkei); Nintendo logs 36% annual jump in net profit on robust Switch sales (Japan Times); Nintendo invests in gaming-app provider (Nikkei); Nintendo, Scoring Roaring Business, to Switch It Up With a New CEO; Tatsumi Kimishima will step down in June, to be succeeded by Shuntaro Furukawa (WSJ); Nintendo switches president after forecasting best annual profit in nine years (Reuters)
  • Fanuc foresees big earnings drop in China trade war: Robot maker’s conservative outlook reflects risk to exports in cash-cow market (Nikkei)
  • Toyota Targets Big Fleets With Connected-Car Push Into Europe (Bloomberg)
  • Investors in mad scramble for margin loans as US$1.12b Good Doctor IPO lights up market; IPO of China’s largest online medical services platform set to outshine ZhongAn Online’s HK$11.9b offering last September (SCMP)
  • Tencent-Backed Little Red Book Is Said to Seek $200 Million.The women-focused shopping site co-founded in 2013 by Charlwin Mao is seeking to more than double its valuation since its last round of funding more than two years ago. Xiaohongshu — which calls itself RED and stresses its name bears no relation to the seminal book of Mao Zedong’s quotations — works by letting its mostly younger female users post pictures of their favorite products. (Bloomberg)
  • Baidu’s revival adds speed to China’s AI race (Reuters); China’s Baidu turns to AI to police online content, but is the technology reliable? (SCMP)
  • ZTE’s less-known roots: Chinese tech company falls from grace: Transparent image masks large military-linked corporate background (Nikkei)

  • TSMC to invest $14 billion in R&D at Hsinchu facility (Reuters)
  • Innodisk with IoT-Ready SODIMM and Across-the-Board Anti-Sulfuration Capabilities in Big DRAM Push (PRNews)
  • Strong demand for inspection systems lifts Vitrox earnings (Star)
  • Koh Young Technology to Demo New Level of Connectivity at NEPCON China 2018 (SMT)
  • Samsung’s Winning Big in Boring: DRAM, NAND, high-performance computing. They’re all money makers. (Bloomberg)

BAT – Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent

  • Tencent Wipeout Topping $114 Billion Shows Depth of Tech Gloom (Bloomberg)

  • WeChat mini programs are getting traction in China (Technode)
  • Goldman Sachs, Tencent and Didi Chuxing invest in Renrenche’s US$300 m round; Renrenche plays a crucial role in Didi Chuxing’s plan to rule China’s transportation businesses. (KRA)
  • Ant Financial Invests Tens of Millions of RMB in Tanworth Angel Round; Technology is being introduced in daily consumption with its evolution and rental services. (KRA)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Top-tier AI chip companies are sought after, while mediocre startups will struggle with fundraising (KRA)
  • Pony.ai Q&A: Having a China background will be key to autonomous driving success (Technode)
  • Indonesian ride-hailing giant Go-Jek to launch online content production house, streaming service (e27)
  • Chip wars – China closing in on second $19 billion semiconductor fund: sources (Reuters)
  • Former Google China head targets AI opportunities with new $900M Sinovation fund; Kaifu Lee’s firm is also doubling down on robotics and education with its largest fund to date (Techcrunch)
  • Chinese smartphone shipments drop 21% to reach lowest level since 2013 (Techcrunch)

  • Thanks To Live Sports, India’s Hotstar Is Going Where No Other Streaming Service Has Gone Before (Forbes)
  • Reverse innovation: Made in India, for the world; Multinational giants like GE, Siemens and Bosch are mastering reverse engineering to take made-for-India products global (Forbes)
  • New disruptors lining up to eat Grab’s lunch; Five players looking to enter Singapore’s ride-hailing market, reviving competition (BT)

  • Asian panel makers suffer sudden downturn in earnings; Heavyweights Samsung, LG and AUO misread smartphone demand (Nikkei)
  • China’s tech giants give auto show a miss even as they push to dominate future of mobility (SCMP)
  • In China’s slumping smartphone market, debate swirls over how Xiaomi’s 5pc margin pledge is too high (SCMP)
  • Tech recruitment platform GetLinks raises funding from SEEK Group, Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund (e27)
  • Online Education Platform Knowbox Raises $100M From Yunfeng Capital (CMN)
  • ‘Father of red chips’: China depository receipts will limit secondary listings in Hong Kong by big tech firms (SCMP)

Rogue Tech

  • SGX issues Trek 2000 notice of compliance, objects to appointments of Tan and Foo (Edge); SGX objects to Henn Tan as Trek CEO; orders EGM on the matter (BT)
  • Beleaguered Leshi’s sales fall 70% and net loss expands to $2bn (Nikkei)

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

  • Amazon Makes Its Biggest Delivery Yet: The e-commerce giant valued mainly for sales growth is becoming a profit machine (WSJ); Being Jeff Bezos Means Never Apologizing About Profits; Despite Amazon’s tiny operating profit margin, its gross profit margin is growing. (Bloomberg); Amazon is getting bigger, but also heavier (Reuters)

  • The podcast industry wants to befriend Alexa (TNW)
  • Microsoft Rides Cloud Strength and Signals More to Come; Azure’s revenue jumps 93% as company becomes chief cloud rival to Amazon (WSJ); Microsoft is designated driver of the tech world (Reuters)
  • Why Amazon and Google Haven’t Attacked Banks; Banks’ move to cloud computing makes them attractive clients to tech giants (WSJ)
  • YouTube’s Plan to Clean Up the Mess That Made It Rich; Extremist propaganda, dangerous hoaxes, videos of tasered rats-the company is having its worst year ever. Except financially. (Bloomberg)
  • The iPhone Is Coming to Nokia’s Rescue: Oddly, the Finnish giant is making much more money from mobile phone tech than its huge networks business. (Bloomberg)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Big tech is growing, but so is investors’ caution: For years American tech giants were treated as a single asset class. No more (Economist)
  • A Look at WeWork’s Books: Revenue Is Doubling but Losses Are Mounting; As part of bond offering, the startup reveals it is incurring hefty construction costs for offices it is opening (WSJ); The magic of adjustments: ebitla-dee-da (FT)
  • Technology can tackle investors’ flaws (Economist)
  • Over 400 Startups Are Trying to Become the Next Warby Parker. Inside the Wild Race to Overthrow Every Consumer Category (Inc)
  • Streaming Video: Original Content Is the Hook (Barron’s)
  • AMD CEO Su: This Computing Cycle Is Up for Grabs (Barron’s)
  • Bill Gurley on Amazon, Tesla, ‘Peak Cars’ (Barron’s)
  • Digital-Banking Startup Revolut Is Worth $1.7 Billion With New Funding (Bloomberg)
  • Sandvik to buy French software firm Metrologic for 360 million euros (Reuters)
  • DocuSign Gets $629 Million in Above-Range U.S. Tech Offering (Bloomberg); Twelve Years Later, DocuSign’s Big Believer Gets His Glory (Bloomberg)

Life

  • The Top 5 VC Bets Of All Time: These venture bets on startups that “returned the fund,” making firms and careers, were the result of research, strong convictions, and patient follow-through. Here are the stories behind the biggest VC home runs of all time (Medium)

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