In Search of the Next Tech Titan
Top VCs, Angels & Founders
Discuss Australia's prospects to create the next big thing,
the next unicorn and the connection to Silicon Valley and Southeast Asia.
NYC: May 14
International Business Book of 2020
Time to Read a
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How China's tech sector is challenging the world
Next Silicon Dragon
New York, June 10
Hong Kong, July 9*
Los Angeles, July 29
Sydney, Aug. 20
Silicon Valley, Sept. 17
Singapore, Nov. 12
he Discontent of Migrants Looms Over China: by author
has exposed "the Achilles' heel of the China growth story": the economy's reliance on its migrant workforce.
Chinese-made Vaccine Backed by US-China
VC Firm Joins Coronavirus Fight
One of the first two vaccines being tested in patients to fight the coronavirus comes from a Chinese company,
has invested in.
The vaccine that's been developed joins the human trials initiated in Seattle to fight the disease caused by the coronavirus infection. This is China's first COVID-19 vaccine candidate entering the clinical research phase.
Read how more Chinese health-tech companies are fighting the coronavirus outbreak, here.
US-China Team Up to Provide At-Home Testing Kits
LA-based startup Scanwell Health is licensing technology from a Chinese company to distribute at-home testing kits for COVID-19.
Pending approval via the FDA's emergency use authorization, the kits should be available in the U.S. within two months. The test kits, produced by Beijing-based biotechnology Bioventure-backed company Innovita, have been used in China clinical trials at five institutions for help in diagnosing COVID-19. Innovita is backed by Bioventure. Scanwell was seed funded in 2019 by DCM, Founders Fund, Mayfield and YCombinator.
Many others such as Israel and Australia have joined the fight. From Birmingham, Alabama comes news that the medical community led by the University of Alabama and science research organization Southern Research have joined the race in developing coronavirus treatments. Read The South Rises to Combat the Virus.
In a well-time investment, Shanghai-based robotics service startup Keenon has closed a $29 million financing from Walden International, Source Code Capital and Shanghai S&T Investment, on top of prior investors Yunqi Partners and Ivision. The food delivery robotic maker has been particularly busy in China delivering meals and putting its robots to work in disinfecting hospitals.
Broadening out, Chinese tech titan ByteDance has completed a B round investment in celebrity management platform Mountaintop Entertainment in Beijing. The talent agency's previous investors include Guangdian Capital and ZhenFund.
Moving into Alibaba's turf, ByteDance is opening e-stores on its short-video app TikTok. There's a lot of news about ByteDance moving onto the global stage, which we first covered in Tech Titans of China.
At the same time that Japanese investor
SoftBank is seeking to raise up to $10 billion in new funds that could rescue its
Vision Fund portfolio companies struggling with the economic effects of the coronavirus, the
WSJ is reporting that the mega tech investor is balking at part of a plan to bail out
WeWork. That plan included buying back up to $3 billion in shares from WeWork investors.
SoftBank is citing regulatory investigations at WeWork for a rethink of the deal.
The world's largest tech investor with its $100 billion Vision Fund 1, is taking hits on big investor bets in
WeWork, and could face troubles with others such as real estate marketplaces
OpenDoor but probably not food delivery app
SoftBank's bad news is spreading in Asia among its unicorn investments. Its
Indian portfolio company, hotel chain Oyo has laid off workers although the Vision Fund just poured in $837 million in a co-funding deal to prop it up.
What could happen with SoftBank's bets on ride-hailing companies in the region? That's $1.5 billion investment in India's Grab and $11.8 billion in China's Didi.
SoftBank's plans to raise a $108 billion Vision Fund 2 could end up raising less than less half its goal.
Has SoftBank's luck run out?
The U.S. has gained considerably against China on a scale of disruptive technologies and Silicon Valley has solidified its status as the global tech leader as America takes a stronger stance to keep its IP within its borders. That's according to a new survey of 810 technology executives by
KPMG that ranked top tech hubs globally. More than twice as many in this latest poll say the U.S. is ahead of China, versus prior year findings.
Coming out on top, the U.S. was pinpointed by 28% as the world leader followed by China and India tied at 13% each. This is a big leap for India, which was ranked sixth a year ago -- and not a surprise given all the surge in startups and funding in the Silicon Tiger nation.
Notably, Singapore leaped to the top of cities predicted to lead tech innovations alongside Silicon Valley, a reflection of a trending toward the Southeast region from China. See more results here:
Now, from the opposite end of the spectrum: one of the key takeways from the 2020 Tech Trends Report by the
Future Tech Institute is that China has created a new tech world order in AI and data analytics. No kidding!
Turning to help from China to fight the coronavirus outbreak, the U.S. is receiving 1 million masks and 500,000 coronavirus testing kits direct from Shanghai and the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation.
Additionally, the foundations have
committed to donating 100,000 medical
sks, 20,000 test kits and 1,000 protective suits to each of the 54 nations on the African continent. In Europe, Alibaba and its key leader have increased efforts to provide support and supplies to for France and Slovenia following donations to Italy (1 million masks and 100,000 test kits), Spain and Belgium.
In Australia, the Jack Ma Foundation signed an agreement with The Peter Doherty Institute for infection and immunity to further tfund the development of treatments for the COVID-19 virus.
Lastly, Alibaba Cloud, DAMO Academy and DingTalk have jointly launched a series of AI technologies and cloud-based solutions to support the fight against COVID-19. These include a peer-communication platform that helps medical experts share knowledge, an epidemic-prediction tool and a computational platform that can help accelerate drug and vaccine discovery. Wonder what Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg think of these efforts? Glad to see that Tim Cook stepping in.
Draper Associates, in raising Fund VI, notes to limited partners: "
This is the time when a good VC can get a future centicorn at a $2 million pre-money valuation and geometrically growing profitable companies go for 1x sales. Our deal flow machine is hitting on all cylinders, and we expect to see those golden fund opportunities."
"A VC who has not been through the dotcom boom and bust is flying blind here."