News from around the world – June 29

A compilation of important news from the startup world:

Siemens to invest US$1.1 billion in new startups unit
German industrial group Siemens plans to invest 1 billion euros (US$1.1 billion) over the next five years in a new startups unit to help it develop businesses in areas such as artificial intelligence and decentralized electrification.The funds will be available to employees, external startups and established companies if they want to pursue business ideas in fields that are strategic to Siemens’ future, the trains-to-turbines group said on Tuesday.Siemens, which was founded in 1847 on the then-new telegraph technology, is expanding its core strengths in automation and electrification in new directions to stay at the cutting edge of the digitization of industry.It said the first project of its new unit, named “next47” after the year of the group’s founding, would be the previously announced joint development with Airbus of electrically powered planes.

Rocket Internet merges its two e-commerce startups
Rocket Internet SE, a German internet company and startup investor, has created a new entity called Daraz Group. This entity has been formed by merging Rocket’s two Asia-focused Internet startups, Daraz and Kaymu. The merger will see the two e-commerce startups uniting and their operations across all geographical regions will be managed by Daraz Group. The merged entity will be providing a range of items, both new and used, such as computers, smartphones, clothing, home appliances, real estate, fashion accessories, cars. Rocket Internet announced that the brands, Daraz and Kaymu, that have separate websites in Bangladesh and Pakistan, will stay active. However, in other Asian markets, the two e-commerce companies will operate under a single brand name. Kaymu was launched in 2012 and serves over 30 countries in Africa, Asia and Europe. Daraz, on the other hand, was launched in 2014 and focuses more on fashion clothing and accessories.

Cambridge-Singapore alliance fast-tracks Asia medical innovation
The objective is to fast-track the commercialisation of innovative ideas, ranging from breakthrough diagnostic and surgical technology to cutting-edge connected devices at the Singapore-based hothouse.Cambridge Consultants, which is growing its presence in the UK, US and Asia,  is providing product development services – acting as a virtual R & D centre to accelerate the transformation of ideas into products on the market.Clearbridge is offering mentorship by seasoned entrepreneurs and advice on strategic, regulatory and operational issues. It is also providing financial guidance and access to funding across the whole spectrum, from seed/series A funding all the way to pre-IPO financing. The pre-IPO financing is being done through CapBridge – a private institutional venture exchange formed as a partnership between Clearbridge Accelerator and Singapore Exchange to assist high-growth companies globally.Some of the biggest hurdles faced by medical technology startups are the availability of funding and ready access to product development and regulatory expertise to convert an innovative idea into a commercial product ready for the market.

Attention Asian startups: Apply for the Startup Battlefield at Disrupt SF!
Startups are at the core of what we do here at TechCrunch. Beyond writing about them every day on TechCrunch, they are a hugely important focus of our events whether it’s TechCrunch Shanghai, where our team is right now or Disrupt SF this September.The startup Battlefield competition at Disrupt showcases the most promising young companies that are coming through in the technology space. Over the years we’ve seen some incredible startups graduate our events and go on to make an impact, and we want to help more to do the same. Since 2007, the 610 companies that competed in Battlefield have raised more than $6.1 billion combined after appearing on the TechCrunch stage, while 76 have exited through an acquisition or a public listing. Our alumni include household names like Fitbit, Venmo, Postmates and many others.

SPapers: Redefining the peer review process of your research
SPapers was founded in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and is operating from the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina. It is a privately owned research service with the mission of helping scientists showcase their research effectively and connect with readers. A beta version of the SPapers website was introduced in July 2013. It featured an application that allows authors of research articles to create a “home page” for their article on In April 2016, SPapers introduced a peer review system that allows authors to connect directly with peers and get their papers peer reviewed ( Unlike most traditional peer review systems involving journal editors and anonymous reviewers, this peer review system is direct and transparent — it connect authors to reviewers of their choice. SPapers was founded by Kamy and Marc in late 2013 in Michigan. At that time, they launched an application that allows researchers to create “home pages” for their research articles.  After SPapers moved operations to North Carolina, Edwin took over the software development from late 2015 to develop the new peer review platform.

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