H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (20 December 2018) – Alibaba-backed Ofo’s blowout offers lesson to investors; Ofo has exemplified the Chinese start-up model of growing quickly by raising money and burning through cash


  • Dual-listed travel software group Serko buys InterplX in first US acquisition (AFR)
  • Retailers face Afterpay hangover, says UBS (AFR)

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

  • WeChat Pay launches auto scan-and-pay for parking in China’s shopping malls (SCMP)
  • SoftBank Tech Fund Invests $500 Million in Drive Safety Startup (Bloomberg)

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

  • Microsoft Partners With Fintech Startup ZestFinance To Bring Transparency To AI-Powered Financial Models (Forbes)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Ofo’s blowout offers lesson to investors; Bike-sharing start-up expanded rapidly despite not knowing if idea was commercially viable (FT); Chinese bike-sharing start-up Ofo on verge of bankruptcy; Founder says Alibaba-backed Mobike rival is facing ‘immense cash flow pressure’; Ofo has exemplified the Chinese start-up model of growing quickly by raising money and burning through cash (FT); Ofo boss writes to the team: ‘I’m persevering despite the pain and seeming hopelessness’ (TIA); When Technology Dreams Run Into Finance, Ofo Ensues (Bloomberg); Nearly 12 million users are waiting for deposit refunds at China’s Ofo according to bike-sharer’s app (SCMP)
  • After the $1.4 Trillion Rout, Asia’s Tech Bulls Get Picky (Bloomberg)
  • TikTok parent ByteDance sues Chinese news site that exposed fake news problem; The $75B-valued media company says it is victim of “malicious slander.” (Techcrunch)
  • How Taiwan Will Vie With China And Asia To Develop Startups (Forbes)
  • An online battle for 900 million hearts and minds: India braces for election (Reuters)
  • Grab Is Looking Heavier by the Day. Thanks, Toyota; That huge investment from a carmaker appears to be influencing the company’s business model, which may not suit all shareholders. (Bloomberg)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Year in a Word: Techlash; The reputation of big tech faltered as scandals emerged over the past months with regularity; The growing public animosity towards large Silicon Valley platform technology companies and their Chinese equivalents (FT)
  • Pinterest Readies Itself for Early 2019 IPO; Online image-search company could choose bankers for the offering as early as January (WSJ)
  • WeWork Keeps Pushing. Now Landlords, Rivals Are Pushing Back (Bloomberg)
  • Uber Asks for Chinese Tariff Exclusion as It Cranks Out E-Bikes (Bloomberg)
  • The 2018 Stratechery Year in Review (Stratechery)
  • Dataiku raises $101 million for its collaborative data science platform (Techcrunch)
  • Should We Be Worried About Computerized Facial Recognition? The technology could revolutionize policing, medicine, even agriculture—but its applications can easily be weaponized. (New Yorker)
  • Tinder and Bumble Are Hungry for Your Love; The big online dating rebrand means the apps want you to fall in love with them now. (NYT)
  • The Coming Commodification of Life at Home: As internet-connected devices and appliances accumulate, one academic foresees “the monetization of every move you make.” (Atlantic)
  • Technology IPOs May Face Delays, Lower Values After Stock Rout (Bloomberg)


  • The Eternal Return: Nietzsche’s Brilliant Thought Experiment Illustrating the Key to Existential Contentment; “Owning up: to recollect, to regret, to be responsible, ultimately to forgive and love.” (BP)
  • Investing Ideas That Changed My Life (Morgan Housel)

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