News from around the World – May 11


A round-up of news from the startup world:


From Uber to Zomato, tech startups struggle to sustain valuations
Flipkart and Zomato are not the only ones. Many global internet companies, too, are battling this downtrend. Uber, LinkedIn, Twitter, Airbnb, Snapchat, Dropbox, Cloudera and Palantir are some of the internet stars that have been devalued by 15-60% in the past year by some of their mutual fund investors. Publicly traded stocks of NYSE-listed Twitter and LinkedIn have fallen as much as 61% and 39%, respectively, from their peaks. The mutual funds have not given any reason for the sharp cut in valuation, but analysts say the markdowns were preceded by an inflation in their valuations when these mutual funds pumped in millions of dollars into these startups.

Singapore startups and education provider raise a combined S$1 million from FundedHere’s crowdfunding platform
FundedHere – Singapore’s equity-based and lending crowdfunding platform – announced that its platform has enabled three startups and an Asian education provider to raise a combined S$1 million from accredited investors. Two of the startups, which are involved in medical technology and energy management, raised seed capital. Meanwhile, Chloros Solutions — the third startup which offers services for environmental sustainability design, engineering, procurement and construction — and private education operator FTMSGlobal obtained short-term crowdlending loans.

Digi Accelerate selects three winning Malaysian startups
Digi Telecommunications (Digi) has announced Vase, Local Usher and GrabGas as the winning teams of its first Digi Accelerate programme, created to strengthen and support Malaysia’s startup scene. Digi’s head of Digital Services, Praveen Rajan said the three teams will progress into a four-month intensive bootcamp from May to August 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand, with qualifying teams from Myanmar and Thailand. Rajan said Digi originally planned for two winners but decided to select three based on the high-quality submissions it received.

RocketSpace to open campus for tech startups in former RBS building
The tech campus will be RocketSpace’s first international location, enabling the San Francisco-based company to provide startup members and corporate clients with global access to its unique community and services. Since launching in 2011, RocketSpace members have included more than 750 tech startups and 16 unicorns including Uber, Blippar, SuperCell and Spotify. The campus will initially hold up to 1,500 members at its opening in early 2017. Services and amenities will accommodate the needs of growing tech startup teams, including office-as-a-service, a multi-gigabit Internet connection, cafe, collaborative workspaces, and a large event space. Members will have access to hands-on workshops, peer group roundtables, trend talks and networking events, among other services.

AT&T Kicks Off Aspire Accelerator With 6 Leading Ed-Tech Startups
AT&T is working with 6 innovative ed-tech startups for the 2016 AT&T Aspire Accelerator class. The program is in its second year and is part of our $350 million commitment to help students succeed in school and beyond. The Accelerator supports for- and non-profit organizations driving student success and career readiness. The primary measure of success for the Aspire Accelerator is societal impact that the participating organizations create. The participating organizations are from around the country. They have unique stories and diverse leadership. Women founded and lead 4 of the 6 companies.

Investors Target Haredi Startups
The first-ever group of investors targeting ultra-Orthodox startups is being formed, following a sharp increase in activity by Haredi entrepreneurs over the past three years. The group, called 12 Angels, is being launched by Kama Tech, which works to integrate the ultra-Orthodox into high-tech companies.

Introducing the Startup Battlefield companies of Disrupt NY 2016
TechCrunch is pleased to announce the 20 startups selected to participate in the Disrupt NY 2016 Startup Battlefield. Over the next two days, these companies will compete on tech’s biggest stage for $50,000 and the Disrupt Cup. Selection for the Battlefield is incredibly competitive: The startups onstage represent just under 4 percent of those that applied. Startup Battlefield serves to showcase the most promising early-stage and, dare we say, disruptive startups in the industry.

Hyperloop Startup Says Its Tech Is Safer, Cheaper Than High-Speed Trains
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, one of several companies trying to build a futuristic transportation system that can hurtle people and cargo in pods at over 700 miles an hour, says it has licensed technology that is safer and cheaper than what conventional high-speed trains use. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, or HTT, says the base technology of its proposed high-speed transportation system is passive magnetic levitation originally developed by Dr. Richard Post and his team at Lawrence Livermore National Labs. The startup has worked with the national lab over the past year to develop and build test systems using the technology, according to HTT.

Investment Firm Kresna, Retail Operator Supra Boga Join Hands for Tech Startup
Publicly listed investment firm Kresna Graha Investama and retail operator Supra Boga Lestari plan to launch an e-commerce site in the third quarter of 2016, the company said in a statement. The two companies formed a joint venture known as Supra Kreatif Mandiri, which will develop the e-commerce site. The site will serve as an online shopping platform that offers daily necessities such as groceries, fresh produce, homecare products and general merchandising.

Forget start-ups, the budget shows opportunity for larger tech services firms
The 2016-17 federal budget presents great opportunities for Australia’s important mid-tier technology sector – if we play it right. The focus of discussion on innovation over the past six months has tended to be on the start-up end of the market. Or it has been about “corporate innovation” and “intrapreneurship” at the big end of town. But I would argue that the engine room for creative innovation across the economy comes largely from the mid-tier tech companies. These are the companies that are doing the day-to-day implementations on behalf of customers from all sectors.

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