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Flourish, a startup that aims to help banks engage and retain customers , raises $1.5M

Date: March 05, 2021

https://techcrunch.com/

Berkeley-based fintech Flourish has raised $1.5 million in a funding round led by Brazilian venture capital firm Canary. Founded by Pedro Moura and Jessica Eting, the startup offers an “engagement and financial wellness” solution for banks, fintechs and credit unions with the goal of helping them engage and retain clients.

Loship secures investment from Skype co-founder

Date: March 02, 2021

https://en.vietnamplus.vn/

Loship, Vietnam’s fast-growing one-hour-delivery e-commerce startup, has announced its latest investment from Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn.

This capital injection marks Loship as the first portfolio company of MetaPlanet in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. The investment comes four months after the startup secured capital in a bridge round led by Vulpes Investment Management.

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Twilio is investing up to $750 million to become a minority owner in Syniverse Technologies

Syniverse Technologies, a company that helps mobile providers move communications across public and private networks, announced an extensive partnership with Twilio this morning. Under the agreement, Twilio is investing up to $750 million to become a minority owner in the company.

Fintech firm Klarna is raising $1 billion at a $31 billion valuation

The Stockholm-based firm is one of the world’s largest providers of “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) services, which allow shoppers to spread out the cost of their purchases over a period of interest-free installments.

The company is raising a bumper round ahead of a potential blockbuster stock market listing that would be a boon to some of its earliest venture capital investors, like Atomico and Sequoia. Klarna is also backed by big-name investors like Snoop Dogg and China’s Ant Group.

This flying AI robot can pick fruit – preventing waste in the process

​There’s a global shortage of seasonal fruit pickers, made worse by COVID-19 travel restrictions. Some farmers are forced to leave ripe fruit to rot as a result. Now AI flying drones can spot the ripest fruit and pick it autonomously. The makers say the robots will save money and reduce food waste.
It’s getting harder to find fruit pickers to harvest the world’s orchards. COVID-19 travel restrictions have prevented seasonal workers crossing borders, so some farmers are turning to AI drones to pick their crops.

Delivery pick-up points on the rise as ecommerce grows

The lockdown has boosted the growth of click-and-collect delivery. Ecommerce has been boosted in South Africa as many consumers have taken to doing their shopping online and adopted new trading habits. This trend has seen a rise in the use of delivery pick-up points, where consumers go to collect goods, rather than having them delivered directly to their homes.

Image by Alex Motoc

Singapore's space tech startup enters PH market for high-speed internet

Singapore-based space tech startup Transcelestial Technologies announced Friday, February 19, that it closed a $2-million strategic investment from Globe Telecom subsidiary Kickstart Ventures under the Ayala Corporation's venture fund.

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Pipe17 closes $8M to connect a range of e-commerce tools without any code requied

Pipe17’s service helps smaller e-commerce merchants connect their digital tools, without the need to code. With the startup’s service, e-commerce operations that may lack an in-house IT function can quickly connect their selling platform to shipping, or point-of-sale data to their ERP.

Image by Curology
Solar Water Heater

Euro energy players launch solar-hydrogen project

Date: February 15, 2021

Renews.biz

A group of mainly Spanish and French energy players have launched a project that aims to deliver low-cost green hydrogen at scale made using electricity from solar. The HyDeal Ambition initiative aims to deliver 100% green hydrogen across Europe at €1.5/kg by 2030.

The production of green hydrogen generated by solar-driven electrolysis from the Iberian Peninsula will begin in 2022 with the goal of scaling capacity to 95GW of solar to drive 67GW of electrolysis capacity by 2030, enabling annual production of 3.6 million tonnes of green hydrogen.

Redefine Meat is moving plant-based proteins from patties to steaks

The Israeli startup Redefine Meat, which has developed a manufacturing process to make plant-based proteins that more closely resemble choice cuts of beef than the current crop of hamburger-adjacent offerings, has gotten a big vote of confidence from the investment arm of one of Asia’s premier food brands.

The company has raised $29 million in financing from Happiness Capital, the investment arm backed by the family fortunes of Hong Kong’s Lee Kum Kee condiment dynasty, and Hanaco Ventures, an investment firm backing startups in New York and Israel.

