A compilation of important news from the startup world:
Edelman partners with Nest for Hong Kong startups
Edelman, a leading global communications marketing firm, has today announced its partnership with Nest, a Hong Kong-founded company that supports startups and entrepreneurs through its venture capital arm and corporate-backed accelerator programmes. The partnership will further strengthen the city’s growing innovation ecosystem and provide communications marketing services to founders and startups so they can grow and scale.
Edelman Hong Kong will serve as the communications marketing partner for Nest’s accelerator programmes and also offer support to some of Nest’s portfolio companies. As an independent global agency, Edelman is able to leverage its presence around the world to identify and nurture opportunities to mentor and support communities that have the potential to disrupt categories across the globe.
With 17 percent of the GDP, it’s fair to say that Samsung is South Korea, or at least has represented it on the global business stage for the last decade or so. But for the last year or so, with the contraction of the global economy and the dynamism of Chinese (Xiaomi) and Indian (Micromax) competitors in the smartphone industry, the giant chaebols of South Korea — Samsung first, then Hyundai and a few others — have experienced difficulty. Not only did their profits stop increasing, but for some like LG, they have been “bleeding money, and subsequently talent,” according to our contacts.
SPRING Singapore partners incubators, investors to support tech startups
Singapore trade support agency SPRING will be collaborating with seven incubation and investment companies to support emerging technology startups, co-investing with them on a 1:1 basis from a S$75-million ($55 million) fund. The initiative was announced by Singapore’s minister for Trade and Industry, S Iswaran, at the launch of the Singapore Center for 3D Printing and Pro-AM Conference 2016 at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). SPRING claims that Singapore-based startup ventures working on such technologies have grown from an estimated 2800 firms in 2004 to 5400 firms in 2014. This web of incubation and investment partners will provide startups the attendant mentorship, networking, go-to-market advice, and funding. While some will only provide incubation services, others will only invest in startups, or provide both investment and incubation.
New treaty with Singapore unlikely to affect VC/PE investment in India
India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley said Monday that the tax treaty with Singapore will be renegotiated to make sure that capital gains provisions are the same as in the recently concluded tax pact with Mauritius. In other words, India will do away with provisions which foreign investors used, to escape short-term capital gains tax of 15 per cent that Indian funds have to pay. The new treaties are expected to come into effect from April 1, 2017. That has led to speculation that venture capital and private equity investors who currently invest in Indian startups and other companies via Singapore and Mauritius — and who put in $20 billion last year in Indian companies — might re-think their plans.
Major tech firms, Australian startups back new innovation organisation TechSydney
A group of local startups and global tech giants, including Atlassian, Airbnb and LinkedIn, have offered support for a new not-for-profit organisation that aims to “turn Sydney into Australia’s Silicon Valley”. The new group, called TechSydney, will work to promote collaboration in Sydney’s innovation ecosystem, according to a statement. Of concern to the founders was that, despite efforts from major tech companies, startups and government to improve the country’s startup ecosystems, Sydney’s global startup ecosystem ranking dropped last year from 12th place in 2012 to 16th place.
VC fund Frog Capital II scores €9m to invest in European tech startups
Eight high-growth technology businesses from across the UK and Europe are within a chance of receiving new investment following an addition of €9m into Frog Capital II. The news comes after British Business Bank Investments announced that its Venture Capital Catalyst Fund had invested the sum in the €90m European growth capital fund. With this additional investment, Frog Capital will seek to continue expanding its existing portfolio of companies which already include the likes of Azimo and Skimlinks.
Venture capital ‘needed’ to back Irish tech firms
Con Quigley, corporate finance partner and venture capital analyst with financial services firm BDO, said Ireland has an “exceptional ecosystem” for financial technology companies but said it must also address some key issues. Chief among these issues is the lack of investments of €500,000 to €2m to help companies scale. Mr Quigley said the dearth of available funding of this scale is the big problem for Ireland, which otherwise punches above its weight.
What’s Hot in Alaska: Startups
Recently, Alaska earned the rank of “Modest Innovator” — which is in the bottom half of the rankings — in our 2016 Innovation Scorecard, an annual index to highlight which states best champion smart policies for tech startups. Although the state earned low marks in most categories, high grades in “Tax Friendliness” and “Entrepreneurial Activity” categories show the state’s bright spots for attracting startups. ER: Alaska has some ground to make up, but the community and government are on the right track. Alaska was where employment brought my family, and I couldn’t imagine working on this adventure anywhere else. Aside from the unparalleled surroundings, the community is dedicated to promoting its local businesses.