A compilation of important news from the startup world:
Alibaba’s Hong Kong fund invests in three e-commerce startups
Alibaba has broken the seal on its startup fund for Hong Kong after it backed its first three companies in undisclosed deals. The startups are unsurprisingly all in the e-commerce space: Yeechoo is online fashion store focused on renting not buying, Shopline helps online sellers use the internet for marketing, while GoGoVan is delivery and logistics on-demand. Last November, Alibaba put $450 million into two standalone funds focused on early-stage investing in Hong Kong and Taiwan. These are the first deals for the Hong Kong fund — which is slightly smaller at $130 million and is managed by Gobi Ventures.
5 most bizarre startups you’ll ever come across
Are you thinking of having your own business? Are you worried your idea is simply not viable? Maybe the big question for you is who’s really going to buy your product or services.Don’t underestimate the power of the human brain. We’ve been known to turn even the strangest idea into a startup. If you have any doubts, check out this list of weird startups based on some crazy ideas.
Two VCs just told us how tech startups create economic inequality
In the short-term, these new jobs are a direct transfer of wealth from VCs and their investors to workers in the form of salaries. After all, startups usually go through a period when they have negligible revenues. Those wages are simply workers burning VC money. Trickle down works! The system becomes even more virtuous if the company becomes successful. A big buyout exit or an IPO can suddenly turn salaried workers with worthless paper stock options into millionaires. This is a good thing.
WSU, AgTech Accelerator partner to support ag tech startups
Washington State University will further agricultural technology innovation nationwide as a partner institution of AgTech Accelerator’s launch in North Carolina this week and closing of $11.5 million in initial financing. The AgTech Accelerator is a strategic partner with Accelerator Corporation., a biotech investment group that has greatly expanded WSU’s access to seasoned investors and industry mentors who are well-versed in how to launch successful biotech and agtech startups.
Lenovo is launching a new $500 million startup fund
Chinese tech giant Lenovo is investing $500 million in startups after it announced a new fund. Unlike other corporates, Lenovo has a history of making deft investments. Its first fund, created in 2010 and $100 million in size, includes Israeli facial recognition startup Face++, publicly listed Chinese firm iDreamsky and biometrics specialist Nok Nok Labs from the U.S. among its 40-plus company portfolio. With its second fund, Lenovo said it is looking to back companies with synergies to its businesses and, in particular, those in the cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, robots and other Internet services spaces.
Fast Track Your Tech Startup
There are myriad ways to build a community, get funding, and even technical help to launch your online product. Accelerators, tech hubs, and co- working spaces are popping up everywhere and actively connecting and inspiring founders. These venues often act as recruiting grounds for venture capitalists and angel investors looking for compelling new startups.
How to Stand Out at Tech Startup Conferences
Tech startup conferences are tremendous opportunities for growth-oriented companies to recruit talent, and attract potential clients and investors. However, they are often very crowded and tough for companies to standout. To help tech startups make the most of their time at conferences, I have put together a list of five tips that will better ensure that you meet the right people and make a lasting impression for your business. Tech startup conferences are tremendous opportunities for growth-oriented companies to recruit talent, and attract potential clients and investors. However, they are often very crowded and tough for companies to standout. To help tech startups make the most of their time at conferences, I have put together a list of five tips that will better ensure that you meet the right people and make a lasting impression for your business.
Inside Palantir, Silicon Valley’s Most Secretive Company
A trove of internal documents and insider interviews has pulled back the curtain on one of Silicon Valley’s most secretive and highly valued companies, Palantir Technologies. Started in part with CIA money, the data-analysis company promised that its software would revolutionize everything from espionage to consumer businesses, and it has grown in both revenue and employees. But the documents and interviews show that Palantir has also lost blue-chip clients, is struggling to stem staff departures, and has recorded revenue that is just a fraction of its customer bookings.