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5 top disruptive FinTech firms to watch out for in Vietnam in 2021

Vietnam is currently home to more than 130 FinTech startups that cater to numerous clients and cover a broad range of services such as digital payments, alternative finance, wealth management and blockchain, among others.

According to the International Trade Administration, Vietnam’s FinTech industry which emerged in 2008 only gained prominence in the year 2019. 

Vietnam considers building energy storage system

Solar power plants have to cut the capacity partially because the transmission lines in some localities are overloaded and cannot receive the entire volume of electricity from the plants.

As the electricity demand decreases, the oversupply occurs at some moments of the day, so the national grid doesn’t mobilize all the electricity output from solar and wind power plants.

Image by American Public Power Associati
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Vingroup taps Vietnam's mom-and-pop stores in retail comeback

The roughly 30-sq. meter space, packed to the brim with food and sundries, is among the thousands of small, traditional family-operated outfits that dominate Vietnam's retail landscape.

Despite its mostly old-school appearance, this particular store made one big change last fall that gives it a distinctly modern twist: taking part in VinShop, Vingroup's new wholesale service designed specifically for such small retailers.

Self-Driving Tech Heads To Transit With New Flyer’s Autonomous Electric Bus

Date: January 29, 2021

Fobes

Billions of dollars have poured into research and testing by companies like Waymo, GM-backed Cruise, Amazon’s Zoox and startup TuSimple to teach cars and trucks on how to drive themselves. Meanwhile, transit was an afterthought. That’s changing as North America’s biggest maker of city buses has created a heavy-duty autonomous model it hopes to put into service next year.

Image by CHUTTERSNAP

Harnessing Natural Language Processing to Manage Supply Chain Risk

The ability to proactively identify and resolve supply risks is an important driver of competitive advantage for manufacturers. Supply disruptions due to COVID-19 have cemented the importance of this activity in manufacturing firms. Though supply chain planners have been capturing the risk-related information in textual form in enterprise systems, they are seldom used proactively. Manually analyzing hundreds of such textual bits for a thousand parts/components is difficult, time consuming, and error prone.

Drone pioneer Wingcopter a winner of German raise $22 million to expand in the US

Today Wingcopter, the developer of autonomous delivery drones for humanitarian and commercial applications has raised $22 million to expand in the US and to create the next generation of their drones.

After bootstrapping for four years, this drone startup is ready to scale fast.

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Image by Victória Kubiaki
Image by National Cancer Institute

Winnoz's vacuum-assisted Haiim makes finger-prick blood draws more efficient

Winnoz’s Haiim is designed to make collecting blood from fingertips easier, increasing the volume drawn so it can be used for more types of tests. The New Taipei City, Taiwan-based company’s vacuum-assisted device can collect up to 150 to 500 microliters of blood from a finger prick, depending on the person, in about two minutes.

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Image by Nicholas Design

How 5G, IoT and the cloud work together

For many companies that were forced to shutter their business premises due to coronavirus restrictions, the cloud has helped their newly decentralised enterprise remain operational.

Research from Deloitte found those firms that fared better in the pandemic had already adopted virtualisation and cloud technologies. Those that hadn’t invested scrambled to do so; PwC reports spending on cloud rose 37 per cent during the first quarter of 2020.

A new era for banking in Southeast Asia

Date: December 02, 2020

Unravel

Singapore’s regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore recently awarded four digital banking licenses after a year-long process that saw several heavyweights throw their hats into the ring.

It marked the culmination of a process that drew keen interest not just from financial or technology companies, but businesses from across different sectors.

Image by Yuiizaa September
Engine Belts

Nano-hinges are the next step in development of molecular machines

Date: December 28, 2020

Home - Innovation Origins

Scientists from Finland and Israel have found a way to enable nano-scaled hinges to move. This marks the next step in the development of what are known as molecular machines. This will ltimately make it possible to develop new therapeutic approaches in e.g. medicine.

Until now it has not been possible to control these kinds of nanomachines.The team of researchers from Aalto University in Finland and the Weizmann Institute in Israel have succeeded in creating a structure that opens and closes like a hinge on command. “It’s a bit like origami, that Japanese art of folding,” according to the researchers.

Scientist Use Light And A Nobel Prize Winning Method To Turn DNA On And Off

Date: December 30, 2020

Forbes

One such technology that I have recently written about uses DNA as storage material for computers. Recently, a team of researchers headed by Prof. Andrea Rentmeister at the University of Münster found an ingenious way of using light to turn DNA on and off which may have implications in the fields of DNA technologies, synthetic biology and epigenetics. 

