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Veggie ‘meat’ start-up backed by Nasa wins financing from tech moguls and Silicon Valley climate fund

A Chicago-based biotechnology company working with Nasa to develop a new form of plant-based protein fit for supporting space exploration has received US$33 million from venture capital firms, including an energy tech fund backed by Bill Gates, Jack Ma and Jeff Bezos. The funding will support the development and commercialisation of the animal protein alternative, according to Sustainable Bioproducts co-founder and chief executive Thomas Jonas. The climate-friendly protein is a product of research into extremophile organisms that live in Yellowstone National Park’s volcanic springs. “That work led to the development…

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World’s most valuable start-up ByteDance slashes ‘lucky money’ for Year of the Pig as founder warns of challenging 2019

ByteDance, the world’s most valuable start-up, slashed the amount of bonus it gave employees before the Lunar New Year, with founder Zhang Yiming becoming the latest of China’s tech industry leaders to warn of a challenging year ahead. It is customary for many companies to give some form of discretionary bonus to their employees in the form of “red packets” for the Lunar New Year, the most important holiday in China. While discretionary, many employees have nonetheless come to expect the “red packets” as part of their formal pay. TikTok…

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Vietnam 

Cinnamon start-up raises $15 million in funding – Economy – Vietnam News | Politics, Business, Economy, Society, Life, Sports

Viet Nam News HÀ NỘI — Cinnamon Inc., an Artificial Intelligence (AI) start-up based in Tokyo and Việt Nam, has successfully raised US$15 million in Series B funding for its expansion of operations in the US market. The capital came from FinTech Business Innovation LPS (SBI Investment Co., Ltd.), SBI Venture Investment Revitalization Tax System LPS, FFG Venture LPS1, ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation, Sony Innovation Fund and TIS Inc. With this capital, Cinnamon will continue to improve the quality of existing AI technology applications, and develop more products…

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Maintaining a Startup Frame of Mind

[Sponsored Article] HKUST has a growing reputation for nurturing the entrepreneurial and technical talent fueling the FinTech revolution. Here, four alumni share insights on the tech, from blockchain to AI and from robo-advisory services to digital payments, they have harnessed in their businesses. Mike GAULT and Guardtime Kellogg-HKUST EMBA alumnus Mike GAULT is the founder and CEO of Guardtime, a blockchain startup based in Tallinn, Estonia, that employs a team of over 150 cryptographers, developers and security architects. Guardtime’s blockchain-based solutions can potentially be used to ensure the integrity and…

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Vietnam 

$1 million available for green start-up ideas – Economy – Vietnam News | Politics, Business, Economy, Society, Life, Sports

The launch event for the Proof-of-Concept competition in HCM City on Wednesday. — VNA Photo Viet Nam News HÀ NỘI — With a total prize value of up to US$1 million, the third Proof-of-Concept (PoC) competition aims to contribute to the richness and the connectivity of the Vietnamese start-up ecosystem. The launch event for the PoC competition, under the theme ‘Women and the future of green economy’, was held in HCM City on Wednesday. Organisations and individuals with excellent ideas to help Việt Nam cope with climate…

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Ctrip chairman James Liang backs start-up that helps parents find play dates for their young ones

James Liang Jianzhang is best known in Chinese business circles as the chairman of Ctrip, the country’s biggest online travel agent. But that is only one of the many hats he wears. The 50-year-old is also a passionate advocate for women’s rights and expert on population studies. Faced with a rapidly ageing society, Liang is putting his money where his mouth is, by co-founding a start-up aimed at helping more Chinese mothers with child rearing. The start-up, called Moremom, is a location-based app that helps parents find nearby play dates…

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Hong Kong self-driving start-up AutoX in talks to raise US$100 million funding

Hong Kong-based autonomous driving start-up AutoX is in talks with investors to raise a new round of funding to finance its research and development into self-driving cars. The company said it is in talks with investors about a new round of financing, months after the company piloted autonomous grocery delivery services in San Jose, California, in August. Last month, it received its first license to test-drive self-driving cars in China. AutoX is understood to be looking to raise as much as US$100 million. The fresh funds will enable AutoX to…

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Can China’s electric-car start-up Byton beat Elon Musk’s Tesla?

Tesla Motors chief executive Elon Musk showed up at a muddy Shanghai industrial suburb earlier this week for the groundbreaking ceremony of the electric carmaker’s first plant in China. By the end of this year, the first locally assembled Model 3 cars should start rolling off its production line. These vehicles would incur fewer taxes and be more competitive in pricing, reducing the edge that domestic Chinese electric car brands had over the Palo Alto-based company, which has to ship its vehicles from the US to China. The day after…

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Vietnam 

Prosthetics start-up wins Việt Nam Blue Venture Award – Economy – Vietnam News | Politics, Business, Economy, Society, Life, Sports

Viet Nam News HCM CITY – Vulcan Augmetics, a start-up that produces modular, affordable prosthetics for everyone, has been named winner of the first Việt Nam Blue Venture Award. The award is part of a global entrepreneurial award, The Venture, that honours social entrepreneurs who aspire to promote positive changes in the world and spread the message that a company can both do business well and create a social impact. It also seeks to create a platform for young entrepreneurs, enabling them to reach out internationally to…

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SoftBank plans reduced US$2 billion investment in co-working start-up WeWork

SoftBank Group has decided against taking a controlling stake in real estate company WeWork and is instead planning to make a smaller US$2 billion investment, according to people familiar with the matter. SoftBank, which has already invested more than US$8 billion in WeWork, had discussed taking a controlling position in the co-working start-up, potentially spending US$16 billion to buy a larger position in the company, said the people, who requested anonymity because the talks are private. SoftBank IPO’s weak debut is still a win for technology titan Masayoshi Son Recent…

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