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Car Dealer

Driverless vehicle as a mobile store & office-on-the-go by Toyota

Fully autonomous vehicles seem closer to reality than ever before. There have been attempts and news that self-driving cars are being adapted for ride-sharing services. The surprising news is that soon enough, there would be cars ultimately morphing into a mobile office so people can work during their commute.

Perhaps the idea is to build cars with modular interior elements that switch into an office configuration when the car is driving itself. So long as you’re not actually behind the wheel, you can go ahead and get some work done. That’d be great. Right? Well, for Toyota Motor Corp, it may soon be a reality.

NewMotion to provide Fiat Chrysler fleet customers with EV charging solutions

Shell’s electric vehicle (EV) charging arm NewMotion has partnered with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to provide the manufacturer’s corporate fleet customers with electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions.

The partnership promises to accelerate the installation of EV charge points at customers’ workplaces and their employee homes.

Image by Kumpan Electric

Bandit ML helps e-commerce businesses present the most effective offers to each shopper 

The startup was part of the summer 2020 class at accelerator Y Combinator . It also raised a $1.32 million seed round in September from YC, Haystack Fund, Webb Investment Network, Liquid 2 Ventures, Jigsaw Ventures, Basecamp Fund, Pathbreaker Ventures and various angels — including what CEO Edoardo Conti said are 10 current and former Uber employees.

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‘UK’s first’ long-distance battery-hybrid trains to run on London-Penzance route

Hitachi Rail has announced an agreement with Eversholt Rail and unveiled plans to deploy battery technology on existing intercity trains on a project which is claimed to be the first to test the use of alternative fuel on a modern UK intercity train.

The firm has launched a trial to test operations of Great Western Railway services between London and Penzance in Cornwall using a combination of electricity, batteries and diesel.

Image by Julien Rocheblave
Image by Serge Kutuzov

US startup unveils solar-powered EV that ‘needs no charging’ for most daily use

US startup Aptera has unveiled a new solar electric vehicle (sEV), which is claimed to not require charging for most daily use.

The California-based company recently opened pre-orders for the sEV, which uses a solar system able to provide more than 40 miles of clean driving every day.

The technology aims to make the vehicle the ‘world’s first’ that will not need to be refuelled for most daily driving.

Image by Nikhil Mitra
Image by Mark König

Future Restaurants Will Fit In A Shipping Container And Have No Humans In The Kitchen

Date: December 11, 2020

Forbes

Flippy, the Miso Robotics kitchen robot that White Castle signed a contract to test just recently, can cook 17 different types of foods (and counting) with higher-end capabilities for higher-class foods like steak coming soon.Flippy also integrates into a restaurant’s point-of-sale system, starts making food as soon as a customer orders it, and never takes breaks or gets tired.

Image by Sebastian Coman Photography
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A plastic neutral plan that buys the planet some time and innovation

Date: December 09, 2020

Grist

Some environmental scholars suggest that because fossil fuels are waning as an energy source, major companies are pushing for a massive scale-up of petroleum-based plastic production. Big Oil’s message to consumers: It’s your fault; you’ve created the demand (as opposed to their own glut on the supply side). And the solution they’re pushing? You, as consumers, should be better recyclers.

Fueled by Innovation: How Technology is Boosting Efficiency in Oil & Gas

Date: December 09, 2020

Visual Capitalist

In the oil and gas industry, there’s no shortage of opportunities for innovation.

One recent report by IBM found that, while 82% of oil and gas executives believe innovation is important to fueling the success of their company, only 40% are currently executing on an innovation strategy.

Workers at Gas Plant

Date: December 08, 2020

TechCrunch

Boost Biomes, the Y Combinator-backed developer of microbiome-based bio-fungicides and bio-pesticides for agricultural applications, has added $2 million in funding and picked up a new strategic investor in Japan’s Universal Materials Incubator.

Image by Brandon Pierson
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How governments can create a green, job-rich global recovery

Climate change and the COVID-19 crisis have a great deal in common. Both are human tragedies and economic catastrophes: The pandemic has taken more than a million lives, thrown hundreds of millions out of work, and is projected to wipe out $28 trillion in output over the next five years; climate change’s effects, meanwhile, are upending lives and livelihoods. Both crises are most devastating for vulnerable people and communities around the world. And both punish nations for under-preparation and shortsightedness.

Brainstorm Team Meeting

AppWorks Accelerator features 20 Southeast Asian startups in its first online showcase

Date: November 27, 2020

https://www.techinasia.com/

AppWorks, a startup accelerator, has launched its first online startup showcase featuring 20 early-stage startups from across the Greater Southeast Asia region.

There are over 10 nationalities represented in this batch, of which 30% have at least one female co-founder, the company said in a statement.

The Taiwan-based accelerator says it has a team of over 100 mentors and 1,000 alumni who help startups fine-tune their products and services. It also organizes a demo day to give startups the opportunity to explain their business models to potential investors and business partners.

2020 Fintech Vietnam Report and Startup Map: Fintech Startups Tripled since 2017

Date: November 24, 2020

https://fintechnews.sg

According to the report, the number of fintech startups in Vietnam grew more than 179% between 2017 and 2020. Payment remains the biggest segment, representing 31% of all fintech startups.

As of October 2020, Vietnam was home to 39 licensed non-bank payment services providers, with the five biggest e-wallets being MoMo, Payoo, Moca, ZaloPay and ViettelPay

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Futuristic World

World’s Most Innovative Economies

Date: November 13, 2020

https://theaseanpost.com/

The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has released its Global Innovation Index 2020, that presents the latest global innovation trends and the annual innovation ranking of 131 economies. 

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“Over the years, China, Vietnam, India, and the Philippines are the economies with the most significant progress in their GII innovation ranking over time. All four are now in the top 50,” stated the WIPO.

Five Tech Innovations That Changed Mental Health In 2020

Date: November 25, 2020

Forbes

In January 2020, mental health care already faced multiple crises. Digitally native kids lived more and more of their lives on their phones, giving rise to concerns about the toll social media and screens were taking on young people's mental health. Meanwhile, the opioid crisis continued to surge.

Psychology Session
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Grab Ventures Ignite names five winners in first cohort

The program was implemented in partnership with the Vietnam National Innovation Center and in association with Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority, Gobi Partners, co-working space provider Toong, Vietnam law firm Ykvn, Microsoft, and Amazon Web Services.

Balancing Virtual and In-Person Health Care

As we transition to a new normal for healthcare delivery, how do we best continue virtual care alongside in-person care in the era of Covid-19? First, practices will need to develop criteria to triage and schedule patients for in-person or virtual visits;  

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Future of Femtech and Technology: An Emerging Innovative Crossroads

Date: Nov 17, 2020

Healthcare IT News

In recent years the technological field has taken revolutionary steps to balance out gender disparities. This has led to the advent of a female-centric health technology market that utilizes tech as a proponent for women’s health and overall wellness.

How Apple Is Organized for Innovation

When Steve Jobs returned to Apple, in 1997, it had a conventional structure for a company of its size and scope. It was divided into business units, each with its own P&L responsibilities.

Image by Maarten Deckers
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Former WeWork China exec launches 

a startup Studio for real estate

The real estate industry has been slow to adopt technology compared to many other sectors. So when Dominic Penaloza left his job at WeWork  China as the head of innovation and technology this spring, he decided to focus on proptech in Asia.

OUR SERVICES

How the pandemic has expedited innovation within the film industry

“One of the things that StageCraft brings to the table is the ability to shoot many locations on just one soundstage,” Bredow, SVP and chief creative officer of ILM, says

OUR SERVICES

Bills and Coins

The competition for Main Street investors is heating up and wealth managers are looking for fresh talent

One of the biggest focuses for wealth management firms in the last few years is how to best bring in fresh financial advisor talent.

Innovation is an essential part of dealing with climate change

Date: Oct 31, 2020

The Economist

Governments are lining up to set new climate targets for the middle of the century. This week Japan said that it would eliminate all greenhouse gases

OUR SERVICES

Image by Dan Meyers
Image by Maxim Ilyahov

This New App Thinks It Can Detoxify The News

Date: Oct 15, 2020

https://www.forbes.com

Fisher, 36, believes he may have a solution through his new mobile app, River, that launches today. Put most basically, River is a sleek-looking news portal, relying on a proprietary algorithm to identify the day’s biggest stories and pull in information on these topics

Merging Airbnb and the traditional hotel model

Date: Oct 14, 2020

https://techcrunch.com

The company, which initially was hit as hard by regional responses to the COVID-19 pandemic as other businesses in the hospitality industry, has recovered to reach nearly 90% of total capacity on the 200 units it manages around Mexico City.

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AI IN BANKING: How forward-looking banks are using maturing AI solutions to design both customers- and employee-facing innovations

AI in banking is maturing and entering the mainstream as financial institutions (FIs) roll out AI solutions across their businesses.

Vietnam-based beGroup's road map to building sustainable mobility solutions

Date: Oct 01, 2020

https://www.dealstreetasia.com

Vietnam-based startup beGroup has set aside super-app ambition in pursuit of profitable, sustainable growth

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Image by Randy Fath

The Economics of Strategies

Date: Oct 06, 2020

https://cmr.berkeley.edu

 Creating economic value requires the firm to establish a wedge between the customers’ willingness to pay (B) for the product and the unit cost (C) of “production.” Capturing economic value requires the firm to set a price (P) above unit cost (C) so that the firm earns a supra-normal profit.

A new report finds VC investment into climate tech growing five times faster than overall VC

Date: Sep 24, 2020

https://techcrunch.com

VC and corporate investment into climate tech grew at a faster rate than overall VC investment as a whole between 2013-2019, according to a major new report — to the tune of $60 billion of early-stage capital.

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Vietnam to drive high-tech startups with new incentives

Date: Sep 24, 2020

https://asia.nikkei.com

HANOI -- Vietnam will launch a program to accelerate the founding of startups in information technology and other high-tech businesses in a bid to boost the country's growth potential as COVID-19 weighs on the economy.

Embracing apps that can catch skin cancer early

Date: Sep 22, 2020

https://www.raconteur.net

Incidence of skin cancer is rising fast as dermatologists struggle to keep up. New technology offers a helping hand, but whether telemedicine is the way forward is up for debate

Image by Chris Jarvis
Wood Products

Will innovation finally add up for consumer-goods companies?

Date: Sep 22, 2020

https://www.mckinsey.com

In response to the damage and overnight transformations due to COVID-19, multiple consumer companies have recently announced cutbacks in their innovation pipeline. These announcements may signal a new era for the consumer packaged goods (CPG) sector, one in which the innovation agenda can escape the endless line extensions of the past several years.

Building a start-up innovation ecosystem

Date: Sep 09, 2020

https://www.mckinsey.com

Two executives share how a three-pronged approach to partnering with start-ups has spelled success for an almost 200-year-old Hong Kong multinational.

Embryonic Stem Cells

Delivering innovation: 2020 oncology market outlook

Date: Sep 09, 2020

https://www.mckinsey.com

At the dawn of a new decade, we take stock of advances and unmet needs in the oncology pharmaceutical market. What will it take to deliver innovation to patients over the next ten years?

Will quantum computing drive the automotive future?

Date: Sep 02, 2020

https://www.mckinsey.com

As quantum computing comes closer to reality, automotive players are exploring its potential.

Image by Michael Dziedzic
Harvesting Wheat

Needle in a haystack: Patents that inspire agricultural innovation

Date: Sep 01, 2020

https://www.mckinsey.com

An enhanced patent-review strategy could boost innovation capabilities for agricultural-input companies.

Technology and innovation: Building the superhuman agent

Date: Jun 22, 2020

https://www.mckinsey.com

Researchers, academics, and innovative organizations have produced a seemingly never-ending wave of tech-based breakthroughs that keep resetting the bar for customer care.

Image by Photos Hobby
Dentist Office

The next wave of healthcare innovation: The evolution of ecosystems

Date: June 23, 2020

https://www.mckinsey.com

Author’s Note: This paper was originally completed for publishing in early 2020 prior to the major outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. We believe that the COVID-19 pandemic, and economic downturn, has only accelerated the evolution of healthcare ecosystems. As we move forward, organizations can consider ways to use healthcare ecosystems to improve patient experience and health, while reducing total costs.

Reducing agriculture emissions through improved farming practices

Date: May 06, 2020

https://www.mckinsey.com

A marginal abatement cost curve offers a perspective on how 25 proven GHG-efficient farming technologies and practices could reduce emissions by about 20 percent by 2050.

Image by Sandy Manoa

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